Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Rick Rypien's passing leaves hockey world shocked

The news out of Alberta on Monday night came unexpected, word that Rick Rypien had passed away at his Alberta home at the far too early age of 27 .

A death described by the RCMP as deemed sudden, not suspicious, but one that has left a good number of NHL followers a little bit shocked.

His passing brings to a close the life of a player, who played with much heart, punched above his weight as they say and seemingly touched many lives in his career, all while suffering through some personal demons that sadly perhaps may have contributed to the news of today.

Rypien was always a crowd favourite, whether in Vancouver where fans, team mates and management mourned the news of his passing or in Winnipeg, the city he was destined for in September having recently signed a contract with the relocated Jets, a return to the city that embraced him through his career in the NHl, where he toiled for the farm club of the Canucks the Manitoba Moose.

Such was his status in Winnipeg, that the Jets were quick to seek out his services upon their relocation to the Manitoba capital, his relationship with the Moose management which now runs the Jets so close that they felt as though they were welcoming a son back home.

The possibility of a more rewarding time in the NHL for Rypien in Winnipeg, led many to believe that he had finally turned a corner with his personal issues, the prospect of playing in front of the Winnipeg fans again reportedly something that the centre was looking forward to.

Thus the shock over the announcements out of both the Jets and Canucks camps over his passing.

In Vancouver, fans gathered to erect a makeshift memorial to the former Canuck, indicative as to the impact that he had on the fans.

Likewise, the testimonials have begun to come in, from former team mates and NHL, AHL and juniors officials who had spent time with him over the years,  all wishing that the news were not true and that somehow time could turn back to a better place for Rick Rypien.

Some of the items of note that have made their way across the NHL telegraph lines can be found below.

Globe and Mail--- Former teammate: Rypien talked about bringing Stanley Cup to Winnipeg
Globe and Mail-- Jets forward Rypien found dead
National Post-- Former teammate mourns loss of Rypien
National Post-- Former Canuck Rypien dead at 27
Vancouver Province-- Rick Rypien, former Canucks forward, dead at 27
Vancouver Province-- Canucks fans pay tribute to Rick Rypien
Vancouver Province-- Fan memorial planned for former Canuck Rick Rypien on Wednesday
Vancouver Province-- Rick Rypien: A Canucks enigma
Vancouver Province-- Rick Rypien was one of her boys
Vancouver Sun-- Former teammate shocked by Rick Rypien's death
Vancouver Sun-- Former Canucks forward Rypien dead in Alberta
Vancouver Sun-- Canucks fans create Rick Rypien memorial outside Rogers Arena and online
Vancouver Sun-- NHL players mourn death of Rick Rypien via Twitter
Vancouver Sun-- Rick Rypien will be missed and mourned
Winnipeg Free Press-- True North mourns the loss of a fan favourite
Winnipeg Free Press-- Jets' Rypien found dead at home
Winnipeg Free Press-- Ultimate teammate hid his dark emotions
Winnipeg Free Press-- Rypien's death hits NHL hard
Winnipeg Sun-- Jets' Rypien found dead
Regina Leader Post-- Rick Rypien tragedy stuns Pats
CBS Sports-- Remembering Rypien: The view of NHL enforcers
USA Today-- Tributes pour in for NHL tough guy Rick Rypien
CBC-- Rypien was hopeful for future, his agent says
CBC-- Rypien's death shocks hockey world

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