Like everyone, I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Rick Rypien on Monday.
Even before last season we had all heard news about Rypien’s mental state, and at various times he gave friends, family and teammates plenty of reasons to be concerned about him. He was a troubled person, make no mistake about it.
Last season, his issues seemed to reach a crescendo after the suspension for grabbing and shaking a fan, who was yelling at him during a game in Minnesota. When he took a leave from the Vancouver Canucks for “personal reasons”, I honestly thought that was it for Rypien and he’d never play hockey again. But he came back and seemed to come out at the other end a refreshed and re-focused person. This makes Monday’s news even worse. We all thought he’d turned a page.
I’ll have more on Rypien in the next few days but for now I’d simply like to offer my condolences to his family and friends.
Hockey players on Twitter were quick to send their condolences and memories of the former Vancouver Canucks tough guy. Here’s a sample from Monday evening…
Andrew Ladd (aladd16): Sad to hear about Rick Rypien. I was looking forward to playing with him in Winnipeg. Thoughts are with his family and friends #RIPRypien
Mike Commodore (@commie22): RIP Rick Rypie. He was a warrior. Hit me so hard my eyes couldn’t focus for 30 secs. Not sure if it was a left or right.
George Parros (@Stache16): Damn… Rick Rypien will be missed. He was the nicest guy, hung with him a few times in VAN…tough as all hell too. Thoughts to his fam
Bill Sweatt (@billysweatt): Tragic story. #rickrypien found dead. This is just terrible. RIP rick. You were a great teammate and friend.
Ryan Jones (@jonesry28): Sad to hear about the loss of another great guy… condolences to the friends and family of Rick Rypien. RIP
Kevin Connauton (@K_Nauts): Sad day. RIP Rick Rypien, had the honour of playing with him this year in Manitoba. You’ll be missed. Thoughts to all his friends & family..
Bobby Ryan (@b_ryan9): The hockey community lost another good member today. RIP Rick, never met you.. But you played a tough position and did it well. #nails
Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0): Just heard the terrible news about Rick Rypien. One of the toughest pound for pound guys in the league. He had no fear. Sad day.
Eric Fehr (@ericfehr): Unbelievably sad news on the passing of Rick Rypien..One of the toughest players I ever played against..Thoughts and prayers with his family
Michal Grabner (@grabs40): I will always have the memories from Vancouver with Rick..also pound for pound was one of the toughest guys out there.
Logan Couture (@logancouture): RIP Rick Rypien. Hockey world takes another hit. Thoughts with his family.
A Swedish newspaper reported yesterday that Fabian Brunnstrom will attend Detroit Red Wings training camp on a tryout basis. Hard to see him cracking the Detroit roster out of training camp but I could see him playing in Grand Rapids and being the first call-up due to injury. Brunnstrom to me is still a player who needs to decide what he’s going to be: Either a scoring threat or a two-way defensive player. In his brief NHL/AHL career he’s demonstrated he can be both but isn’t committed to one or the other.
Don Granato (Tony and Cammi’s brother) takes over from Ron Rolston as head coach of the US National Development team.
The Montreal Canadiens signed defenceman Jeff Woywitka to a one-year, two-way contract yesterday.
Is it true that San Jose defenceman Brent Burns has a Harry Potter tattoo? Yes, apparently it is.
1949: Boston trades Pete Babando, Clare Martin, Lloyd Durham and Jim Peters to Detroit for Bill Quackenbush and Pete Horeck. Babando paid off LARGE for Detroit in his first season in Motown, scoring the Stanley Cup clinching goal in 1950 in double overtime against the New York Rangers (backhander along the ice for those of you who care about these things). It was the first Game 7 overtime goal in Stanley Cup history.
1949: Detroit sells Bud Poile to the Rangers for $35,000. Detroit owner Jack Adams was renovating the Olympia and needed the money he got for Poile to rebuild the press box.
1983: Calgary signs free agent Neil Sheehy. Sheehy was the last player in the NHL to wear the No. 0.
1996: Chicago trades Jeremy Roenick to Phoenix in exchange for Alexi Zhamnov, Craig Mills and a first-round pick. As a teen, Zhamnov was coached and trained by Soviet hockey legend Valeri Vasiliev and later married Vasiliev’s daughter.
2000: The Toronto Maple Leafs signed free agent Dave Manson. Anyone else remember Manson’s 1990 fight as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks against Scott Stevens of the Washington Capitals where Manson bit Stevens’ hand while Stevens tried to gouge Manson’s eyes? Was this the era when players had respect for one another? I keep looking for it but haven’t been able to find it yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Anyway, here’s the vid. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NiqrjuImK4U