Minnesota Wild v Vancouver Canucks

Kevin Bieksa pays tribute to Rick Rypien with Mindcheck.ca


Rick Rypien’s suicide touched a lot of lives, including former teammates such as Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kevin Bieksa.

CSNChicago.com’s Tracey Myers goes behind Bieksa’s drive to help re-launch Mindcheck.ca, a site designed to reach out to people suffering from mental illnesses – including the issues Rypien couldn’t overcome.

“What he always talked about doing was giving back, doing something that could help other kids who were in the same situation as him, sharing his story and struggles,” Bieksa said. “This is just kind of lending that ear, showing there are other people out there. It’s kind of me carrying on Rick’s legacy.”

Bieksa estimates that about 40,000 people have visited the site since it re-launched and players are getting behind the cause. Myers points out that Henrik Sedin wore a T-shirt advertising Mindcheck.ca during the 2012 All-Star weekend, for one. Bieksa hopes to help people like Rypien, whose death was “obviously the biggest loss” he’s had to endure.

“A lot of people are saying how much they appreciate it, that it’s a good idea. Some people are admitting they’re currently struggling with depression or anxiety and the website is a great help,” Bieksa said. “That means a lot to get those responses.”

Update: Wisniewski tore ACL 47 seconds into ‘Canes debut

James Wisniewski, John-Michael Liles, Elias Lindholm
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Last night, we passed along news that veteran d-man James Wisniewski — acquired from Carolina at the draft — suffered what looked to be a serious injury just 47 seconds into his ‘Canes debut, and was ruled out for the remainder of the night.

Now, he’s been ruled out for a lot longer than that.

From the club:

Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that defenseman James Wisniewski will undergo surgery on his left knee after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during Thursday night’s game in Nashville.

Recovery time for the injury is estimated at six months.

This is, obviously, a tough development for both player and club. The ‘Canes were counting on Wisniewski to be a regular contributor on defense this year, and help improve last year’s middle-of-the-pack power play.

Wisniewski, meanwhile, was looking to bounce back from a disappointing ’14-15 campaign. He was shipped out of Columbus at the deadline to Anaheim but never made an impact for the Ducks, failing to see any playoff action as Anaheim made it all the way to the Western Conference final.

Jordan Weal to make NHL debut for Kings

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Two days after an uninspiring performance versus San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings will be getting an injection of youthful enthusiasm tonight versus Arizona.

Coach Darryl Sutter confirmed today that Jordan Weal will make his NHL debut at Staples Center.

A 23-year-old center, Weal is expected to replace Andy Andreoff and skate between Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line.

“It’s really exciting,” Weal told LA Kings Insider. “A lot of work has gone into getting to this part of my career, and the hard work’s just going to continue. It’s going to keep going, and I’m trying to do as much as I can in this game and keep improving from this game moving forward in trying to solidify a solid spot in the lineup.”

The 70th overall pick in 2010, Weal had 69 points in 73 games last season for AHL Manchester.

Related: Jordan Weal is looking to make the leap