In the second period of tonight’s Vancouver Canucks game against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul, Minnesota, Canucks agitator/fighting forward Rick Rypien lost his head a bit. OK, he lost his head a lot as Rypien apparently went into the stands and grabbed a fan as he was headed towards the locker room.
Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune reports the details via Twitter.
Rick Rypien will be suspended. He just left the ice and jumped in the stands and made contact with a Wild fan
A Wild fan was applauding at Rypien as he left, and he jumped up grabbed the fan by the shirt. He will undoubtedly made (sic) discipline
As if that wasn’t enough, Russo also contributes this note thanks to replay.
Rypien could face a long suspension. Replays show he also pushed and made contact with linesman Don Henderson before grabbing fan
Obviously we’ll be talking about this one for quite a bit and since the game is still going on now (Minnesota is drubbing Vancouver 6-1 through two periods) we’ll have more reaction and hopefully some video to share with you.
Update: Here’s (better) video of the incident via YouTube. Rypien will get suspended for this. The NHL hates negative PR for the league more than anything, and having a hot-head player reach into the stands to grab a fan that’s (likely) talking smack to them will not go over well at all.
If you’re wondering if there’s any sort of precedence for this stuff in modern times (the Bruins visiting Rangers fans in the seats at Madison Square Garden in the 70s was a different era) former Leafs enforcer Tie Domi was fined $1,000 for squirting a fan causing the fan to fall through the glass in the penalty box in Philadelphia in 2001. Different circumstances here, however, as squirting water over the glass to an irate fan isn’t the same as going into the stands to grab them. Expect Rypien to get the book thrown at him.