Regardless of how it happened, Rick Rypien’s death saddened many in the hockey world tonight. Twitter and other Internet venues have seen many accounts of support for the fallen enforcer as word surfaced that he died at the age of 27.
In tough times like these, it’s important to look beyond tragic ends and remember the positive impact a person made. Rypien signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets in June, but every game he played in the NHL took place in a Vancouver Canucks sweater.
Much like Derek Boogaard with the Minnesota Wild, it’s likely that Rypien’s death will hit Canucks fans the hardest of any NHL fan base. It only makes sense, then, that Canucks fans look like they will follow in the footsteps of Wild fans by memorializing Rypien on Wednesday. As you may remember, about 350 Wild fans gathered at Xcel Energy Center to pay tribute to Boogaard, with the informal memorial service also including comments by Boogaard’s family members and Wild GM Chuck Fletcher.
According to that Facebook event, the “Rick Rypien Celebration of Life” will take place at 2 pm (pacific time) at the Roger Nielson statue outside of Rogers Arena. We’ll keep an eye on what’s likely to be a very emotional event.
(H/T to Nucks Misconduct.)