The Canadian Press reports that almost 1,000 people attended Rick Rypien’s funeral today. That list included family, friends and former teammates such as Kevin Bieksa (who was a pallbearer), Mason Raymond, Manny Malhotra and Alexandre Burrows. Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis and Rypien’s cousin/former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien were also in attendance (as you can seen from this post’s main photo).
The funeral procession included a scattering of different items from his playing career, including an autographed No. 37 jersey from his time with the Canucks, the only NHL team he suited up for. (The Winnipeg Jets signed him to a one-year, $700K deal in June, a promising development that made his death that much more shocking to many.) The program reportedly featured a photo of Rypien in a blue Canucks jersey with the phrase: “Until we all meet again.”
Rick Rypien’s uncle Allan spoke of his nephew’s struggles with depression.
Rypien said his nephew was battling a disease not unlike cancer.
“He fought this disease with everything he had in him,” he said. “If you knew Rick he fought with everything he had in him. Unfortunately the disease won the battle.”
“Be thankful the battle he faced is over.”
Follow the corresponding links for more about Rypien’s life and death.
- Rick Rypien found dead at 27.
- Fans, teammates and opponents remember Rypien.
- Mark Rypien speaks about his cousin’s death.
- NHL and its players association will examine their support systems after the deaths of Rypien and Derek Boogaard.
- Canucks fans gathered to pay tribute to Rypien during an informal memorial service on Wednesday.