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					               SPORT-SCAN                                                DAILY BRIEF
                                                                NHL 8/17/2011
         Boston Bruins                                                            Vancouver Canucks
576556   Parade set for Stanley Cup in Vermont                           576585   Canucks GM Gillis, former teammates ‘extremely shocked’
                                                                                  by Rick Rypien’s death
         Calgary Flames                                                  576586   Bling not the thing for Rick Rypien, say former junior hockey
576557   Hockey world mourns Rypien                                               colleagues
576558   Flame conditioning coach makes summer house calls               576587   ‘Forever a Canuck #37’: Fans mourn Rick Rypien’s death
                                                                         576588   Rick Rypien 'seemed to be in a good place,' but had battled
         Detroit Red Wings                                                        depression for a decade
576559   Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader has potential for bright    576589   Gallagher: Rypien never easy to read
         future                                                          576590   'Little' Rypien was a Regina fan favourite because of his
576560   Red Wings' Danny Cleary gets a bobblehead; Todd Bertuzzi                 huge heart
         calls shenanigans                                               576591   ‘I wish I could have been there for him’
576561   Red Wings invite Fabian Brunnstrom to training camp             576592   Rick Rypien was one of her boys
576562   Red Wings give shot to former Star Fabian Brunnstrom            576593   Rick Rypien, former Canucks forward, dead at 27
576563   Red Wings renew affiliation agreement with Toledo Walleye       576594   Kurtenthoughts: Canucks Fans Are Pretty Much Despised
         of ECHL for another season                                      576595   Rick Rypien: a Canucks enigma

         Edmonton Oilers                                                          Washington Capitals
576564   Oilers again picked to finish last in West                      576596   Capitals to host alumni game Sept. 23
                                                                         576597   Not typical minor league towns
         Los Angeles Kings                                                        Websites
576565   Suite-night poll, part 2
                                                                         576612   NBCSports.com / Fans, former teammates and foes
         NHL                                                                      remember Rick Rypien
576566   NHL player Rypien remembered for gutsy battles on and off       576613   NBCSports.com / Bill Daly on Islanders watch party: ‘We do
         ice                                                                      not approve of the use, based on what we know’
576567   Canadian team preview: The Ottawa Senators                      576614   Sportsnet.ca / A tough loss
576568   Top juniors to test NHL’s proposed new rules                    576615   USA TODAY / Tributes pour in for NHL's Rick Rypien
576569   Player’s Death Follows Bouts of Depression
576570   NHL in mourning again after death of Rick Rypien
                                                                                  Winnipeg Jets
                                                                         576598   Rypien's troubles started in junior
         Ottawa Senators                                                 576599   Jets never saw it coming
576571   Alfredsson feels ‘good to be back on the ice’                   576600   A TOUGH MAN AND A GOOD TEAMMATE
576572   Alfredsson gets back onto the ice                               576601   Fighting for their livelihood Stop the madness
                                                                         576602   Player's passing stuns lifelong Canucks fan
         Philadelphia Flyers                                             576603   Up close and personal with... TOBIAS ENSTROM
576573   NHL set to formally announce Flyers-Rangers Winter Classic      576604   Rypien will be missed: Heisinger
         at Citizens Bank Park                                           576605   Rypien's death hits NHL hard
                                                                         576606   Former teammate: Rypien talked about bringing Stanley Cup
         Phoenix Coyotes                                                          to Winnipeg
576574   Phoenix Coyotes' Connor Murphy faces 2-4 months of rehab        576607   Lessons from Rypien tragedy
         after surgery                                                   576608   Morrison recalls Rypien's respect
                                                                         576609   Rypien family floored
         Pittsburgh Penguins                                             576610   Vancouver fans mourn Rypien
576575   Pens add seats; cap season-ticket sales                         576611   Rypien mourned across league
576576   Seating capacity increases by 300 for home games                SPORT-SCAN, INC. 941-284-4129
576577   Penguins add 300 seats at Consol Energy Center

         Tampa Bay Lightning
576578   Lightning preseason tickets go on sale Friday
576579   Lightning announce three game-time changes
576580   Tampa Bay Lightning preseason tickets on sale Friday
576581   Tampa Bay Lightning announces more game-time changes

         Toronto Maple Leafs
576582   Skinner figures to be NHL star for a long time
576583   Everything's riding on Leafs' Reimer 19
576584   Hanging a nickname on Reimer 8
576556    Boston Bruins


Parade set for Stanley Cup in Vermont


By Associated Press


BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas, who helped
bring the Stanley Cup to Boston, is bringing it to Vermont next.
Thomas, a former standout at the University of Vermont, will showcase the
trophy of the NHL champions at a Sept. 3 parade through downtown
Burlington.
Final plans for the event were announced Monday by the University of
Vermont.
The parade will start at 9:30 a.m. at the Lake Champlain waterfront and
proceed to Church Street, where Thomas and officials will speak to the
crowd.
Boston Herald LOADED: 08.17.2011
576557     Calgary Flames                                                      Rypien is the second NHL fighter to die this off-season; New York Rangers
                                                                               heavyweight Derek Boogaard died in May due to an accidental mix of
                                                                               alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone.
Hockey world mourns Rypien                                                     “At the end of the day, we’re human beings,” Morrison said. “Guys deal with
                                                                               what every other person deals with on a regular basis. A lot of us have
                                                                               families. A lot of us have kids. We play hockey, and we’re in the spotlight in
By Vicki Hall, Calgary Herald                                                  that sense.
                                                                               “But we have to deal with as much as the person beside you. It always
                                                                               seems to take something as tragic as this before everyone takes a step
Rick Rypien was remembered as a ‘‘fearless’’ enforcer by Brendan               back and realizes how fortunate they are. It’s very disheartening to see
Morrison, who was a teammate while both played for the Vancouver               cases like this.”
Canucks. Morrison, now with the Calgary Flames, said of Rypien: “He
would fight anybody.’’                                                         Calgary Herald: LOADED: 08.17.2011

Like much of the hockey world, Calgary Flames centre Brendan Morrison
struggled to keep his tenses straight in reflecting on the late Rick Rypien.
A family member found the body of the former Vancouver Canucks enforcer
Monday at his home in the Coleman. Rypien, 27, battled depression for the
last decade. He signed with the Winnipeg Jets last month.
“It’s a tragedy,” Morrison said Tuesday after a training session in
Vancouver. “Here’s a guy who pretty much has his whole life in front of him.
“It’s very difficult to see somebody not be able to carry on at such a young
age.”
Morrison can vividly remember the day the Vancouver Canucks called
Rypien up to the NHL for the first time in 2005. An undrafted scrapper from
the Regina Pats, Rypien hardly looked the part of a hockey pugilist.
In fact, the Vancouver media guide generously listed him at five-foot-11,
190 pounds.
“Very unassuming, when you look at him,” Morrison said. “He’s my size,
and I’m not a very big guy.
“He was thrilled, you know? We didn’t know a whole lot about him. We
heard he was feisty. He played bigger than his size.”
Morrison sat next to Rypien in the locker-room, and he advised the humble
newcomer to simply play his game. To savour the experience of a lifetime.
Rypien scored the first goal of his NHL career on his first shot.
Not a bad way to start.
But Rypien, the son of a former Canadian Golden Globe boxing champion,
specialized in fighting.
In windswept Crowsnest Pass, Wes Rypien had passed down the tricks of
the trade to both of his sons.
That fighting know-how gave Rick Rypien an edge over ever the most
dangerous of NHL policemen.
“I’m not a fighter,” Morrison said. “But from what I’ve seen over the years,
he is one of the toughest guys, if not the toughest guys, pound for pound —
that I have ever seen in hockey.
“He was fearless. He would fight anybody. He would fight all the
heavyweights, and he was 180 pounds. Technically, he was just so good.
He could throw with both hands, and he could switch on the fly.”
Morrison chuckled at the memory of the carnage.
“He used to destroy some guys,” he said. “I don’t think they really knew
what he brought to the table.”
Morrison played with Rypien for parts of three seasons in Vancouver. The
36-year-old never knew, until last year, the demons his young teammate
faced off the ice in terms of depression.
Rypien took two personal leaves of absence from the Canucks to battle the
disease.
“When I played with him, I had no idea that was something he had to deal
with,” Morrison said. “It wasn’t something that was talked about or brought
out in the open.
“It was something he was dealing with in his own way.”
A month ago, Rypien told reporters in Winnipeg how excited he was to play
for the Jets after wrapping up last season with the American Hockey
League’s Manitoba Moose.
576558     Calgary Flames                                                       knockout punch from former Edmonton Oilers enforcer Steve MacIntyre.
                                                                                Ivanans missed the rest of the season with symptoms of post-concussion
                                                                                syndrome.
Flame conditioning coach makes summer house calls                               “He has begun doing some training,” Feaster said. “He’s not doing the full
                                                                                program yet. But he has reported some progress. There’s more optimism
                                                                                on our part now than at the end of the season
By Vicki Hall,
                                                                                “But we won’t know exactly where he stands until he gets into camp and is
                                                                                evaluated by the medial staff.”

Forward Daymond Langkow will be ready to go when training camp opens            Back in April, head coach Brent Sutter challenged underachieving centre
next month, says Calgary Flames general manager Jay Feaster. “He’s been         Matt Stajan to become stronger and quicker this summer through relentless
fully training. No restrictions whatsoever.’’                                   effort and attention to detail in the gym.

As part of a new way of doing business for the Calgary Flames, Rich             So far, so good, according to information gathered on a visit by Hesketh.
Hesketh has logged copious frequent flyer points this summer on behalf of
his employer.                                                                   “He has worked very hard,” Feaster said. “He is following the program. He
                                                                                is working with a personal trainer. He is really committed.”
The Flames’ strength and conditioning coach has jetted all over Canada,
the United States and Europe to check in on the players in the heart of their   Which brings us to Niklas Hagman, another underachieving former Toronto
summer training programs.                                                       Maple Leaf who recorded just 11 goals and 27 points last season.

Hesketh even tracked down the elusive Miikka Kiprusoff at his summer            Not good for a two-time 25-goal scorer.
cabin in Finland and met up with sophomore centre Mikael Backlund in            “Nik had a great conversation a little while back with Brent,” Feaster said.
Sweden.                                                                         “He talked about the fact that coming out of last season, he was
When not travelling the world, Hesketh co-ordinates daily on-ice sessions       disappointed in a lot of things with his game and felt he had to make some
for veteran players in the Calgary area (including Daymond Langkow and          changes with his training regimen.
Cory Sarich) and Abbotsford Heat prospects (like Ryan Howse.)                   “He is going full-bore.”
“We’ve had a very proactive, very comprehensive outreach program to our         Calgary Herald: LOADED: 08.17.2011
players,” said general manager Jay Feaster. “This is unprecedented in
terms of the out-reach. We are in touch with these guys on a very, very
frequent basis.”
The goal? No surprises come training camp in terms of out-of-shape
players (bad) and unreported injuries (potentially even worse.)
“We feel good right now,” Feaster said. “I touch wood everybody stays that
way.”
Langkow, 34, missed 78 games last season recovering from a fractured
vertebra at the base of the neck. He suited up for four games at the end of
the campaign, recording one assist.
“One of the guys who has consistently been at the training sessions is
Daymond,” Feaster said. “He was fully cleared at the end of the season.
He’s been fully training. No restrictions whatsoever
“He’s ready to go when camp opens.”
Fellow centre Brendan Morrison underwent surgery in April to repair a torn
anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. In a July news release to
announce a new contract for the versatile forward, Feaster said he didn’t
expect Morrison to be ready for training camp or the beginning of the
regular season.
The man himself is gunning to hit the ice with his teammates come mid-
September at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“The big thing we’re going to have to do with him is to make sure he doesn’t
overdo it,” Feaster said. “He’s pushing to be ready for camp, and our point
to him is to follow what the doctors are telling him and make sure he’s fully
healed.
“But he’s progressing very, very nicely. He’s very happy and so is the
medical staff.”
Also on the medical front, Cory Sarich played hurt for much of the 2010-11
season without breathing a word about it to the media. The physical
defenceman battled osteitis pubitis, an inflammation of the pelvic joint
between the two ends of the pubic bone.
Especially common in soccer and Australian rules football, the condition
causes intense groin pain.
“It’s something he played with last year,” Feaster said. “ He played through
it. It’s something he’s receiving treatment for ongoing this summer.
“At this point in time, all indications are that he should be ready to go for
camp. We’ll evaluate obviously when we get into camp.”
Another player set for evaluation at camp is Raitis Ivanans. The pugilist
suffered a concussion in the first game of the 2010-11 season on a
576559     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader has potential for bright future


By HELENE ST. JAMES


With the Red Wings' roster for the upcoming season pretty well set, it's a
good time to take a closer look at select players. Today's subject: forward
Justin Abdelkader.
Abdelkader, 24, had seven goals and 19 points in 74 games in 2010-11. He
has no points in 11 playoff games.
Last season saw Abdelkader grow in his first full season with the Wings. He
showed his versatility playing center and wing mostly on the third and fourth
lines, where he used his speed and instincts as a defensive forward. He
didn't fare as well in the playoffs, when he uncharacteristically took several
bad penalties.
Abdelkader, like Darren Helm, is one of the Wings' building blocks -- not a
star player, but the type of utility forward every team needs. He's a strong
skater, he can penalty kill, and he's got an offensive side that shows
especially when he plays on a skilled line (like last season, when he was
with Danny Cleary and Mike Modano).
At 6-feet-1, 215 pounds, Abdelkader is one of the team's bigger forwards.
He developed his fighting skills last summer and held his own during the
three tussles he got into last season. Fighting isn't a big part of today's
NHL, but good for Abdelkader that he has that in his repertoire if needed.
Primarily, though, he needs to use his size to hit defensemen and wear
them down.
Abdelkader also has shown his work ethic when it comes to face-offs. He
won 46.5% of the 318 he took during '09-10 and improved to winning 52.8%
of the 430 he took last season.
Abdelkader has the potential for a bright future. He's versatile and just
needs to keep developing.
NOTEBOOK: The Wings have told forward Fabian Brunnstrom -- whom
they pursued three years ago only to see him sign with Dallas -- he's
welcome to come to camp and try out for the team. "He called us, and we
told him to come on in," assistant general manager Jim Nill said. "He's had
a disappointing two seasons in the NHL and knows this is his last chance."
Brunnstrom, 26, spent last season with Toronto's farm team. He has 19
goals, 40 points and is minus-11 in 99 NHL games. He'll have to really
impress to make the Wings, who are well-stocked up front.
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 08.17.2011
576560     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings' Danny Cleary gets a bobblehead; Todd Bertuzzi calls
shenanigans


By HELENE ST. JAMES


This is the last week for fans to vote on which Detroit Red Wings will be
featured as a bobblehead giveaway next season, and forward Todd
Bertuzzi is throwing his support behind young teammate Darren Helm.
Danny Cleary won week 3 with a landslide 90% of votes. His election
campaign included such radical strategy as filming a video with a message
that was hard to miss: “Hi, this is Dan Cleary. Vote for me for my
bobblehead. I really want one. Please. Don’t vote for Bertuzzi -- his head is
way too big, it won’t even fit on a bobblehead anyway.”
Bertuzzi finished third in voting last week, behind Justin Abdelkader.
Cleary’s victory, Bertuzzi contends, wasn’t exactly above-board.
“He cheated,” Bertuzzi told the Free Press. “And I’m too old for a
Bobblehead. Helm or Abby need one. I’m voting for Helm.”
Helm sits next to Bertuzzi in the locker room, and the two have become
good friends. Last Halloween, Helm dressed up as Bertuzzi for the team’s
costume party.
Abdelkader leads the voting on detroitredwings.com for the fourth and final
week, holding at nearly 70% as of this afternoon. The poll runs through
Monday.
Bertuzzi, meanwhile, is looking forward to the Jan. 12, 2012 game against
Phoenix, when the first 7,500 fans at Joe Louis Arena will get the 6.5-inch
Cleary figurine.
“Can’t wait to see Cleary sign 7,500 bobbleheads after the game, like he
promised all our fans,” Bertuzzi said.
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 08.17.2011
576561    Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings invite Fabian Brunnstrom to training camp


By HELENE ST. JAMES


The Detroit Red Wings have told forward Fabian Brunnstrom -- whom they
pursued three years ago, only to see him sign with the Dallas Stars -- that
he’s welcome to come to training camp and try out for the team.
“He called us, and we told him to come on in,” assistant general manager
Jim Nill said. “He’s had a disappointing two seasons in the NHL and knows
this is his last chance.”
Brunnstrom, 26, spent last season with Toronto’s farm team. He has 19
goals, 40 points and is minus-11 in 99 NHL games. He’ll have to impress
mightily to make the Wings, who are well-stocked up front.
Training camp starts next month in Traverse City.
Detroit Free Press LOADED: 08.17.2011
576562     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings give shot to former Star Fabian Brunnstrom


Ted Kulfan


Detroit— It took about three years but the Red Wings finally have Fabian
Brunnstrom.
Brunnstrom, a Swedish forward who was a much-publicized undrafted free
agent in 2008, will come to training camp on a pro tryout.
"It's about competition, and if he comes in and plays better than someone
else, we'll find a place (for him)," Jim Nill, the Wings' assistant general
manager, said. "Things probably haven't gone as he would have liked, but
this is an opportunity."
Brunnstrom, 26, signed with the Stars after a hyped free-agent tour and
scored three goals in his first NHL game. He wound up with 17 goals and
12 assists in his rookie season in 55 games.
But Brunnstrom, who's 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds, only had two goals and
nine assists in 44 games with Dallas the following season, and last season
was traded to Toronto.
Brunnstrom, though, never played for the Maple Leafs, spending the
season with Toronto's minor league team (four goals, 10 assists).
"The big thing is consistency, we want to see consistency out of him," Nill
said. "He understands now what it takes to be a pro at this level. He maybe
didn't understand that coming out of Sweden.
"He's in the same boat that Mikael Samuelsson or Danny Cleary were, guys
coming in on pro tryouts. It worked out for those guys."
Brunnstrom likely won't make the Wings, but could give the organization
some valuable depth The Wings already have 13 forwards on one-way
contracts and Cory Emmerton is out of minor league options and would
have to be exposed to waivers if he were to be sent down.
Nill said there has been no discussion as to the possibility of Brunnstrom
playing in Grand Rapids if he doesn't make the Wings.
Detroit News LOADED: 08.17.2011
576563     Detroit Red Wings


Red Wings renew affiliation agreement with Toledo Walleye of ECHL for
another season


Michael Zuidema


DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings announced Tuesday afternoon that
they have renewed their affiliation agreement with the Toledo Walleye of
the ECHL through the 2011-12 season.
Toledo has served as the Red Wings’ AA-level affiliate since the Walleye’s
inaugural 2009-10 campaign.
“We’re very excited to have the Walleye back as part of our organization for
the upcoming season,” Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said
in a news release. “Toledo’s been a great partner for us over the years and
they’ve proven to be a strong ECHL franchise since reentering the league.
We look forward to watching our prospects continue to develop in a city with
a strong minor league hockey tradition.”
The Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League are the Red
Wings’ primary minor-league affiliate. Their agreement is set to expire after
this season, but both sides have indicated that the relationship will continue
in the future.
Detroit News LOADED: 08.17.2011
576564     Edmonton Oilers


Oilers again picked to finish last in West


Postmedia News


It could be a long winter for fans of some Canadian teams if the pre-season
National Hockey League predictions are to be believed.
The Hockey News unveiled its selections for the last-place teams in each
conference on Monday, and both squads hail from north of the border.
The publication isn't convinced the Edmonton Oilers' rebuild is over just yet,
as the team from northern Alberta is ranked last in the Western Conference.
The Hockey News had Edmonton last in its pre-season predictions a year
ago and that's precisely where the Oilers finished.
The Ottawa Senators are pegged for 15th place in the Eastern Conference
after finishing 13th in the conference last season. The Senators are just
beginning to rebuild their squad after a decade-plus as a playoff contender.
This year, they're expected to ice a young team and could face a steep
learning curve.
Last season, the magazine picked the Florida Panthers to finish last in the
East and that's exactly what happened.
The sports books in Las Vegas believe the two clubs have slightly better
prospects this season. Both are given 65 to 1 odds of winning the Stanley
Cup by vegasinsider.com, which ranks them tied for 25th in the 30-team
league. The Panthers are the long shots at 125 to 1.
Things are much brighter on the West Coast, where the Vancouver
Canucks are the pre-season Las Vegas favourites to hoist the Cup.
Finalists a season ago, the Canucks are given 6-1 odds to win their first
NHL championship.
Pittsburgh is next at 7-1 and the newlook Philadelphia Flyers are 9-1.
The Montreal Canadiens are the next best Canadian-based team at 20-1,
followed by the Calgary Flames (35-1) and the Toronto Maple Leafs and
Winnipeg Jets (both 50-1).
NHL teams open training camps next month and the regular season begins
Oct. 6.
Edmonton Journal: LOADED: 08.17.2011
576565     Los Angeles Kings


Suite-night poll, part 2


Rich Hammond


As a follow-up to the post about the “suite” games, Frank did some
yeoman’s work over the past few days. Noting that, in the comments, there
was a bit of a groundswell for a game against a higher-profile opponent —
even at a cost increase — Frank worked with Larry Abel of Staples Center
and came up with a new alternative for the first of the two nights. The Nov.
19 game against Detroit (a Saturday) has now been made available, at the
cost of $100 per ticket. That’s in contrast to $75 for the other games. So
here’s how we will handle it. Since the polling for the first night was close,
we’ll take the top two games and then add in the Detroit game and see
which one people favor. Again, please don’t vote unless you believe there’s
a realistic possibility you will be able to attend the game. Thanks… Getting
this done far in advance should make for a memorable, fun night for all
involved!
LA Kings Insider: LOADED: 08.17.2011
576566     NHL                                                                      He often listed his father and older brother, Wes Jr., as his inspiration,
                                                                                    saying at one point that his family was "the biggest part of everything
                                                                                    because of the support they give me."
NHL player Rypien remembered for gutsy battles on and off ice                       After multiple teams offered Rypien a contract this summer, Roy said one
                                                                                    thing he'll never forget is how much he wrestled with telling those he turned
                                                                                    down that he was going to the Jets.
By JAMES MIRTLE
                                                                                    "He had such a hard time calling the teams to say no," Roy said. "It was
                                                                                    almost comical. He felt so bad turning down another team. I think that
                                                                                    typifies the type of person he was."
Rick Rypien was never drafted into the WHL, but he became a charismatic
captain of the Regina Pats, scoring his only ever hat trick in his final home       Roy added that he was always struck by Rypien's deep affinity for the
game as a thank you to their fans.                                                  Crowsnest Pass area in Alberta, where he grew up, hosted a hockey school
                                                                                    and did charity work every year.
He was never drafted into the NHL, but he made it there through sheer hard
work, fighting men four or five inches taller than him with regularity.             "He was one of those guys that really wanted to give back a lot," Roy said.
                                                                                    "A couple months ago, he was asked to speak at his old elementary school
To all those that knew him, Rypien was a battler, although sadly one of his         and you could tell that meant a lot to him. He was pretty proud to be able to
biggest battles was off the ice.                                                    do that.
And it was one the popular former Vancouver Canuck ultimately lost.                 "The sad part is he and I talked about how this was going to be his
                                                                                    breakthrough year. He was going to show everybody that he was a lot more
Rypien's body was discovered by his father, Wes, at his off-season home in
                                                                                    of a player than people thought."
Coleman, Alta., on Monday morning. After years of suffering from
depression - something that has affected other family members and which             With a report from Matthew Sekeres in Vancouver
threatened several times to end his hockey career - the illness took his life.
                                                                                    Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 08.17.2011
By Tuesday, all 2,000 residents of the town of Coleman were in mourning
for the only NHL player they had ever called their own.
Flags flew at half mast at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, where Rypien had
made a name for himself as a win-at-all-costs minor leaguer and recently
signed as a free agent with the Jets.
That had been a happy time, only a month ago, and he had talked with
those close to him this summer about his fresh start, about making a bigger
impact and about putting his troubled past behind him.
"Obviously he's had his battles," said Allain Roy, Rypien's long-time agent
and friend. "Everybody supported Rick, from his family to his teammates,
everybody was first class as far as how they dealt with everything.
"He was a warrior on and off the ice. But with a big heart. It's sad that it
ended this way. Everybody is in a state of shock still."
Rypien's battle with depression was always kept quiet during his time with
the Canucks, even during two extended leaves of absence that team
officials were careful to note were not drug or alcohol related.
The first public acknowledgement of what his off ice problems were came
only on Tuesday, as Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger, the man who had
signed Rypien as a free agent out of junior to play in the AHL, knew
intimately what had gone on.
Both Roy and Canucks GM Mike Gillis declined to comment on his
struggles with depression, although Gillis outlined how they had helped him
in his fight.
"We relied on experts," Gillis said. "And we relied on both NHLPA and NHL
doctors. We relied on different facilities... I felt strongly that we were headed
on a really positive course. It didn't turn out that way."
"Did we see any signs?" Heisinger said. "No we didn't."
Gillis had believed Rypien hit a turning point after an incident in Minnesota
last October where he grabbed a fan, earning a six-game suspension and a
sit down with league officials.
Not long after, Rypien's second leave of absence began, marking the end
of his NHL career.
"The way he handled himself in that hearing and the conversations that we
had afterward, how committed he was, that's going to stick with me the rest
of my life," Gillis said.
Even though Rypien ultimately played only 119 NHL games - little more
than a full season - his story had become well known, as his father was a
Canadian boxing champ who trained both his hockey playing boys to throw
punches just as he had for years.
Rypien gained respect for taking on fighters well out of his weight class, as
the scrappy 5-foot-11, 195-pound winger was branded the toughest pound-
for-pound scrapper in the league.
576567     NHL                                                                      Toronto Globe And Mail LOADED: 08.17.2011


Canadian team preview: The Ottawa Senators


By James Mirtle


The fourth in a series of seven breakdowns of how teams will do in the
coming NHL season
Since we're well into the dog days of summer as far as hockey news is
concerned, the least we can do is offer a quick look ahead to what's coming
for the seven Canadian NHL teams this season.
With a month to go until training camp, I've asked a blogger from each city
to weigh in on how their team has changed since last season and where
they believe they rank in their conference. We'll run one team every
weekday, with today the fourth of our series in the Ottawa Senators.
Who's in? Alex Auld, Stephane Da Costa, Nikita Filatov, Zenon Konopka
Who's out? Pascal Leclaire, Curtis McElhinney, Ryan Shannon, Marek
Svatos
The Sens plummeted in the standings last year, dropping 20 points and
from fifth in the East to 13th in the span of a single season.
The fifth-worst team in the league overall (and just a hair ahead of the
bottom feeding Islanders and Panthers in the conference), Ottawa scored
the second fewest goals in the NHL, finished tied for 24th in goals against
and had only Jason Spezza put up more than 45 points.
To make matters worse, a late season trade brought in netminder Craig
Anderson, who promptly went 11-5-1 with a .939 save percentage the rest
of the way to bump the Sens' draft pick out of the top three and earn a hefty
raise on a new deal. (The goalie they dealt away in Brian Elliott, meanwhile,
worked wonders in helping the Avalanche nosedive in the overall
standings.)
It was all pretty ugly, and it culminated in GM Bryan Murray getting a new
three-year deal on the second last day of the season.
For a few thoughts on what's in store for the Sens this coming season,
here's Peter Raaymakers [http://https://twitter.com/#!/silversevensens] from
Silver Seven Sens [http://www.silversevensens.com] with reasons for
optimism, pessimism and a midsummer prediction as to how they'll finish.
Reasons for optimism:
"Ottawa will see a full season of Craig Anderson, who looked darn good in
his extended dress rehearsal last season. There's also a new guy behind
the bench, and Paul MacLean has a fresh approach, a new attitude and a
lot of winning on his resume. Oh, and the team is hosting the all-star game
this season so we can be optimistic there will be one or two Sens taking
part in it."
Causes for concern:
"Foremost is the fact that the Senators haven't improved themselves, on
paper, at all. They've brought in Nikita Filatov and Alex Auld, neither of
whom will (likely) get Ottawa into contention. By design, this year will be
another difficult year in the 'Senate Reform' rebuild, and the emphasis will
be on developing players. This is concerning in the immediate term, even if
it'll likely be better off for the team in the long run."
Predicted finish in the East:
"Any improvement will have to come from Anderson doing yeoman's work
in net, and MacLean performing miracles behind the bench. Still, there are
so many question marks surrounding those two that I can't see the Sens
finishing higher in the standings than last season, especially with other
teams in the Northeast Division having made serious progress in improving
themselves (Buffalo and Toronto most notably). I'll predict the Senators will
again finish 13th in the Eastern Conference, with the caveat that they could
do a fair bit better if a lot of things that went wrong last season go right this
one."
Now I'll turn it over to you in the comments section: How do you think the
Sens and their rebuild will do this season?
Wednesday: The Toronto Maple Leafs
576568     NHL                                                                        • Removing the trapezoid that restricts goaltenders’ puck-handling, allowing
                                                                                      goaltender to play puck anywhere.
                                                                                      • Strict enforcement of goaltenders covering puck outside crease. Goalies
Top juniors to test NHL’s proposed new rules                                          not permitted to cover puck unless they have skate contact with the crease.
                                                                                      PENALTIES
Bob Mitchell                                                                           • For delayed penalties, the offending team must exit the zone in
                                                                                      possession of puck to stop play. It should give the non-offending team more
                                                                                      time with an extra attacker and potentially generate more offence.
The way on ice battles in the NHL will be waged in the future — perhaps
not quite the immediate future — will be on display in Toronto Wednesday               • All penalties to be served in their entirety. Increased goal scoring should
and Thursday.                                                                         result.

The guinea pigs — more than 30 of Canada’s top 2012 draft eligible junior             NETS
players — will test out a variety of possible rule changes under the watchful          • A yellow verification line parallel to the goal line, set back slightly more
eyes of a dozen NHL GMs at the day-long league’s research, development                than 3 inches (size of the puck) from the goal line. It should help off-ice
and orientation camp at the MasterCard Centre for Excellence.                         officials determine if a disputed goal has been scored. In the event there is
Besides testing their talents in competitions that will form part of the              something (water bottle, glove, pad, etc.) blocking the view of the goal line,
SuperSkills event at this season’s All-Star Game in Ottawa, the best juniors          this line could be used to “verify” that the puck has completely crossed the
in the country will also scrimmage using the possible rule changes.                   goal line.

Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma and Phoenix Coyotes coach Dave                   • Looking at a 40-inch deep “shallow net” instead of existing 44-inch deep
Tippet will run the benches.                                                          net frame. Supposed to provide more ice behind the net, improve passing
                                                                                      angles and makes it easier for wrap-around attempts.
A smorgasbord of new rules and technical innovations will be examined,
including some interesting new wrinkles designed to make the game faster              CAMERA
and more exciting. Unfortunately, the event isn’t open to the public. Some of          • New camera angles include in-net cams and mounted cams focused on
the concepts being tested include:                                                    the goal line to help verify goals.
OVERTIME                                                                               • Overhead cameras to assist Hockey Operations reviews of various game
Seven minutes of overtime instead of five with both 3-on-3 and 4-on-4                 situations.
scenarios tested. Three minutes of 3-on-3 play to follow four minutes of              Toronto Star LOADED: 08.17.2011
scoreless 4-on-4 action. More offence is expected to be generated.
SHOOTOUTS
Five players from each team will shoot and if the score remains tied, the
same players can take another crack in a sudden-death format. Same rule
applies for proposed three-player shootouts.
GAME PLAY
• No touch icing. Whistle blows as soon as puck crosses line so potential
dangerous situations are eliminated.
 • Hybrid icing. If an official determines the attacking player would get to
puck first, no whistle is blown but if he thinks defender will be first, whistle is
immediately blown as soon as puck crosses line. Dangerous collisions
should be avoided.
• No icing permitted while shorthanded.
• Line changes only permitted on the fly except after goals and on power
plays.
• Allow hand passes in all zones instead of just defensive zone.
 • No line changes for offending team committing an offside until next play
stoppage. Tired players will remain on ice, coaches won’t get key matchups
and more offence will result.
BEAR HUG
Players will be permitted to wrap their opponent up when taking him into the
boards without being called for a holding penalty. This could limit dangerous
hits along the boards while allowing body contact and the ability to play the
man.
FACEOFFS
• Officials will drop the puck in the offending team’s zone following an
offside, potentially leading to more goal scoring.
• All faceoffs in circles.
 • A designated linesman will drop puck for all faceoffs in an effort to bring
consistency to the faceoff.
LINE CHANGES
Limiting line changes at stoppages in play should speed up the action.
GOALIES
576569     NHL                                                                   Rypien was injured often in his N.H.L. career, but none of the reported
                                                                                 injuries included concussions, which experts say can trigger depression.
                                                                                 “When players get injured and have to sit out for long stretches, it can wear
Player’s Death Follows Bouts of Depression                                       on them mentally,” Allain Roy, Rypien’s agent for more than 10 years, said
                                                                                 Tuesday. “But Rick was excited about coming to Winnipeg and was looking
                                                                                 forward to the upcoming season.”
By JEFF Z. KLEIN
                                                                                 Rypien was granted two leaves of absence by the Canucks in the last three
                                                                                 seasons to deal with what were then referred to as personal problems. His
                                                                                 second leave of absence followed an incident in Minnesota last Oct. 19,
Rick Rypien, the scrappy 27-year-old Winnipeg Jets forward who was found         when he fought an opponent, pushed a linesman and then grabbed a fan
dead Monday, was considered perhaps the best pound-for-pound fighter in          on his way to the dressing room to serve a penalty.
the N.H.L. But for more than a decade he battled depression, a disorder
that caused him to take two leaves of absence from the Vancouver                 “It’s inexcusable, what I did,” Rypien said at the time.
Canucks.
                                                                                 He was suspended for six games. It was a relatively lenient sentence,
When Rypien did not show up Monday for a scheduled physical with his             perhaps mitigated by league officials’ knowledge of what Rypien was going
new team, the Jets, team officials grew concerned, said Craig Heisinger,         through.
the Jets’ assistant general manager. A family member later found Rypien’s
body at his house in Coleman, Alberta, his hometown. The Royal Canadian          When he returned last March, Rypien said he had dealt with “a personal
Mounted Police said Rypien’s death was “sudden” but “not suspicious.”            matter, a rare issue.” He added, “I missed a lot of hockey, but certain things
                                                                                 needed to be dealt with.”
“He was just a simple guy with some issues to deal with,” Heisinger said
Tuesday at a news conference.                                                    Gerald Narciso contributed reporting from Vancouver, British Columbia.

Rypien was a fourth-line forward of slightly below average size who was          New York Times LOADED: 08.17.2011
noted for his combativeness. He fought often — 39 times in his 119-game
N.H.L. career — while scoring only 9 goals and 7 assists.
But he was not known as an enforcer in the same sense as Derek
Boogaard, the Rangers forward found dead of an accidental overdose of
oxycodone and alcohol in his Twin Cities apartment in May, and other
hulking heavyweights whose primary function is to fight.
Rather, at 5 feet 11 inches and 190 pounds, Rypien fell into the category of
the useful, smaller, “character” player, willing to take on anyone. In each of
Rypien’s 39 N.H.L. fights, his opponent was taller, according to
Dropyourgloves.com, a Web site that tracks hockey fights. In 2009, he
fought Hal Gill, a 6-7 Montreal defenseman.
When he heard of Rypien’s death, Mike Commodore, a Detroit
defenseman, said on Twitter: “He was a warrior. Hit me so hard my eyes
couldn’t focus for 30 secs.”
Jason Jaffray, a road roommate of Rypien’s with Vancouver and the
Canucks’ Manitoba Moose farm club, said: “He was a guy who wouldn’t
back down from anyone. He was a guy that was definitely fearless.”
Fearlessness was a trait that Rypien most likely acquired from his father,
Wes, a former boxer.
“He was a Canadian Golden Gloves champion when he was 19 or 20,”
Rypien said in 2008. “He still works out to stay in shape and still shows me
stuff — I’d have to give it to him on toughness.”
Though undrafted, Rypien was signed by Vancouver in 2005 after a junior
career in which he was captain of the Regina Pats in Saskatchewan. While
he was with the Pats, his girlfriend was killed in a car accident.
Peter Engelhardt, whose family Rypien was living with at the time, told The
Calgary Herald that Rypien “changed a little bit, right then and there” but
added that “everybody’s going to, when you have something like this
happen.”
During the next six years, Rypien shuttled between the Canucks and their
minor league affiliate, the Winnipeg-based Manitoba Moose. The Canucks
did not re-sign him when his contract expired at the end of last season. He
then signed with the Jets, who were the Atlanta Thrashers until they were
sold this summer.
“There’s a lot I’m going to miss about him,” said Heisinger, who was the
Moose’s general manager during Rypien’s six years with the Vancouver
organization. “Certainly there were no drug or alcohol issues. Depression is
the one word that has been used, and that’s accurate.”
Rypien’s mother, Nola Rypien, reached at home in Coleman on Tuesday,
said, “We’re not doing well — it’s hard.
“We’re just trying to make funeral arrangements,” she said, fighting back
tears. “I’m sorry, this is not a good time.”
It was unclear whether an autopsy was ordered. Autopsies and their results
are not public information under Alberta law, said Jane Bartlett, a senior
medical investigator for the medical examiner’s office in Calgary.
576570     NHL


NHL in mourning again after death of Rick Rypien


By Jesse Spector


Sadly, much like Boogaard, the situation with Rypien appears to be one
where a young man had sought help for personal problems, and was
described by friends as optimistic about the future, only to wind up suddenly
dead.
According to multiple reports, Rypien’s battle was with depression, which
haunted him for most of his adult life. Rypien spent most of last season
sidelined as he dealt with his issues.
“Over the course of the last three seasons, we participated in a variety of
different initiatives with him and e were all really close with him,” Canucks
GM Mike Gillis said in Toronto, quoted by The Associated Press. “We had
an understanding of what we thought was going on and had a number of
outside agencies involved in assisting us, and we felt we were on course.”
Rypien had signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Winnipeg Jets,
and was set to return to Manitoba after playing there with the AHL’s Moose
on his way up the chain in the Vancouver system.
The nature of the personal battle for Rypien was different than Boogaard,
but the stories are hauntingly similar – young, tough hockey players with
major personal demons, trying to fight against them when they died.
Whatever police in Alberta find out in the course of their investigation into
what is considered a non-suspicious death, here’s hoping that those who
have serious problems, both in and out of the hockey world, continue to
seek the help that they need.
Here is some reaction to Rypien’s death from NHL players on Twitter…
“Sad to hear about Rick Rypien. I was looking forward to playing with him in
Winnipeg. Thoughts are with his family and friends. #RIPRypien” –
Winnipeg Jets captain Andrew Ladd
“In disbelief about Ripper. Sat beside him in the locker room in Van. Such a
good kid with a huge heart. Thoughts with his family.” – Calgary Flames
center Brendan Morrison
“My Thoughts and Prayers are with the Rypien Family… The world lost a
good one in Ryper… Great teammate and even better friend.” – Colorado
Avalanche defenseman Shane O’Brien
“R.I.P Rick Rypien. Not a big guy but he was a gamer! Thoughts go out to
his family #allheart” – San Jose Sharks forward Ryane Clowe
“The hockey community lost another good member today. RIP Rick, never
met you. But you played a tough position and did it well. #nails” – Anaheim
Ducks forward Bobby Ryan
New York Daily News LOADED: 08.17.2011
576571     Ottawa Senators


Alfredsson feels ‘good to be back on the ice’


By martin cleary,


OTTAWA — Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson skated for more
than an hour on Tuesday and pronounced his back “felt fine.”
Alfredsson took to the ice for the first time since he curtailed his 2010-11
NHL season on Feb. 7 in Vancouver and had back surgery in June.
“It felt good to be back on the ice,” Alfredsson told Rob Brodie of the team’s
website OttawaSenators.com.
“I was on for maybe an hour, an hour and 20 (minutes), did some drills and
played a little bit of a scrimmage. It was fun. I was tired, but everything held
up well and the back felt fine.”
Alfredsson, 38, opened his 16th NHL season, all with the Senators, by
skating at the Bell Sensplex in Kanata.
He only played 54 NHL games last season, the lowest total for one season
in his pro career.
Alfredsson is confident he’ll be ready for training camp in September.
“Obviously, the first time on the ice is always a struggle,” he said. “But for
being the first time, it felt good and I’ll be back out skating (on) Thursday
again.”
Recuperating from off-season surgery isn’t new to Alfredsson. He needed
surgery last summer to correct a sports hernia injury.
Ottawa Citizen LOADED: 08.17.2011
576572     Ottawa Senators


Alfredsson gets back onto the ice


By BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency


OTTAWA - Daniel Alfredsson took his first strides to recovery on Tuesday.
After having surgery to repair a disc problem with his back, the 38-year-old
Senators captain skated for the first time this summer and plans to be back
on the ice Thursday to gear up his preparations for training camp Sept. 17.
Alfredsson, who missed 28 games last season, has been working out and
strengthening his back since surgery June 10. He was on the ice for 80
minutes Tuesday and even took part in a light scrimmage at the Bell
Sensplex.
"It felt good to be back on the ice," said Alfredsson. "I did some drills and
played a little bit of a scrimmage. It was fun. I was tired, but everything held
up well and the back felt fine."
In this case, it was better late than never. While Alfredsson had told
reporters he planned to skate last week, that never materialized and there
was some concern about whether he'd be back in time for the start of camp.
Alfredsson hasn't suited since the injury, which caused him to have pain in
his right leg, and forced him out of a game Feb. 7 in Vancouver. He
attempted to recover without surgery, but never felt strong enough to make
a comeback.
He played only 54 games -- the lowest in his 15-year career with Ottawa --
and was frustrated by the fact he wasn't able to make a full recovery.
Surgery was the last option and he waited as long as he could before
electing to have it.
Alfredsson said he's in good shape and on schedule.
"Obviously, the first time on the ice is always a struggle," said Alfredsson.
"But for being the first time, it felt good and I'll be back out on Thursday
again."
Ottawa Sun LOADED: 08.17.2011
576573     Philadelphia Flyers


NHL set to formally announce Flyers-Rangers Winter Classic at Citizens
Bank Park


By FRANK SERAVALLI


THERE IS a curious afternoon contest currently penciled in for Monday,
Jan. 2 on the Flyers' schedule. Technically, without a peep from the NHL
since the league's matrix was released on June 23, it's just one of 82
games on the Flyers' slate.
That is all expected to change next week when the NHL will finally - formally
and officially - announce Citizens Bank Park as the home of the 2012
Winter Classic between the Flyers and New York Rangers, a league source
told the Daily News.
It will be by far the latest announcement of the summer compared to the
previous four Winter Classic setups, each of which were announced in July.
The Phillies are expected to finally sign off on the rental terms for Citizens
Bank Park to make the deal "done and documented," the source said. NHL
officials have visited Citizens Bank Park numerous times over the past few
weeks to hammer out the details.
"The event is just a unique one to the Phillies and it has taken time to go
through the issues," the source said.
So far, no ticket arrangements have been announced, even for Flyers and
Phillies season ticketholders. That could soon change.
Philadelphia Inquirer / Daily News LOADED: 08.17.2011
576574     Phoenix Coyotes


Phoenix Coyotes' Connor Murphy faces 2-4 months of rehab after surgery


Jim Gintonio


Connor Murphy, the Coyotes' first-round draft pick in the 2011 draft (20th
overall) underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Monday to repair a torn
meniscus.
He was injured during USA Hockey's national junior evalulation camp last
week.
Murphy's recovery time is estimated at two to four months before he can
resume playing.
The defenseman signed an entry-level contract earlier this month and will
play the upcoming season for Sarnia of the Ontario Hockey League.
Arizona Republic LOADED: 08.17.2011
576575     Pittsburgh Penguins


Pens add seats; cap season-ticket sales


By Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


The Penguins again will cap sales for full season-ticket plans at 15,000 for
the 2011-12 season.
Penguins CEO and president David Morehouse said 99 percent of their
season-ticket plans have been renewed for the upcoming season.
Three-hundred seats have been added to Consol Energy Center in the
offseason to increase capacity to 18,387 for hockey.
The Penguins will sell group tickets, and offer the Student Rush ticket
program, while still making more than 2,000 tickets per game available on a
single-game basis.
Individual game tickets go on sale in September, on a date yet to be
determined.
Tribune Review LOADED: 08.17.2011
576576     Pittsburgh Penguins


Seating capacity increases by 300 for home games


By Shelly Anderson


The addition of 300 seats will not change the appearance of the interior of
Consol Energy Center.
The Penguins have added 300 seats to Consol Energy Center, bringing the
capacity for hockey games to 18,387 for the team's second season at the
arena.
The new capacity retains the original tie-in to the No. 87 worn by Penguins
captain and star center Sidney Crosby.
Team vice president Tom McMillan said Tuesday that the additional seats
aren't in one or two blocks but are scattered throughout the building.
The Penguins monitored the space in the opening season and found areas
where small numbers of seats could be added comfortably.
McMillan said the additional seats will not change the appearance of the
interior of the arena.
Penguins CEO and president David Morehouse said in a statement that the
club has had a 99 percent season-ticket renewal rate.
The Penguins have a season-ticket waiting list and have sold out 210 home
games in a row.
The team has again capped the number of seats available for season-ticket
plans at the equivalent of 15,000 per game, leaving room for about 2,000
individual-game ticket sales as well as group sales and the popular student
rush program.
Single-game tickets will go on sale next month, although prices and the on-
sale date have not been released. Details of the student rush program for
2011-12 also are not yet available.
NHL miffed at Islanders
The NHL is not happy that the New York Islanders are sanctioning a
viewing party Friday night at a sports bar.
MSG Plus, the Islanders' TV rights holder, will rebroadcast the Feb. 11
brawl-filled, 9-3 Islanders win against the visiting Penguins.
"We do not approve of the use that is being suggested, and we are looking
into it," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said in a statement.
The game produced 346 penalty minutes, a $100,000 fine for the Islanders
and three suspensions. Penguins owner and Hall of Fame center Mario
Lemieux chastised the NHL in a statement afterward.
Penguins general manager Ray Shero expressed his displeasure over the
Islanders' party plan Monday.
Tip-ins
Forward Dustin Jeffrey (knee surgery) has been cleared for light skating. ...
Russian forward Daniil Tarasov has been invited to join the Penguins'
contingent in a preseason rookie tournament next month in Oshawa,
Ontario, on an amateur tryout. In his first full season in North America,
Tarasov, 20, had 37 goals, 75 points in 57 games for Indiana in the junior
USHL. ... Don Granato, brother of Penguins assistant Tony Granato, was
named as one of two head coaches of USA Hockey's National Team
Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich., and will guide the U.S. national
under-17 team this season.
Post Gazette LOADED: 08.17.2011
576577    Pittsburgh Penguins


Penguins add 300 seats at Consol Energy Center


By Shelly Anderson


The Penguins have added 300 seats for games at Consol Energy Center,
bringing the capacity to 18,387 for the second season at the arena.
The original capacity, 18,087, was tied to the No. 87 worn by Penguins
captain and star center Sidney Crosby.
The team has again capped the number of seats available for season ticket
plans at the equivalent of 15,000 per game, leaving room for 2,000
individual-game ticket sales as well as group sales and the popular student
rush program.
Individual-game tickets will go on sale next month, although the date has
not been set. Details of the student rush program for 2011-12 also are not
yet available.
Penguins CEO and president David Morehouse said in a statement that the
club has had a 99 percent season ticket renewal. The Penguins have a
season ticket waiting list and have sold out 210 home games in a row.
Post Gazette LOADED: 08.17.2011
576578    Tampa Bay Lightning


Lightning preseason tickets go on sale Friday


By TBO.COM


Tickets to the Tampa Bay Lightning's lone preseason home game will go on
sale Friday at 10 a.m., the team announced.
Tickets for the Sept. 23 game against the Florida Panthers at the St. Pete
Times Forum start at $17.75.
For information or to purchase tickets visit tampabaylightning.com,
ticketmaster.com or call 1-800-745-3000.
Tampa Tribune LOADED: 08.17.2011
576579    Tampa Bay Lightning


Lightning announce three game-time changes


By TBO.COM


The Tampa Bay Lightning announced on Tuesday start-time changes for
three regular-season games.
Road games at Philadelphia on March 26 and Boston on March 27 will start
at 7:30 p.m. The home game against Washington on April 2 will start at 7
p.m., 30 minutes earlier than previously scheduled.
Tampa Tribune LOADED: 08.17.2011
576580    Tampa Bay Lightning


Tampa Bay Lightning preseason tickets on sale Friday


By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer


Tickets for the Tampa Bay Lightning's only preseason game at the St. Pete
Times Forum — Sept. 23 against the Panthers — will go on sale at 10 a.m.
Friday, the team announced.
There are no box office sales because of the ongoing construction at the
Times Forum. Tickets can be purchased at tampabaylightning.com,
ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. For additional information,
call 813-301-6600.
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 08.17.2011
576581     Tampa Bay Lightning


Tampa Bay Lightning announces more game-time changes


By Damian Cristodero, Times Staff Writer


The yet-to-be-announced national television schedule continues to play
havoc with the Tampa Bay Lightning schedule as the team announced
three more game-time changes:
March 26 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
March 27 at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
April 2 vs. Capitals at St. Pete Times Forum, 7 p.m.
That makes eight games with new start times.
The others:
Oct. 25 at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 28 at Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12 vs. Devils at St. Pete Times Forum, 7 p.m.
Feb. 9 at Rangers, 7: 30 p.m.
Feb. 14 vs. Senators at St. Pete Times Forum, 7 p.m.
St. Petersburg Times LOADED: 08.17.2011
576582     Toronto Maple Leafs                                                    His dad calls him “humble, reserved, introspective and very competitive.”
                                                                                  “Jeff never said he wanted to be a hockey player,” Andy Skinner said. “He
                                                                                  was always a good student. We put emphasis on education and arranged
Skinner figures to be NHL star for a long time                                    summer courses for him. He graduated high school with his peers and is
                                                                                  taking on-line university courses.”

Lois Kalchman                                                                     Jeff remembers as a kid, “it was all about fun.”
                                                                                  “My parents were huge in my life ... my biggest fans,” he said. “They’ve
                                                                                  done so much for me ... sacrificed everything. The biggest adjustment for
As a youngster, NHL all-star and 2011 rookie of the year Jeff Skinner won a       me in the NHL was living away from home. My roommate, Justin Peters,
bronze medal at the Canadian junior figure skating championships.                 was a big help and showed me the ropes. ”

Strangely, going into the NHL draft, his skating ability was considered an        Skinner isn’t resting on his laurels. He spent this summer working out two
issue.                                                                            hours a day, six times a week, plus on-ice skills development two or three
                                                                                  times a week and yoga while preparing for next season.
The 19-year-old Toronto-born centre played most of his minor hockey in the
Greater Toronto Hockey League, followed by two years with the OHL’s               And Maurice is looking forward to his return.
Kitchener Rangers before being drafted seventh overall last year by the
Carolina Hurricanes.                                                              “It is special to come into the NHL and score 30-plus goals,” Maurice said.
                                                                                  “It usually takes three, four or even five years to develop. Everyone down
He is the third GTHL graduate to win the Calder Trophy as top rookie. Ken         here has fallen in love with him. He is grounded and he looks like he’s
Dryden and Steve Vickers won it in 1972 and 1973, respectively.                   having fun.”

Skinner doesn’t forget his roots. He was one of the pros in the GTHL golf         Toronto Star LOADED: 08.17.2011
tournament on Monday, kicking off a series of events celebrating its 100th
anniversary.
Next to his parents, the 5-foot-11, 197-pound sniper says that Rick Vaive
and Billy Bowler, who both coached him as a 15-year-old with the Toronto
Young Nats, as well as Kevin Donoghue and Kitchener Rangers coach
Steven Spott have had an impact on his career.
Genes play a definite role in Skinner’s success. Both his parents, Elisabeth
and Andy Skinner, are lawyers and athletes of the year in law school. He
has five siblings all blessed athletically and academically which created a
competitive edge needed to thrive in a household that was involved in
swimming, figure skating, power skating, gymnastics, piano lessons, dance,
phonics, mini-chef sessions, as well as acting. Jeff recalls his role in the
movie Death to Smoochy, starring Danny DeVito, Robin Williams and
Edward Norton as “pretty cool.”
“When I saw where he was ranked (47th in mid-season), I was shocked,”
said Vaive, the former Maple Leaf captain. “He lit it up in Kitchener. He’s a
great skater with phenomenal balance. His skating didn’t look pretty, but
you could see he was a natural goal scorer.”
One report said, “His skating ability and first step acceleration will need to
come a long way if he is to succeed in the NHL.” While another suggested,
“He’s Marian Gaborik without the elite skating ability” and a third pointed
out, “Defence and skating could be a problem in the pros.”
Skinner explains. “I am not the fastest skater and don’t look like I have the
quicker shorter stride of a smaller player.
“Figure skating has given me a unique side advantage,” he believes,
recalling changing skates in the car going from figure skating to hockey.
“Being on my skates that much has made me very comfortable on the ice.”
Bowler calls him “an extremely bright kid.”
“His drive and determination set him apart,” Bowler said. “He has insight
and ability to process and utilize immediately what you have taught him. I’m
around a lot of hockey players and guys like him don’t come around very
often.’
Spott calls him the “purest goal scorer” he’s had in 15 years.
“When people see his breakaway speed, that eliminated any (fears) of his
skating ability,” Spott said. “It is his tenacity and strength on the puck. He
was first in the weight room and last off the ice. No one worked harder than
Jeff. ”
Carolina coach Paul Maurice talks of “his balance, his ability to move
around, to change directions, to get out of (difficult) places and his edge
control. He does unusual things with his skates. It’s his ability to get out of
the way.”
Dan Cameron spotted Skinner’s potential as an 8-years-old and recruited
him for the Toronto Junior Canadiens.
“Jeff could spin on the ice in his hockey skates and people liked to stop and
watch him,” Cameron remembered.
576583     Toronto Maple Leafs                                                    “It’s great to have management and the coaching staff behind you and I’m
                                                                                  hoping for a great couple of years here. I want to make it worth their while.”
                                                                                  Watching Reimer interact with the fans on Tuesday was agent Ray Petkau,
Everything's riding on Leafs' Reimer 19                                           who has known him since he was 13. Both men have family in tiny
                                                                                  Morweena, Man., a Mennonite farm community of 150 north of Winnipeg.

By Lance Hornby ,                                                                 “He’s put more effort into this game than anyone I know of,” Petkau says.
                                                                                  “He deserves everything he’s getting now.”
                                                                                  And with that, the pressure.
TORONTO - So what do the Maple Leafs have riding on James Reimer this
year?                                                                             Toronto Sun LOADED: 08.17.2011

We’ll begin with millions of dollars in potential playoff revenue, since most
agree that wonky goaltending at the start of the season has been a chief
culprit in six straight spring failures. Tales of goalie glory are becoming
ancient history in this town, when Felix Potvin, Curtis Joseph and Ed
Belfour would bank the early points that put Toronto in the clear for post-
season play in 10 of 12 years up to the NHL lockout.
They won four consecutive games to start last year, but Jean-Sebastien
Giguere soon succumbed to injuries and Jonas Gustavsson’s
inconsistencies crept in again. Reimer played 24 of 25 games down the
stretch, most of them positive results. Now he must show the gumption to
play about 20 of the first 25 in October and November and 60 to 65 overall.
No one expects him to keep pace with all-stars Tim Thomas and Ryan
Miller in the Northeast, but he must at least answer the bell.
How Reimer performs will likely impact coach Ron Wilson’s future. With no
contract extension entering the season after his three playoff misses,
Wilson doesn’t need another crisis in the crease. There will be demands for
Wilson’s head if the Leafs stumble early and though general manager Brian
Burke is not one to fire coaches in mid-season, there wouldn’t be much
choice if it extends to April.
Burke will want to see some return for the $5.4 million he invested in
Reimer during the next three years. It’s true Reimer didn’t break the bank
with this contract, making the team capologist happy, keeping expectations
realistic and looking to a bigger payday down the road. But it was still a leap
of faith for the Leafs, who let the veteran Giguere go rather than keep him
for insurance purposes.
With all that on his shoulders, it’s remarkable Reimer’s posture wasn’t
stooped as he entered the Hockey Hall Of Fame’s gift shop for Tuesday’s
lunchtime autograph session. Instead, he strode in looking fit and trim from
a summer of intense training in Maple Ridge, B.C. A packed house of Leaf
fans applauded his arrival and even visitors wearing Boston and Detroit
colours kept him busy signing cards, sweaters, stuffed bears and $50
canvas portraits for 90 minutes.
“I’m sure there are a lot of expectations on me and lots of things people
want to see done,” Reimer said after the last handshake and photo.
“Obviously, I don’t want to just make the playoffs, I want to win the Stanley
Cup. Playoffs won’t be good enough, I hate to lose one game.
“I have pretty high expectations of myself and I think they exceed what most
people would put on me. Those are the expectations I worry about.”
Reimer didn’t want last season’s unexpected run to end, agreeing to a stint
with Team Canada at the world championship in May. He barely took time
off to vacation with his wife before attacking off-season workouts, vowing, “I
have no intention of being a one-year wonder.”
Personal trainer Adam Francilia concentrated on Reimer’s core strength
around his torso to make his reactions more explosive. Reimer didn’t need
to get bigger around the upper body and shoulders, he wanted to be able to
keep square to the puck during high traffic periods around the net.
“Just getting quicker, working on a little stamina,” he said of changes to his
game. “I’ve been trying to get stronger in some areas. If I’m going to be
playing more games this year, I want to work on being quicker and stronger
when I get tired.”
Those who think the Leafs have over-hyped Reimer will be looking for signs
of a sophomore jinx or the mental fatigue of a full NHL season.
Complacency is another potential pitfall for a young man who strikes it rich
quick. “I hope it doesn’t change much for me,” Reimer said. “I want to go
into camp with the mindset that it’s anyone’s position, anyone’s game.
“The money is more than I ever imagined (but) I want to go in and earn it,
not expect things to be given to me.
576584     Toronto Maple Leafs


Hanging a nickname on Reimer 8


By Lance Hornby ,


TORONTO - Whether it’s Cat, Cujo or Eagle, you’re just not a bona fide
Maple Leaf netminder without a catchy nickname.
Fans weren’t too excited about Andrew (Razor) Raycroft and some names
they hung on Vesa Toskala can’t be printed. But here comes James
Reimer, whose strong start in his rookie year has inspired people to think
outside the box. The first few kids in line at Tuesday’s Hockey Hall of Fame
autograph session had the Optimus Reim t-shirt that a sharp-thinking fan
re-configured from The Transformers franchise.
“It was very popular,” joked Reimer’s agent, Ray Petkau. “I’ve ordered my
own shirt.
Reimer has at least six nicknames he’s carefully considering:
Optimus Reim — In The Tranformers, Optimus Prime is the leader of the
Autobots, from the planet Cybertron. He’s brave, powerful, wise and
compassionate, charged with improving the universe around him and
kicking evil Decepticon butt. Put a Habs’ or Sens’ logo on a Decepticon and
you’ll get the picture.
Reimer thought about using an Optimus Reim theme on his mask this year,
but might stick with his current paint job.
Reim Minister Of Defence — Hey, there’s never been a Manitoba-born PM.
Stephen Harper won’t mind loaning the title (as long as Reimer has a good
season) and it might even get kids interested in federal politics.
The Statue — This gained early popularity after Reimer’s first successes.
Killjoy coach Ron Wilson lectured the media about getting too excited,
saying ‘around here, a guy wins a game and we’re ready to build a statue
for him.’
King James — Didn’t work so well for LeBron James in Cleveland after he
abdicated. But royalty is cool again after Will and Kate. If Reimer played in
Los Angeles, this would be a no-brainer.
JR-34 — This is the line of clothing with Reimer’s initial and jersey number,
in stores this month. “It’s men’s and women’s apparel, it’s trenchcoats,
shirts, fleece pullovers, lots of semi-casual,” Petkau said. “Honestly, we
haven’t had a ton of time to talk about some of these things. It has been
such a whirlwind of activity for him since he made it. We have so many
opportunities with endorsements and products and there are some licensing
things we’re working through.”
Prime Time Reim — Deion Sanders has been retired long enough that
Prime Time can be recycled.
“My two favourites are Optimus Reim or the Reim Minister,” Reimer said.
“They’re all pretty creative and it’s a lot of fun to play along with those
names.”
Toronto Sun LOADED: 08.17.2011
576585     Vancouver Canucks                                                          Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 08.17.2011


Canucks GM Gillis, former teammates ‘extremely shocked’ by Rick
Rypien’s death


By Sean Fitz-Gerald


TORONTO — Vancouver Canucks general manager Mike Gillis said he felt
like forward Rick Rypien was “on course” in dealing with personal issues
that twice prompted him to take a leave of absence from the team, and that
he was happy the player had found a “safe, good place” to play, in
Winnipeg.
Rypien was found dead in his southern Alberta home on Monday. No cause
of death has been provided, but police do not consider it suspicious. Rypien
was 27 and, according to Winnipeg Jets assistant general manager Craig
Heisinger, had been battling depression for a decade.
Gillis did not want to address the condition directly as he met with reporters
in a Toronto hotel on Tuesday, but said the Canucks sought several
avenues to help Rypien, who spent parts of six seasons playing with the
NHL team. Rypien signed with the Jets in July.
“We relied on experts and we relied on both the NHLPA and the NHL
doctors,” Gillis said. “We relied on different facilities. We relied on lots of
people. There is no blueprint. I think it ebbs and flows depending on
circumstances that are beyond your control, often.”
Gillis declined to elaborate on the treatment.
“I don’t want to talk about that,” he said. “As anybody knows, who’s dealt
with these issues in the past, there’s no answer, there’s no defined course
of action. If there was, we’d all be better off.”
He said he first heard the news at his cottage on Monday night. Heisinger
confirmed the reports.
“We had spent a lot of time with Rick, and (are) just shocked,” Gillis said.
“Shocked, but knew that there were issues that he was struggling to
overcome.”
He said he exchanged messages with Rypien a few weeks ago.
“It sounded like he was in a great place,” Gillis said. “I’m just extremely
shocked and disappointed.”
Ex-Canucks teammate and current Calgary Flame Brendan Morrison said
he wasn't aware that Rypien had been battling depression.
"Initially it was just shock and disbelief that this had transpired. I'm not that
close to the situation and was really unaware what Ryp had been battling
the last few years. When I played with him I don't think any of the guys had
an idea about it," said Morrison. " It's just a tragedy, really. It's hard to see a
guy who had his whole life in front of him and have something like this
occur. It's a lot of frustration, a lot of questions of how better can we maybe
diagnose or help someone so this isn't the last means."
Former Canuck Tanner Glass, who like Rypien signed with the Winnipeg
Jets this summer, said Rypien's troubles may have been concealed by the
fact that he tended to keep to himself.
"He wasn't the loudest and most outgoing guy, especially in a large group
setting, but when it was three or four guys having a beer after a game he
was at his best. He was a really personable and great guy, pretty funny …
Those are my fondest memories, just shooting the breeze after a game or
on road trips sitting in our seats together."
Glass said he was aware of Rypien's battle with depression.
"I just wish I could have helped him. It's tough when you hear that. I wish I
could have been there for him. I knew he was going through tough times,
he and I didn't talk on the phone a lot, he was a man of few words, really
friendly, but not the type of guy you'd pick the phone up and call and now I
wish I would have. He might not have shared, but I feel like I wish I could
have helped more," Glass said. "My thoughts are with his family and loved
ones. I've got nothing but good things to say about the guy, he was a great
friend and a great teammate. I'm sad to see him go."
With files from Ian Walker, Vancouver Sun
576586     Vancouver Canucks                                                     “Everyone in the league saw him as this stone-faced killer, but on the inside
                                                                                 he was just the nicest guy who cared about you on and off the ice,” said
                                                                                 Lamb, recalling one particular life lesson he'll never soon forget.
Bling not the thing for Rick Rypien, say former junior hockey colleagues         “My dad had bought me a Pathfinder to drive out there, it was a standard,
                                                                                 and Rick owned a big green truck that was also stick, so he told me he'd
                                                                                 teach me to drive it. We were stopped on this hill waiting for the light and
By Ian Walker,                                                                   without me knowing he slid it into neutral and when I set to take off we
                                                                                 rolled down the hill, almost smashing into a car behind us. He was laughing
                                                                                 his head off and said, 'always look at the stick to make sure you're in gear
                                                                                 before taking your foot off the brake.' It's something I still do to this day.”
VANCOUVER — It was late December 2004 and the Regina Pats had just
returned from the Western Hockey League-imposed holiday break. Players           Maybe the best example of the person Rypien was came a few months
were sitting around the dressing room sharing with each other the most           after he was given his new boxing shoes. With the Pats well out of the
cherished gift they received under the Christmas tree that year when it got      playoff race, and with other team's looking to bolster their lineup for post-
to be their captain's turn. While his teammates had boasted about luxury         season success, the 20-year-old was given the option of being moved at
items such as laptops, video game systems and mobile phones, Rick                the trade deadline. But Rypien would have none of it, telling Parker he
Rypien's best present was a pair of boxing shoes.                                wanted to finish his junior career a Pat and that part of his legacy would be
                                                                                 to show the younger guys how to work and compete, to stand up for them
“It just reflects back to his humbleness and sense of appreciation for
                                                                                 and give them an opportunity for future success.
everything he got,” said Regina Pats head coach Curtis Hunt, now in his
second stint with the club. “It wasn't about the bling, it was about whatever    “I just feel so bad for his family right now and as he's grown and matured
helped him become a better player and help get him to where he wanted to         the close group of friends that he has created since leaving Regina,” said
go.”                                                                             Hunt. “Brent had a quote from the organization that I echo, Rick was
                                                                                 everything you wanted in a player, a leader and a person. He's going to be
Rypien was found dead in his Alberta home on Monday afternoon. No
                                                                                 missed.”
cause of death has been provided, but police do not consider it suspicious.
                                                                                 Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 08.17.2011
It didn't take long for word to spread, rocking the entire hockey community,
but maybe nowhere more so than the Saskatchewan capital, where the 27-
year-old bled red, white and blue for three years. The Pats were one of the
youngest teams in the league at the time, and night-in and night-out the 5-
11, 190-pounder took on all-comers, some of them as much as seven
inches taller and 60 pounds heavier.
“He had to answer the bell every night to the other team's toughest guy and
a majority of the time he'd come out on top,” said then-Pats director of
scouting Todd Ripplinger, now the director of development for the
Vancouver Giants. “For a while no one would even come after him, he had
that kind of reputation. Pound-for-pound he was one of the toughest guys
who played for the Pats and his teammates and the fans here loved him for
it. They still do.”
It's no secret Rypien had battled personal demons over his professional
career. Twice in the past three years he took leaves from the Vancouver
Canucks, his most recent departure from the club limiting him to just nine
games last season. Still, it came as a surprise to many within the Pats
organization when it was revealed on Tuesday that Rypien had fought
depression for the past 10 years, dating back to his time in Regina.
The time frame coincides with an incident that has left then-general
manager and current team president Brent Parker questioning himself.
Rypien's girlfriend died in a car accident coming to see him play during his
second year.
"You could tell he was hurting after that but he was just very stoic — he just
kept so much to himself," said Parker. "I don't want to say he was guarded,
but he was very private, almost shy. But he seemed to deal with it as well
as anyone could. You know it was certainly something I thoug ht of when I
heard the news [Monday] and knowing what he went through the last while.
"You start wondering was that a trigger point? Was there something we
should have done more at that time or did we miss something? Did we miss
some signs? You just question all aspects of it."
Craig Schira was surfing the Internet when he came across Rypien's picture
accompanied by headline announcing the death of his former teammate.
The Ottawa Senators prospect had to take a second to gather himself
before clicking the link.
"For me he was so special because here I was this 16-year-old rookie and
he was this guy who would take on the world for his teammates," said
Schira, a former Giant who played one season with Rypien. “I remember
struggling with my confidence at the start of the season and after one game
in particular when I played well, he was the first one to come congratulate
me. It just meant everything."
Kyle Lamb spent parts of two seasons with the Pats, rooming with Rypien
on the road in his second year, and puts the Coleman, Alta., native up there
with some of the best teammates he's ever played alongside.
576587     Vancouver Canucks                                                      Shane Pauls and Sue Spalding, who are teachers in Terrace, felt they had
                                                                                  to come by because of their love of the team and because their profession
                                                                                  makes them sensitive to problems of mental illness.
‘Forever a Canuck #37’: Fans mourn Rick Rypien’s death                            Pauls pointed to a sign behind him that read “care respect listen feel relate.”
                                                                                  To him, that's what life is all about.

By Yvonne Zacharias                                                               He had little doubt that NHL players go through a lot of stress. “They are
                                                                                  just phenomenal athletes, to play those many games.”
                                                                                  Her eyes brimming with tears, Spalding said her sister and brother in
VANCOUVER — In a shadowy spot under the SkyTrain line with the roar of            Vancouver follow the team much more closely than she does although she
trains overhead, Gordie McKee pulled up on his motorcycle, then paused            is a fan.
for a moment to view the growing memorial to former Vancouver Canucks
forward Rick Rypien outside Rogers Arena.                                         Her sister had wanted to make a sign for a Canucks game reading “Rippin'
                                                                                  with Rypien.”
Slowly, silently, he got off his bike, walked up to the makeshift shrine in
honour of the 27-year-old hockey player and added his contribution, a             “She is sorry she didn't make that sign because she really cared so deeply
Canucks flag on which he had written Rypien's name.                               for him as we all do.”

He was among the fans who arrived Tuesday morning shortly after hearing           She added, “It's tragic because he is so young. My heart breaks for his
the shocking news that Rypien had died a sudden, but not suspicious death         family.”
in his home in Coleman, Alta. Some appeared shell-shocked; some were in           The police have not released Rypien's precise cause of death. For Joe
tears.                                                                            Cooper from Vancouver, it's irrelevant. “It doesn't matter how he died. It just
“Rick Rypien was my favourite player,” said McKee, who has been a                 comes down to the fact that he is not with us anymore. We're without a
season's ticket holder for about 10 years. “He was an awesome scrapper.           great player now.”
He gave it 110 per cent, stuck up for his teammates, fought the biggest           Cooper said he could feel the sombre atmosphere surrounding the place. “It
guys in the league and pretty much won over most of them.”                        just hits you. Life is really short and somebody like that who is really
He heard the news of Rypien's sudden death Monday evening from his                impactful on the ice and in the community … when somebody's life ends, it
daughter in Montreal. Rypien was her favourite player, too. Like most             really affects your life and how you go around.”
people, McKee said he was shocked and surprised by the news.                      Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 08.17.2011
Like others who gathered outside Rogers Arena, McKee addressed the
issue of Rypien's well-known struggles with mental illness.
“I know he was having problems,” said McKee. “This town is full of mentally
ill people but when it comes to a sports figure like him, it's rarely talked
about and it's really sad.”
Like others here, McKee said he hoped some good would come from
Rypien's death, that it would help to change the way people regard mental
illness.
Visitors took time from their holiday schedules to come to the spot to pay
respects to the slight, intense player who appeared ready to grapple with
opponents much larger than himself, but who perhaps in the end, couldn't
conquer his biggest enemy, the demon lurking within.
For several sombre moments, Calvin Ng, 22, from Port Moody, cut a lone
figure, lugubriously waving a Canucks flag next to the memorial.
He had come down the night before after hearing the news only to find a
group of girls had beat him to the spot and had started putting up signs that
poured out love for a player who was gone too soon.
Ng had joined them, adding candles and a small framed picture of Rypien.
“Any time the team wanted some energy, the team wanted a spark, he was
always the one to inject that energy into a game,” said Ng. “Every time
Rypien played, one of the big storylines of the night would be who Rypien
would fight. It didn't matter if the guy was his size or bigger than him. Every
time he was on the ice, everyone was just waiting for him to drop the
gloves.”
Hockey fans were waiting for Rypien to return to the team or to make his
debut with the fledging Winnipeg Jets with whom he had signed a $700,000
one-year contract in July.
As a fellow Albertan to Rypien, Jaime Clague, 26, and his friend, Pam Toth,
felt they had to come to the site and write on the growing wall of messages
which bore words like “Forever a Canuck #37” and “Rick 'Ripper' Rypien
You're on God's team now.”
“It's pretty sad to see him go,” said Clague. “For a while, it was even sad to
see him go to Winnipeg. Rypien stood up for the whole team all the time. I
thought he was the toughest Canuck in the game.”
For Clague, it was always difficult to hear that the on-ice warrior had no
easy time of it off the ice as well. “He was a battler so I am sure he battled
through most of it.”
576588     Vancouver Canucks                                                    Heisinger said the Jets might honor Rypien this season.
                                                                                "Rick was a very private guy, but being at the rink and playing hockey was
                                                                                where he was truly happy," Heisinger said, his voice wavering.
Rick Rypien 'seemed to be in a good place,' but had battled depression for
a decade                                                                        Vancouver Sun: LOADED: 08.17.2011


By Rod Nickel, ReutersAugust 16, 2011


WINNIPEG — Former Vancouver Canuck Rick Rypien, who was found
dead Monday at his Alberta home, had been dealing with depression for
about a decade, his new team in Winnipeg said Tuesday, though they had
not seen trouble brewing for him.
Police have said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding
Rypien's death, which they described as sudden.
"Certainly there were no drug and alcohol issues. Depression is the one
word that has been used and that's accurate," Winnipeg Jets assistant
general manager Craig Heisinger told reporters at a news conference.
Heisinger said it would be up to Rypien's family to confirm whether or not
the hockey player had taken his own life.
Rypien signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Jets as a free agent
last month after six seasons as a forward with the Canucks.
"He seemed to be really excited to be (coming) back here. I think there was
a comfort zone here for him," Heisinger said.
"Did we see any signs? No we didn't ... Either something happened very
quickly or we all missed the boat."
The Canucks had granted Rypien an indefinite leave of absence last
November, the second time in three years he had left the team to deal with
undisclosed personal matters.
Rypien also received a six-game suspension from the NHL last season
after an altercation with a fan on his way to the dressing room in Minnesota.
The 27-year-old Rypien was the second young National Hockey League
player found dead at home in recent months.
New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard, 28, died in May with a
mixture of alcohol and (pain killer) oxycodone in his system in what was
ruled an accidental death by a U.S. medical examiner.
Rypien had begun his professional career in Winnipeg with the Moose, the
Canucks' American Hockey League affiliate, and the Jets gave him a
chance to re-establish his career.
The small but feisty Rypien scored a total of nine goals and seven assists in
119 career NHL games, but the aggressive forward was not afraid to drop
his gloves and take on much larger opponents on the ice, logging 226
penalty minutes.
He was supposed to fly to Winnipeg on Sunday for an MRI test on his knee
and left a message for Heisinger that morning checking on ice availability.
"I never got to him," Heisinger said.
When he failed to turn up, Heisinger said he tried to track the forward down
before Rypien's grandmother later confirmed the death.
Former teammate and roommate Mike Keane told the Winnipeg Free Press
that Rypien had appeared to find some peace.
"He seemed to be in a good place. We chatted off and on this summer and
he was happy with the way things were going and the way he was feeling,"
said Keane. "I don't know what to say. It's a shock. His demons were
stronger than anyone knew."
Heisinger said he still believes Rypien had made strides dealing with his
depression and that he had cautioned his scouts before signing Rypien
because of his "baggage".
"Did I think it was 100 per cent safe? No, because it's Rick and there's
always some issues with Rick," Heisinger added.
"Rick spoke about, once he had the situation under control, about trying to
speak out and help other people. At the end of the day, I hope something
comes out of this."
576589     Vancouver Canucks


Gallagher: Rypien never easy to read


By Tony Gallagher,


In this business, you get to know hockey players mostly through dressing-
room conversations nowadays, and as such, that's the way I knew Rick
Rypien.
Virtually any conversation one had with him gave you some idea of the
struggles he went through in life, particularly when you linked any such
discussions together.
He was so very different from most professional athletes that at times you
genuinely wondered whether he even remotely liked playing hockey. And
yet, at other times he seemed very happy, particularly when surrounded by
teammates that obviously cared for him very much even if they couldn't
seem to help him nearly as much as they would have liked.
The first time your agent met him was after his very first home triumph,
which included a fight and a couple of big hits which led to a big Canuck
victory on a team that was just beginning to become a good one, a sense
that has basically encouraged every player in the room since it began.
Strangely, Rypien was hiding in the corner of the old dressing room on the
forwards' side next to the blackboard, quiet and down and not willing to look
anyone in the eye. His face wanted to drop to the floor and it frequently did
during the conversation, and at the time you just thought he was shy or had
received some bad news off the ice perhaps. Not what you'd normally see
after a game situation, particularly after a young player had just made a
significant contribution to his team for the first time.
Fast forward to the beginning of training camp last season, and a sit-down
chat I had with him as he looked ahead to this campaign which has just
passed. He was absolutely a different person. He seemed very happy, very
enthused about his life and his manner was absolutely mature in every way.
He looked you straight in the eye, had lots to say including some very clear
and excellent insight into his future given his skill set, and even though we
all knew he had his issues, it looked like they might be behind him.
Whatever medication they had cooked up to control his depression or
bipolar difficulties was absolutely perfect; not too high so as to seem
induced, but bang on. And thinking back as a father of young men virtually
the same age, I remember being happy myself that he finally knew some
happiness and peace in his life if even just for a while.
For before and after these times, there were reports of the poor fellow
wandering around town by himself not knowing anyone who knew him, his
world of loneliness something that would break the heart of any parent. So
when people talk about thoughts and prayers going out to the Rypien
family, you really must say those prayers because they're going to need
some help. Anyone thinking about this for one moment will know that.
Throughout his stints away from the Canucks when he was getting
treatment, there would be frequent rumors about him being involved with
drugs, which at the time at least was absolutely not the case. Both general
manager Mike Gillis and his right-hand man Laurence Gilman were upset
with those reports, Gillis saying in an off-the-record conversation at the time
that Rick's problems weren't street drugs, but rather that like so many
young people today who have been told to 'say no to drugs,' he wasn't
comfortable taking the meds that had been prescribed.
Whatever ultimately caused this young man's death, those involved -
including the family - should know that this wonderful guy did know some
happiness in his life which ended not because they didn't do enough, but
because the fellow upstairs decided to end his struggles down here and call
him back. He had access to the best help that can be provided for his
condition and yet still we are beset by this sadness.
But not Rick Rypien. His sadness is at an end, and our prayers should be
such that he finds a place filled with eternal happiness.
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 08.17.2011
576590     Vancouver Canucks


'Little' Rypien was a Regina fan favourite because of his huge heart


By Gordon McIntyre,


One of the first things Rick Rypien did as a Regina Pat, Canucks fans will
not be surprised to learn, was take on Moose Jaw Warrior Lane Manson.
Manson was on his way to becoming a 6-foot-9, 250-pounder; Rypien was
5-foot-10 and weighed 150 pounds soaking wet.
“I thought, 'Oh my god Rick, you're going to get pulverized,'” Peter
Engelhart, Rypien's billet for three years in Regina, recalled on Tuesday.
“But Rick wiped up the ice with this guy.”
Rypien was a fan favourite in Regina for the same reasons he was in
Winnipeg and Vancouver – the little guy with things stacked against him,
taking on seemingly insurmountable odds.
He became, Pats president Brent Parker said, one of the two best captains
the junior club has had in Parker's long association with the team, along
with Barrett Jackman.
When Rypien was on his personal leave last season, he'd text Parker to
thank him for all Parker had done for him.
“That was just him,” Parker said. “He should have been thinking about
himself, but with Rick it was always about everybody else.”
Those in Regina who'd kept in touch with Rypien all believed he was
excited to be returning to Winnipeg, where Moose general manager Craig
Heisinger had given Rypien the same chance the Pats had, a chance to
prove himself.
He was going to wear his old No. 11 again, he seemed anxious to put on a
Jets sweater.
“He loved Vancouver and a couple of other teams made offers, but he said
he couldn't pass up on going back to Winnipeg after they gave him his first
crack,” Parker said. “He was excited for a new beginning.”
Engelhart, a retired Regina policeman who now runs a screen-printing
business, occasionally goes fishing with Rypien's stepdad Wayne, his wife
and Rypien's mom occasionally get together.
The Engelhart boys were in the their teens when Rypien lived in the home
and are taking the player's death particularly hard.
“Overall, Rick wanted to please everybody, help everybody out in any way
he could,” Engelhart said. “This came as a shock. Did I have any idea it was
coming? Not at all.
“At times people asked me 'What's up with Ryp? What's up with Ryp? I
couldn't tell.
“We'd talked and discuss a lot of things, but we never talked about that. If
he'd wanted me to know, he'd have told me.”
One thing did happen during Rypien's time in Regina – the day before the
Pats were to visit the Calgary Hitmen, Rypien's girlfriend died in a car
accident on her way to school in Calgary.
“There was a bit of a change right after that, but what 18-year-old wouldn't
go through a change after something like that happened,” Engelhart said.
“That was tough on Rick.”
Those who knew him in Regina say Rypien's priorities were family, hockey,
friends.
When something was weighing on his mind, Engelhart said, Rypien didn't
want to burden anybody else with it.
“Coach Bob Lowes described Rick this way: Any dad would like his
daughter to bring Rick home. That's perfect, that summed up Rick.
“I haven't still quite grasped what has happened. At the funeral it will
probably sink in.”
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 08.17.2011
576591     Vancouver Canucks                                                     Vancouver Province: LOADED: 08.17.2011


‘I wish I could have been there for him’


By JIM JAMIESON,


Tanner Glass was as shocked as anyone to hear late Monday that his
former Canucks teammate Rick Rypien had passed away suddenly at his
home in Coleman, Alta., earlier in the day.
“It’s too bad,” said Glass, who played on the Canucks’ fourth line with
Rypien for parts of two seasons.
“Rick’s problems have been well documented. It’s just tough to see him go.
As a friend you wish you could have been there for him in a time of need.
It’s tough news.”
Rypien, 27, was found at his home at 12:30 p.m. RCMP called the death
sudden and non-suspicious. Rypien battled depression and was given
personal leaves by the Canucks twice in the last three seasons, including a
nearly four-month absence last season.
Glass, who was looking forward to teaming up with Rypien again this
season after both signed as free agents with the Winnipeg Jets, admitted
that the small but ferocious scrapper was nearly as enigmatic to teammates
as he was to reporters covering the NHL team.
“He was kind of a tough nut to crack, but once you got in there…” said
Glass. “Rick and I had a lot in common. He played in Regina, I’m from just
outside of Regina. We played similar roles and were around the same age.
He and I were good friends. With Hordi (Darcy Hordichuk) and Rip and I we
kind of all shared the load that year (2009-10) in the physical department.
We had a lot of fun together.
“He was kind of a man of few words, but once you got to know him he was
just a great guy. If you sit down and have a beer, he’s not going to be the
loudest guy in a group of people but once you get two-three-four guys
around a table, that’s when you see his true colours come out. He’s funny
and he had a heart. It’s sad now to talk about him.”
Glass said he hadn’t seen Rypien in person since he was given his leave
from the team on Nov. 25.
“I tried to text him but he was out of communication for a while,” Glass said.
“But I texted with him at Christmas and New Years last year and a little bit
during the playoffs and a little bit when we both signed around July 1. I just
congratulated him on signing in Winnipeg, looking forward to playing with
you again. He kind of kept to himself so I didn’t think anything of it when I
hadn’t spoken to him in a while.”
Rypien was immensely popular with fans and teammates for his willingness
to play the enforcer role. He was more compelling because – at 5-foot-11
and 190 pounds – he often took on much bigger opponents.
“He was always the first one to step up if he thought an injustice was being
done,” said Glass. “A lot of times, the coaches had to tell him to cool it. He
was always eager to get out there if he wasn’t playing very much. He
wanted to make an impact every night. He loved the challenge of fighting
guys bigger than him.”
But Glass also acknowledged that with the enforcer’s role comes a lot of
pressure.
“Definitely, especially when you’re an under-sized guy like Rick was,” said
Glass. “He liked fighting those big guys, but that comes with a lot of
pressure. The fans did love him and I think he kind of felt like he had to do
that. To have to each night go into a game knowing who your fight might be
that night, it carries some weight.”
Glass said he was encouraged when he watched the video of Rypien’s
press conference in March when he returned to hockey to play for the
Canucks farm club in Winnipeg. Rypien said he felt like he was finally
dealing with the personal issues that have plagued him for years. Like all of
us, Glass hoped it was true.
“I saw him at that press conference and I thought he looked great,” said
Glass. “There was a sparkle in his eye, he was excited to play the game he
loved again. It (his death) was really surprising and tough to take.”
576592     Vancouver Canucks


Rick Rypien was one of her boys


By Jonathan McDonald,


Rick Rypien was 5-foot-11, 180 pounds. Hal Gill was 6-foot-7, 240 pounds.
A punch-up mismatch if there ever was one.
And that's why Ellen Ransford loved Rick Rypien. That's why she has a
photo of the Rypien-Gill fight, which happened during a Canucks-
Canadiens game in 2009, on the wall of her home.
"He was punching up, because he was small," says Ransford, a Canucks
fan from Richmond. "He didn't back down from anybody."
Rypien's sudden death Monday stunned Canucks fans, considering the 27-
year-old tough guy had spent six years with the organization. No one was
stunned more than Ransford, who's enveloped her entire life in all things
Canucks.
That's why Ransford encouraged her 17-year-old daughter Alex to set up a
"celebration of life" for Rypien Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Roger Neilson's
statue outside Rogers Arena. Alex and Ellen will bring books of condolence,
which she hopes the Canucks will give to Rypien's family.
"I was so happy for him," Ransford says of Rypien, who signed during the
offseason with the Winnipeg Jets after a troubled final season with the
Canucks. "He was getting a fresh start."
Rypien was suspended for six games last October after he attacked a fan in
the stands at the Xcel Energy Center during a game between the visiting
Canucks and Minnesota Wild. Then, in late November, the Canucks
granted Rypien an extended personal leave. He returned to pro hockey in
March, playing his final games with the AHL Manitoba Moose.
When Rypien first showed up to Winnipeg, he spoke about his four-month
absence and was surprisingly candid for a player who'd normally been tight-
lipped. "It's a personal matter, a rare issue," Rypien said, without disclosing
exactly why he'd been gone. "Even though it's taken me away from hockey
and the game I love, doing the work I've done the last couple of months I've
made a lot of gains as a person."
Ransford has invested a lot of time and effort as a Canucks fan. She and
Alex were regular visitors to Canucks practices during last spring's playoff
run, and went to the airport to greet the team. The Canucks, she says, have
helped make her relationship with her daughter closer.
Ransford acknowledges that she didn't know Rypien. And isn't quite
positive why she's so upset.
"I'm still trying to figure that out," said Ransford. "We see the Canucks as a
family. I call them my boys.
"He was one of my boys."
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 08.17.2011
576593     Vancouver Canucks


Rick Rypien, former Canucks forward, dead at 27


By Jim Jamieson


Former Vancouver Canuck Rick Rypien has been found dead in his
Coleman, Alta., home, according to the RCMP
Rypien’s agent Allain Roy said Monday evening before his client’s death
had been comfirmed that he was surprised at the spread of the then-
rumored event on Twitter.
Roy said he’d spoken with Rypien on the weekend and that all seemed
well.
“He was fine,” said Roy. “He was excited about going to Winnipeg and
getting ready for training camp.”
Rypien, 27, was a paradox: a fearsome fighter, but someone whose
personal demons could take him away from the game he loved to play. He
took personal leaves from the Canucks twice in the last three seasons, the
most recent for nearly four months last season. The Coleman native
returned to the team’s farm club in Winnipeg near the end of the season.
Rypien wasn’t offered a new contract with Vancouver, but was signed as a
free agent to a one-year, $700,000 deal by Winnipeg – which had just
returned to the NHL after the Atlanta franchise was moved to the Manitoba
capital.
Rypien began his minor-pro career in Winnipeg and was hugely popular
there.
Rypien is the second NHL enforcer to pass away at a young age in the last
three months. Derek Boogaard, 28, was found dead in his apartment in
Minneapolis on May 13, the victim of an overdose of painkiller oxycodone
and alcohol that the medical examiner ruled as accidental.
Rypien clearly fought some personal issues, but when he returned from his
four-month leave of absence last March he stressed to reporters in
Winnipeg that substance abuse was not involved.
It’s believed he struggled with depression and other emotional issues and at
the March press conference an unusually candid Rypien said he felt like he
had finally come to the point in his life where he could reach out for help.
"I missed a lot of hockey, but certain things needed to be dealt with," said
Rypien. "I've got a totally different mindset now and I'm very excited. I'm
more excited about playing hockey than I've ever been in my life."
Early last season, before taking his leave, Rypien was involved in an
incident with a fan in Minnesota on Oct. 19. Rypien was suspended for six
games and the Canucks were fined $25,000.
Rypien began his professional hockey career with the Manitoba Moose late
in the 2004-05 season. He was signed to an NHL contract the next season
by Vancouver and quickly showed he was one of the toughest players,
pound for pound, in the league. But, at 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, Rypien
was under-sized for the role and suffered through a string of injuries in a
119-game NHL career that spanned six seasons and produced nine goals,
16 points and 226 penalty minutes.
Condolences poured out from the hockey community on Twitter as the
news of Rypien’s death broke on Monday night. Bill Sweatt, who played
with Rypien briefly on the Moose this season, wrote via Twitter: "Tragic
story. #rickrypien found dead. This is just terrible. RIP rick. You were a
great teammate and friend."
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 08.17.2011
576594     Vancouver Canucks                                                     To be fair to GM Mike Gillis, it’s hard for a team to stockpile young talent
                                                                                 when it keeps finishing high in the standings and drafting late. Still, Gillis
                                                                                 has to be concerned about the future when the only player on an entry-level
Kurtenthoughts: Canucks Fans Are Pretty Much Despised                            contract (read: cheap) that’s looked like he belongs in the NHL is
                                                                                 defenceman Chris Tanev.
                                                                                 The big worry is up front. Vancouver has four forwards – Henrik Sedin,
Orland Kurten                                                                    Daniel Sedin, Ryan Kesler and Jannik Hansen – signed past the 2012-13
                                                                                 season. There will be plenty of job openings soon. But who will step up and
                                                                                 fill them?
—-The reputation of Canucks fans took yet another hit last week when the         Vancouver Province: LOADED: 08.17.2011
Vancouver Courier reported that Milan Lucic’s visit home with the Stanley
Cup would be kept “relatively private and low-key” to avoid any ugly
incidents involving bitter Vancouverites.
The original plan, we assume, was to parade the Cup down Robson Street
in a convertible while chugging champagne out of the bottle and giving
everyone the finger.
According to the Courier, posters of Lucic in his Bruins colours had already
been defaced outside a local community centre, so clearly trouble was
brewing. Because kids never scribble on posters.
It was also reported that fights had broken out around Lucic when he
showed up to the annual Vancouver Greek Summerfest in late June,
though specific details weren’t included.
The story, of course, went viral across Canada and the United States,
heaping more embarrassment and abuse on a fanbase that’s suffered more
than its share of late.
The way things are going, Canucks fans might need to hire one of those PR
firms that specialize in putting a positive spin on stuff like the tar sands
(energy security!) and tobacco companies (thousands of jobs!).
Ad agencies could create a series of TV commercials showing babies
wearing tiny Canucks jerseys and old people talking about their 40 years of
supporting the team through thick and thin. Splash the words “These are
the faces of true Canucks fans” over top, throw in some sappy music, and
voila, nobody hates us anymore.
Or they could just show what actually happened when the Cup came out in
public on Sunday.
According to NHL.com, part of Lucic’s busy day included a harbour cruise
with family and friends. “From the aft to the bow to the top deck of the boat,
Lucic held the Cup over his head. Smaller boats cruised up to the side and
honked their horns. The people at the Granville Island Public Market
applauded and cheered as Lucic’s boat cruised by.”
And not one single cannon was fired at the vessel.
Said Lucic’s girlfriend, Brittany Carnegie, “He loves Vancouver and the
fans, to be honest. I know people have said they were a little rough and
tough, but they’ve been absolutely amazing. He gets pats on the back every
day. The fans here have been absolutely amazing.”
It’s almost like 99 percent of Canucks fans aren’t idiots.
Perhaps the first clue was when Lucic raised the Cup over his head at
Rogers Arena and received a standing ovation. They weren’t booing; they
were saying, “Looooooooch.”
True, this occurred at approximately the same time a pack of hyenas in
Canucks paraphernalia was tearing apart a Smart car on Georgia Street.
Not our city’s finest moment.
The Canuck fanbase, fuelled by certain prominent members of the local
media, also has a longstanding reputation for whining. Most of the time it’s
about the officiating. “Gary Bettman wants the Bruins to win!” Other times
it’s the lack of respect from the eastern media. “They all hate the Canucks!”
Safe to say the “everyone’s out to get us” routine doesn’t create much
sympathy in other NHL markets. Nor does the team’s reputation for diving
and flopping.
Whether those reputations are deserved or overblown makes no difference
whatsoever. Perception isn’t always reality, and the perception out there
isn’t positive for Canucks fans.
—- Veteran NHL scout Grant Sonier, writing for ESPN, ranks the Canucks
29th out of the 30 NHL clubs when it comes to prospects. Only San Jose
ranks worse, according to Sonier.
576595    Vancouver Canucks


Rick Rypien: a Canucks enigma


Staff


Section: The White Towel
The first time we wrote about Rick Rypien, he was a Regina Pat and he
was causing all kinds of trouble.
During one 2004 winter night at the Pacific Coliseum, Rypien sucker-
punched then-Vancouver Giant Gilbert Brule. Perhaps there was something
about Brule; after all, it was the second time it had happened to him that
game.
A few months later, Rypien was with the Manitoba Moose. During a playoff
series against the Chicago Wolves, Rypien slammed Wolves defenceman
Jay Bouwmeester from behind. Tony Gallagher, who’d never written about
Rypien, referred to him as a “hamburger forward.”
And a few months after that, Rypien made his Canucks debut, even scoring
in his first NHL game. Said teammate Kevin Bieksa, who’d played with the
undrafted Rypien in Manitoba: “A hard worker and his game is buzzing all
over, making hits and playing tough. He might look pretty young, but he just
crushes guys and plays fearless.”
“He skates, he hits and he can fight,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said
the following year. “He loves to fight.”
Rypien, who died Monday at age 27, was hard to figure out. Tough on the
ice, a hard worker and by all accounts a good teammate, he also missed
practices, was often a liability during games and, early last season, was
suspended for six games after he attacked a fan in the stands in Minnesota.
Who knows what happened last Nov. 25, when the club put Rypien on an
indefinite personal leave. The Canucks didn’t give a reason. But
interestingly enough, around the time the club started practising without
Rypien, The Province heard from a Vancouverite who claimed to have been
in a minor fender-bender with Rypien in Yaletown the night before. Rypien
had identified himself. The damage was inconsequential. The drivers went
their separate ways. Rypien never again played for the Canucks.
Vancouver Province: LOADED: 08.17.2011
576596     Washington Capitals


Capitals to host alumni game Sept. 23


By Lindsay Applebaum


The Washington Capitals announced that they will host an alumni game
featuring several former stars, including Mike Gartner and Peter Bondra, at
Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $10, but fans who want to attend must also purchase Caps
Convention tickets ($27.50 for children, $33-49.50 for adults).
More info from the team news release:
The game will feature “Team Langway” facing off against “Team Laughlin.”
Participating alumni are scheduled to include, Hall of Famer Mike Gartner,
former All-Stars Peter Bondra, Don Beaupre and Dennis Maruk as well as
former Caps Calle Johansson, Greg Adams, Alan May, Mark Lofthouse,
Yvon Labre, Gord Lane, Jason Woolley, John Druce, Sylvain Cote, Paul
Mulvey, Alan Hangsleben, Nelson Burton, Errol Rausse, Gary Rissling, and
Ken Sabourin.
Recently retired NHL referee Bill McCreary will officiate the game.
McCreary began his 25-year NHL officiating career on Nov. 3, 1984 at the
Capital Center in Landover, Maryland and picked the Verizon Center to
referee his final NHL game on April 2, 2011.
Tickets are $10 with all proceeds benefiting Capitals Charities. You must be
a Caps Convention ticket holder to purchase Capitals Alumni Game tickets.
Tickets go on sale Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. and are limited and sold on a first-
come, first-served basis. A convention ticket does not guarantee an alumni
game ticket. To purchase tickets, please visit WashingtonCaps.com.
Several of the participants also played in the Capitals-Penguins alumni
game at Heinz Field on Dec. 31. A look back at that in-cred-ibly entertaining
event:
Washington Post LOADED: 08.17.2011
576597     Washington Capitals


Not typical minor league towns


Kevin Dunleavy


Washington D.C. may not be ranked among the top sports towns, but two of
its franchises can boast great minor league affiliates, located eight miles
apart in central Pennsylvania.
According to the Sports Business Journal, Hershey-Harrisburg, Pa. is the
best minor league area in the nation, beating out No. 2 San Bernardino
(Calif.), No. 3 Providence-Pawtucket (R.I.) and No. 4 Reading (Pa.).
The Hershey Bears, affiliate of the Capitals, have long been the jewel of the
American Hockey League. The Harrisburg Senators, the Nationals' Double-
A team, have had an injection of buzz thanks to two of baseball's most
talked about young stars, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper.
"It never hurts that the town of Hershey smells like chocolate. It's one of the
most family friendly destinations in the country regardless of the sports
teams," said Todd Sadowski, sports director at Fox 43 in Harrisburg. "When
it's warm, attending a Senators game on City Island, with walking access to
the state capitol, sets it apart."
The SBJ noted the Bears' loyal following and the team's close ties with the
Caps.
New Caps radio announcer John Walton has spent the last nine years in
Hershey and was surprised by the passion, especially given Hershey's
proximity to NHL cities Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
"Keep in mind that Hershey was affiliated with the Flyers in the '80s and into
the '90s," Walton said. "We are in Pennsylvania. But there are a lot of times
you don't realize that, especially at a Bears game. If a Flyers score goes up
on the board, people will boo. Sidney Crosby had his Reebok commercial
that ran in our building last year. Nothing was booed more."
Walton said the Bears' appeal can be attributed in part to the non-transient
demographics of the region. Some Hershey fans have had season tickets
for 50 years.
"It's an amazing place," Walton said. "And it's hockey-driven -- 10,000
people a night, the recent string of championships (three Calder Cups since
2006), and a fan base I'd put up against some NHL fan bases in terms of
how crazy they are about the sport and how knowledgeable."
Washington Examiner LOADED: 08.17.2011
576598     Winnipeg Jets


Rypien's troubles started in junior


By: Ian Walker


VANCOUVER -- It was late December 2004 and the Regina Pats had just
returned from the Western Hockey League-imposed holiday break.
Players were sitting around the dressing room sharing with each other the
most cherished gift they received under the Christmas tree that year when it
got to be their captain's turn. While his teammates had boasted about
luxury items such as laptops, video game systems and mobile phones, Rick
Rypien's best present was a pair of boxing shoes.
"It just reflects back to his humbleness and sense of appreciation for
everything he got," said Regina Pats head coach Curtis Hunt. "It wasn't
about the bling, it was about whatever helped him become a better player
and help get him to where he wanted to go."
Rypien was found dead in his southwestern Alberta home on Monday
afternoon. No cause of death has been provided, but police don't consider it
suspicious.
It didn't take long for word to spread, rocking the entire hockey community,
but maybe nowhere more so than the Saskatchewan capital, where the 27-
year-old bled red, white and blue for three years. The Pats were one of the
youngest teams in the league at the time, and night in and night out the
five-foot-11, 190-pounder took on all-comers, some of them as much as
seven inches taller and 60 pounds heavier.
"He had to answer the bell every night to the other team's toughest guy and
a majority of the time he'd come out on top," said then-Pats director of
scouting Todd Ripplinger, now the director of development for the
Vancouver Giants. "For a while no one would even come after him, he had
that kind of reputation. Pound-for-pound he was one of the toughest guys
who played for the Pats and his teammates and the fans here loved him for
it. They still do."
It's no secret Rypien had battled personal demons over his professional
career. Still, it came as a surprise to many within the Pats organization
when it was revealed on Tuesday that Rypien had fought depression for the
past 10 years, dating back to his time in Regina.
The time-frame coincides with an incident that has left then-general
manager and current team president Brent Parker questioning himself.
Rypien's girlfriend died in a car accident coming to see him play during his
second year.
"You could tell he was hurting after that but he was just very stoic -- he just
kept so much to himself," said Parker. "I don't want to say he was guarded,
but he was very private, almost shy. But he seemed to deal with it as well
as anyone could. You know it was certainly something I thought of when I
heard the news (Monday) and knowing what he went through the last while.
"You start wondering was that a trigger point? Was there something we
should have done more at that time or did we miss something? Did we miss
some signs?"
Maybe the best example of the person Rypien was came a few months
after he was given his new boxing shoes. With the Pats out of the playoff
race and with other team's looking to bolster their lineup for post-season
success, the 20-year-old was given the option of being moved at the trade
deadline. But Rypien would have none of it, telling Parker he wanted to
finish his junior career a Pat and that part of his legacy would be to show
the younger guys how to work and compete.
"I just feel so bad for his family right now and as he's grown and matured
the close group of friends that he has created since leaving Regina," said
Hunt. "Brent had a quote from the organization that I echo, Rick was
everything you wanted in a player, a leader and a person. He's going to be
missed."
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011
576599     Winnipeg Jets                                                        "That's what attracted me to Rick Rypien," Heisinger explained. "I can
                                                                                remember going down to the dressing room after and saying, 'Tell me more
                                                                                about this guy' and it went from there."
Jets never saw it coming                                                        It went from there to a regular shift with the Moose and, ultimately, to the
                                                                                bright NHL lights with the Canucks. There he also made an immediate
                                                                                impact with his teammates and with the organization, who were very
Ed Tait                                                                         supportive during his time getting treatment for depression.
                                                                                "Over the course of the last three seasons, we participated in a variety of
                                                                                different initiatives with him and we were all really close with him," Canucks
Those in the know -- the select few in his inner circle and the men that        GM Gillis told The Canadian Press Tuesday in Toronto. "We had an
suited up with and against him -- will always remember Rick Rypien as           understanding of what we thought was going on and had a number of
more than just a tough guy.                                                     outside agencies involved in assisting us and we felt we were on course.
Oh sure, the 27-year-old could throw 'em, all right. And he would regularly     "We felt he was making progress in a lot of different areas. When he signed
and willingly drop his gloves to protect anyone wearing the same jersey as      with Winnipeg, we were all really happy for him."
his own.
                                                                                In Vancouver, Canucks fans had set up a small memorial outside Rogers
But he had skills beyond simply the grit and toughness that was part of his     Arena by pasting posters and flowers to a concrete pillar and forming
DNA. He could score, he was responsible in his own end and every time he        candles in the shape of Rypien's No. 37. Heisinger said the Jets would also
stepped on the ice he brought that shift-disturber energy to the game that      likely honour Rypien in some manner this season.
often had fans inching forward in their seats.
                                                                                In the meantime, the Jets organization is working through the grief of the
That alone made him appealing to those in the Manitoba Moose                    loss of a man everyone called 'Rip.'
organization who first spotted him during his days with the Regina Pats,
then to the Vancouver Canucks and -- after a handful of teams inquired in       "This is all hard to put into words, it's been a challenging 24 hours," said
free agency -- finally back to Winnipeg and the Jets this summer.               Heisinger. "I'm hoping to not have to deal with this again. You learn lessons
                                                                                from these things. Rick always spoke about once he had this situation
Still, Rypien was much more than even that. In many ways, he had become         under control about trying to speak out and help other people. At the end of
the epitome of everything the Jets organization represented: the against-all-   the day I'm hoping something like that comes out of this. I guess I'm having
odds scrapper who made it to the bigs while stepping over or through every      trouble seeing how it will right now.
doubter and cynic along the way.
                                                                                "Through all this the Canucks never questioned anything. They paid him
That's why his passing -- he was found dead in his Coleman, Alta., home         right through and the level of support they showed him was phenomenal.
Monday afternoon -- hit the Jets like a death in the family.                    And from a Moose perspective he started his career here and he finished
                                                                                his career here.
It's why as assistant GM Craig Heisinger occasionally fought back tears
during a media conference Tuesday, owner Mark Chipman was spotted at            "I think he gave a lot more back to us than we gave to him."
the back of the room with his glasses in one hand, his head buried in the
other.                                                                          Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011

"He loved being the style of player he was, the smaller-bodied guy that
fought two or three weight classes up and often came out on top," said
Heisinger. "We differed on some things, on how he dealt with some things,
but I would say we had a fantastic relationship."
RCMP in Crowsnest Pass, Alta., called Rypien's passing a 'non-suspicious
sudden death,' but his battles with depression are now well-documented.
Rypien took two leaves of absences while with the Canucks for personal
reasons, but after returning to the Moose in the spring -- Heisinger said he
was arguably the club's best player in the playoffs -- and then signing with
the Jets in July, he appeared to have defeated his demons and was
refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to revive his career.
But when Rypien failed to arrive in Winnipeg Sunday night for an MRI on
his knee Monday morning -- and just hours after checking with Heisinger
about whether there was ice available for him to skate on -- alarm bells
began to clang. He was also scheduled to run his annual hockey school in
Coleman this week.
Heisinger said he was aware of some of the details of Rypien's death, but
opted to leave their possible release to the family's discretion.
"There were no drug or alcohol issues... depression is the right word," said
Heisinger. "I think he had a fantastic summer, but obviously that wasn't the
case. He seemed really excited to be back here. I think there was a comfort
zone here for him. He had an apartment all set up and was ready to go. So
the question being, did we see any signs? No, we didn't. I never got the
sense that there was any problems all summer. I spoke to other people in
his support group and none of us had that sense... so, either something
happened very quickly or we all missed the boat.
"I thought for sure he had made strides... I was happy for him because I
knew how much he wanted to play here and there was a 100 per cent level
of comfort for him here."
Heisinger first thought of Rypien as a pro prospect during his junior days in
Regina and, in particular, after the Brandon Wheat Kings had throttled the
Pats in a game at the MTS Centre. The next morning Rypien was blocking
shots in practice.
576600     Winnipeg Jets


A TOUGH MAN AND A GOOD TEAMMATE


Staff Writer


Some of the reaction via Twitter from the NHL fraternity on the sudden
passing of Winnipeg Jet forward Rick Rypien:
-- "The National Hockey League sends its deepest condolences to the
family, friends and teammates of Rick Rypien, who played the game with so
much energy and emotion and whose passing fills us all with a sense of
immeasurable sadness and sorrow." -- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
-- "All players and NHLPA staff are saddened to learn of Rick's passing. He
was a respected member of our association and will be greatly missed
throughout the hockey community. Our sincere condolences go out to
Rick's family, friends and many fans." -- NHLPA executive director Don
Fehr
-- "Sad to hear about Rick Rypien. I was looking forward to playing with him
in Winnipeg. Thoughts are with his family and friends." -- Winnipeg Jets
captain Andrew Ladd
-- "I will always have the memories from Vancouver with Rick... also pound
for pound he was one of the toughest guys out there." -- Michael Grabner,
New York Islanders
-- "Sad to hear about Rick Rypien. My condolences go out to his family and
friends." -- Ben Maxwell, Winnipeg Jets
-- "Unbelievably sad news on the passing of Rick Rypien. One of the
toughest players I ever played against. Thoughts and prayers with his
family." -- Eric Fehr, Winnipeg Jets
-- "R.I.P. to a fellow #37 sorry to see ya go, nicest guy I played with my time
in Vancouver, sorry to see ya go buddy, see ya on the other side." -- Brad
Lukowich, Dallas Stars
-- "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." --
George Parros, Anaheim Ducks
-- 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." -- Paul
Bissonnette, Phoenix Coyotes
-- "R.I.P. Rick Rypien. 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. #hitmewithboth" -- Mike
Commodore, Detroit Red Wings
-- "Awful news about the passing of Rick Rypien, Rest in Peace." -- Ryan
Whitney, Edmonton Oilers
-- "This is just terrible. R.I.P. Rick. You were a great teammate and friend." -
- Bill Sweatt, Manitoba Moose
-- "Thoughts and prayers go out to Rick Rypien's family. Another good
soldier leaving us too soon!" -- Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers
-- "Sad to hear about the loss of another great guy... condolences to the
friends and family of Rick Rypien. R.I.P." -- Ryan Jones, Edmonton Oilers
-- "Tough news to hear about Rick Rypien... another sad day for hockey.
played the game as hard as anyone.. my prayers to him and his family." --
Matt Moulson, New York Islanders
-- "Terrible news about Rick Rypien...thoughts and prayers go out to him
and his family...always sad to see a death in the hockey world #R.I.P." --
Matt Carle, Philadelphia Flyers
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011
576601     Winnipeg Jets                                                            "Look at Kris King, he's a vice-president with the NHL. What about Ken
                                                                                    Baumgartner? He's an investment banker and Stu Grimson is a lawyer,"
                                                                                    said the former player.
Fighting for their livelihood Stop the madness                                      All true, but not reason enough to look past the burned out human shells so
                                                                                    many fighters become. Some are strong enough to survive this torturous
                                                                                    existence, but that's no reason to let it continue.
Gary Lawless
                                                                                    End it. End it now, NHL.
                                                                                    Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011
Rick Rypien fought for a living and so did Derek Boogaard and today
they're both dead.
Boogaard died following an accidental overdose earlier this summer and
Rypien was found dead in his home on Monday.
To suggest fighting in hockey killed these men would be a ridiculous
oversimplification. But to say it had no part in the issues that besieged both
NHL tough guys would be just as off base.
Bare-knuckle fighting on command in the course of a hockey game is not
only barbaric and physically destructive, but can also be tragically
damaging to the minds of the men who choose to engage in it.
The evidence of lives ravaged by the role of enforcer in the NHL is long:
Dave Semenko, Louie DeBrusk, John Kordic, Bob Probert. Now Boogaard
and Rypien.
All dealt with emotional troubles off the ice and all had tough guy roles on it.
There's a connection. It's undeniable.
The physical damage, in particular post-concussion syndrome, is more than
enough reason to remove fighting from hockey. The continuing evidence of
what the job psychologically does to human beings is beyond damning.
Any argument for keeping fighting in the game is now without merit. The
ride of demeaning, base violence is over. The NHL must act and it must do
so swiftly. Newly anointed player safety czar Brendan Shanahan needs to
make this his top priority.
Fans who say they love hockey and its players must demand it. Fighting
must go. Don Cherry's pleas to keep it in the game must be disregarded as
misinformed rubbish.
"It's their job and no once forced them to take the job," a reporter who
covers the NHL told me on Monday night when I suggested fighting plays a
role in the destruction of too many players' lives.
Fine. If they can't help themselves, let's help do it for them. The detrimental
effects far outweigh any anecdotal theories about keeping the game honest.
Sports Illustrated's Michael Farber looked at the lot in life of a hockey fighter
back in 1997.
"I can look back and say fighting's pretty much given me a life, but it's also
kind of destroyed my life," DeBrusk told Farber. "The fact that I am a fighter
on the ice and the difficulties I've had with that job definitely brought me to
drink a few times. I'd go out after a game and all I could think of was the
pressure I had on me during the game. Maybe I didn't fight. There'd be the
guilt that I didn't fight, the feeling of worthlessness, I guess. Then I'd go out
and drink myself into oblivion and maybe I'd get into a fight later. I've been
advised by people who have helped me in rehab not to go back to my job."
Farber spoke to players on a number of teams and while there were some,
Tie Domi among them, that enjoyed the work of punching another person in
the face, overall the job provided little personal fulfilment.
"We've all had that oh-I-think-my-girlfriend's-pregnant feeling, that sick-to-
your-stomach feeling when you have to do something you don't want to do,"
said Kelly Chase. "It's like when you've had somebody in school organize a
fight for you. You know that at 3:30 you've got to go out and have that fight.
That's how I feel every game and probably how I've felt since junior hockey.
Eventually that's what chases a lot of guys away from the game."
Winnipeg Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger was unwilling to link the deaths
of Boogaard and Rypien to fighting on Tuesday.
"I can't answer that question because I can't speak for him. But there seems
to be a developing trend there," said Heisinger.
One former NHLer told me on Monday that fighting needed to be looked at,
but there was evidence of lots of players who walked away from the role
emotionally intact.
576602     Winnipeg Jets


Player's passing stuns lifelong Canucks fan


By: Jonathan McDonald


VANCOUVER -- Rick Rypien was five-foot-11, 190 pounds. Hal Gill was
six-foot-seven, 240 pounds. A punch-up mismatch if there ever was one.
And that's why Ellen Ransford loved Rypien. That's why she has a photo of
the Rypien-Gill fight, which happened during a Vancouver Canucks tilt with
the Montreal Canadiens in 2009, on the wall of her home.
"He was punching up, because he was small," says Ransford, a Canucks
fan from Richmond, B.C. "He didn't back down from anybody."
Rypien's sudden death Monday stunned Canucks fans, considering the 27-
year-old tough guy had spent six years with the organization. No one was
stunned more than Ransford, who's enveloped her entire life in all things
Canucks.
That's why Ransford encouraged her 17-year-old daughter Alex to set up a
"celebration of life" for Rypien Wednesday afternoon at Roger Neilson's
statue outside Rogers Arena. Alex and Ellen will bring books of condolence,
which she hopes the Canucks will give to Rypien's family.
"I was so happy for him," Ransford says of Rypien, who signed during the
off-season with the Winnipeg Jets after a troubled final season with the
Canucks. "He was getting a fresh start."
Rypien was suspended for six games last October after he attacked a fan in
the stands at the Xcel Energy Center during a game between the visiting
Canucks and Minnesota Wild. Then, in late November, the Canucks
granted Rypien an extended personal leave.
He returned to pro hockey in March, playing his final games with the AHL
Manitoba Moose.
When Rypien first showed up to Winnipeg, he spoke about his four-month
absence and was surprisingly candid for a player who'd normally been tight-
lipped. "It's a personal matter, a rare issue," Rypien said, without disclosing
exactly why he'd been gone. "Even though it's taken me away from hockey
and the game I love, doing the work I've done the last couple of months I've
made a lot of gains as a person."
Ransford has invested a lot of time and effort as a Canucks fan. She and
Alex were regular visitors to Canucks practices during last spring's playoff
run, and went to the airport to greet the team. The Canucks, she says, have
helped make her relationship with her daughter closer.
Ransford acknowledges she didn't know Rypien and isn't quite positive why
she's so upset.
"I'm still trying to figure that out," said Ransford. "We see the Canucks as a
family. I call them my boys.
"He was one of my boys."
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011
576603     Winnipeg Jets


Up close and personal with... TOBIAS ENSTROM


Staff Writer


The rookies will gather in Penticton, B.C., on Sept. 11 and the main camp
opens Sept. 17. The Winnipeg Jets are gearing up for their return to the
NHL and opening night vs. the Montreal Canadiens Oct. 9 at the MTS
Centre. During the next few weeks, we will provide you with an up-close
look at some of the players who are expected to be in the team's starting
lineup when it hits the ice against the legendary Habs. Today we feature
defenceman Tobias Enstrom.
39 TOBIAS
ENSTROM
DEFENCE
NUMBER: 39
HEIGHT: 5-10
WEIGHT: 180
SHOOTS: LEFT
BORN: Nov. 5, 1984 (AGE 26)
BIRTHPLACE: NORDINGRA, SWEDEN
DRAFTED: Atlanta / 2003 NHL ENTRY DRAFT
(eighth round, 239th overall)
?óó Played five seasons with MoDo in Sweden before coming to the NHL
and playing four seasons
with the Thrashers
?óó Played for Sweden in the 2010 Olympics
?óó Has represented Sweden six times in International play
?óó Plays tennis in the off-season
?óó Top hockey memory is winning the Swedish Elite League title with
MoDo
?óó Likes rap and hip hop
TRANSACTIONS: Selected by the Thrashers in the eighth round, 239th
overall, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
SEASON TEAM GP G A P +/- PIM PP SH GW S S% 2010-2011
THRASHERS 72 10 41 51 -10 54 6 0 0 113 8.8
NHL TOTALS 318 26 145 171 -6 178 14 1 1 413 6.3
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011
576604     Winnipeg Jets


Rypien will be missed: Heisinger


Ed Tait


Rick Rypien will be remembered as a man who was respected by his
opponents and teammates.
But what was further hammered home at a press conference Tuesday
afternoon -- a day after the 27-year-old’s sudden passing to what RCMP
are calling a ‘non-suspicious sudden death’ – was just how adored Rypien
was by those in the Winnipeg Jet/Manitoba Moose organization.
"He was a simple guy who had a pretty easy home life and who barely had
a bank account," said Moose assistant GM Craig Heisinger during a media
availability Tuesday in which he occasionally struggled to fight back tears .
"He was just a simple guy with some issues to deal with. There’s a lot I’m
going to miss about him."
Those issues included a decade-long battle with depression that saw him
take two leaves of absence during his days with the Vancouver Canucks.
But after signing with the Jets as a free agent last month everyone who had
spoken with Rypien this summer commented on how he seemed refreshed,
rejuvenated and ready to continue to win over fans and management with
his high-energy and spirited approach to every shift.
But when Rypien failed to arrive in Winnipeg Sunday night for an MRI on
his knee Monday morning – and just hours after checking with Heisinger
about whether there was ice available for him to skate on -- then some
alarm bells began to clang. He was also scheduled to run his annual
hockey school in Coleman, Alberta this week but did not appear before
RCMP in Crowsnest Pass confirmed his death Monday night.
Heisinger said he was aware of some of the details of Rypien’s death but
opted to leave the possible release of them to the family’s discretion.
"There were no drug or alcohol issues... depression is the right word," said
Heisinger. "I think he had a fantastic summer, but obviously that wasn’t the
case. Every communication I had with him I didn’t see anything different
than that. He seemed really excited to be back here. I think there was a
comfort zone here for him. He had an apartment all set up and was ready to
go. So the question being, did we see any signs? No, we didn’t.
"I thought for sure he had made strides... I was happy for him because I
knew how much he wanted to play here and there was a 100 per cent level
of comfort for him here. This is all hard to put into words. It’s been a
challenging 24 hours. I’m hoping to not have to deal with this again. You
learn lessons from these things. Rick always spoke about once he had this
situation under control about trying to speak out and help other people. At
the end of the day I’m hoping something like that comes out of this. I guess
I’m having trouble seeing how it will right now."
First signed by the Moose in 2005 after a career with the WHL’s Regina
Pats, Rypien won over doubters with his style of play. Undrafted in the NHL,
he still played 119 games with the Canucks, chipping in offensively, playing
responsibly in his own end and offering a level of toughness that was
respected for a player a couple inches shy of six feet and well under 200
pounds.
"The Canucks were really supportive of Ryp through his time, not only
through injury but through the time he had to leave to deal with his issues,"
Heisinger said. "The Canucks never questioned anything. They paid him
right through and the level of support they showed him was phenomenal.
And from a Moose perspective he started his career here and he finished
his career here.
"I think he gave a lot more back to us than we gave to him."
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011
576605    Winnipeg Jets


Rypien's death hits NHL hard


Ed Tait


News of the death of Winnipeg Jet forward Rick Rypien has hit the National
Hockey League hard.
Players, including current and former teammates, along with NHL Players
Association Executive Director Don Fehr have been quick to react through
Twitter and other social media after Rypien was found dead in his home in
Coleman, Alberta Monday afternoon. RCMP have determined it to be a
‘non-suspicious sudden death.’
Said Fehr in a statement released by the NHLPA Tuesday morning:
"All Players and NHLPA staff are saddened to learn of Rick’s passing. He
was a respected member of our Association and will be greatly missed
throughout the hockey community. Our sincere condolences go out to
Rick’s family, friends and many fans."
Rypien, 27, was popular with fans and in locker rooms wherever he played,
including here in Winnipeg with the Manitoba Moose. He was signed by the
Jets in July to a one-year $700,000 contract and was said to be excited
about his return to Manitoba.
Still dealing with the passing of New York Rangers enforcer Derek
Boogaard in May, NHL players have been devastated by another loss to
their fraternity. Among the reactions:
"Sad to hear about Rick Rypien. I was looking forward to playing with him in
Winnipeg. Thoughts are with his family and friends." -- Winnipeg Jets’
captain Andrew Ladd.
"Unbelievably sad news on the passing of Rick Rypien. One of the toughest
players I ever played against. Thoughts and prayers with his family." — Eric
Fehr, Winnipeg Jets
"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." — George
Parros, Anaheim Ducks
"RIP Rick Rypien. 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. #hitmewithboth" — Mike
Commodore, Detroit Red Wings
"Awful news about the passing of Rick Rypien, Rest in Peace." — Ryan
Whitney, Edmonton Oilers
"Thoughts and prayers go out to Rick Rypien’s family. Another good soldier
leaving us too soon!" — Michael Del Zotto, New York Rangers
"Tough news to hear about Rick Rypien... another sad day for hockey.
played the game as hard as anyone.. my prayers to him and his family." —
Matt Moulson, New York Islanders
"RIP RIck Rypien. Hockey world takes another hit. Thoughts with his
family." — Logan Couture, San Jose Sharks
Terrible news about Rick Rypien...thoughts and prayers go out to him and
his family...always sad to see a death in the hockey world #RIP" — Matt
Carle, Philadelphia Flyers
Meanwhile, hockey fans in Vancouver were planning a celebration of life for
Rick Rypien near the statue of Roger Neilson just outside of Rogers Arena.
Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011
576606     Winnipeg Jets                                                             "He was a guy who wouldn't back down from anyone. He was a guy that
                                                                                     was definitely fearless," Jaffray said. "He wasn't one of those tough guys
                                                                                     that was just out there to fight.
Former teammate: Rypien talked about bringing Stanley Cup to Winnipeg                "The guy could skate 100 miles an hour and he worked extremely hard at
                                                                                     becoming a good hockey player."

Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press                                                    Canucks fans set up a small memorial outside Rogers Arena, pasting
                                                                                     posters and flowers to a concrete pillar and arranging candles in the shape
                                                                                     of Rypien's No. 37.

WINNIPEG - After taking time away from his NHL career to battle                      "No matter who was your favourite player, he was one of those players
depression, Rick Rypien finally appeared to be in a good place.                      who, any time the team wanted energy or a spark, he was always the one
                                                                                     to inject it," said Calvin Ng, a 22-year-old from suburban Port Moody, B.C.
The scrappy centre, formerly with the Vancouver Canucks, recently signed
with the Winnipeg Jets along with longtime friend Jason Jaffray. He                  Don Fehr, the executive director of the NHL Players' Association, said
appeared content and at peace and talked about the possibility of winning            Rypien will be missed.
the Stanley Cup.
                                                                                     “All players and NHLPA staff are saddened to learn of Rick’s passing," he
That's why news of Rypien's sudden death Monday came as a shock to                   said in a statement. "He was a respected member of our association and
Jaffray and others who watched Rypien battle his way, physically and                 will be greatly missed throughout the hockey community.
mentally, into the NHL.
                                                                                     "Our sincere condolences go out to Rick’s family, friends and many fans.”
"Everyone knew he had some issues that he had to get taken care of last
year and he was definitely a new man when he came back and ... he was                NHL commissioner Gary Bettman offered similar sentiments.
definitely the happiest I'd ever seen him," Jaffray said Tuesday from his            "The National Hockey League sends its deepest condolences to the family,
home in Olds, Alta. "We actually had joked around about bringing a Cup               friends and teammates of Rick Rypien, who played the game with so much
back to Winnipeg."                                                                   energy and emotion and whose passing fills us all with a sense of
Rypien was scheduled to fly to Winnipeg on Sunday night to have his knee             immeasurable sadness and sorrow," he said.
checked Monday, Jets assistant general manager Craig Heisinger said. But             Fans created a Facebook tribute page shortly after the reports of Rypien's
he never boarded that flight.                                                        death surfaced. Former and current teammates posted condolences on
"He had left me a message Sunday morning ... he just wanted to know                  Twitter.
whether there was ice to skate at," Heisinger said during a news conference          "R.I.P. to a fellow (No.) 37 sorry to see ya go, nicest guy I played with my
Tuesday. "I spent some time trying to track him down (Monday) and was                time in Vancouver, sorry to see ya go buddy, see ya on the other side,"
unable to do so."                                                                    posted former teammate Brad Lukowich.
Rypien had been dealing with depression for at least a decade, said                  Brendan Morrison, another former Canucks teammate, also posted a tweet.
Heisinger, who was the GM of the Manitoba Moose when Rypien played for
the AHL team. By the summer, Heisinger said, Rypien appeared to have                 "In disbelief about Ripper. Sat beside him in the locker room in Van. Such a
gained the upper hand.                                                               good kid with a huge heart Thoughts with his family," Morrison said.
"He seemed really excited to be back here," Heisinger said. "I think there           Rypien is the second active NHL player found dead in the off-season.
was a comfort zone here for him.                                                     Former New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died in May due to an
                                                                                     accidental mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone.
"Either something happened very quickly or we all missed the boat."
                                                                                     Rypien — the cousin of former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien — left the
The Jets and Canucks confirmed Rypien's death in statements Monday                   Canucks twice over three years to deal with undisclosed personal matters.
night. The RCMP in Crowsnest Pass, Alta., said they received a call
Monday afternoon concerning a "sudden and non-suspicious" death.                     Rypien, a native of Coleman, Alta., made headlines last October when he
                                                                                     pushed a Minnesota Wild fan after leaving the ice following a fight during a
There was no immediate word on the cause of death.                                   game in St. Paul. Rypien was handed a six-game suspension and later
Rypien, 27, spent parts of six seasons with the Canucks organization. He             apologized for the incident.
played only nine games with Vancouver last season and spent most of the              Rypien had two assists in 11 games with the Moose last season.
year dealing with personal issues.
                                                                                     — with files from James Keller in Vancouver and Greg Strong in Toronto.
Jaffray, who played with Rypien in both Vancouver and Winnipeg, said
Rypien did not talk much about his troubles.                                         Winnipeg Free Press LOADED 08.17.2011
"Even being his roommate, and on the road we did pretty much everything
together ... he didn't like to talk about that kind of stuff a whole lot," Jaffray
said. "And guys knew not to pry because when you did try to pry, he kind of
got uncomfortable."
Rypien had been getting treatment, although Canucks GM Mike Gillis would
not go into great detail.
"Over the course of the last three seasons, we participated in a variety of
different initiatives with him and we were all really close with him," Gillis said
Tuesday in Toronto. "We had an understanding of what we thought was
going on and had a number of outside agencies involved in assisting us and
we felt we were on course.
"We felt he was making progress in a lot of different areas. When he signed
with Winnipeg, we were all really happy for him."
Rypien had signed a one-year, US$700,000 deal with the Jets. He had nine
goals, seven assists and 226 penalty minutes in 119 career games with
Vancouver.
Although small in stature, the five-foot-11, 190-pound Rypien never shied
away from a fight. His tenacity made him a fan favourite.
576607     Winnipeg Jets                                                         Otherwise, it’s senseless.
                                                                                 “Rick always spoke about, once he had his situation under control, about
                                                                                 trying to speak out and help other people,” Heisinger said. “At the end of the
Lessons from Rypien tragedy                                                      day, I hope something like this comes out of this.
                                                                                 “I guess I’m having trouble trying to see how it will. But I suppose at the end
By PAUL FRIESEN, QMI Agency                                                      of the day, if Rick’s a lot happier today than he was yesterday, I’m happy for
                                                                                 him.”
                                                                                 That Rypien was strong enough to get help speaks to his toughness.
WINNIPEG - Mental health. The very words carry a stigma.
                                                                                 That he lost this fight speaks to the seriousness of his illness.
For some reason, we don’t want to talk about illness in our brains, often
brought on by chemical imbalances.                                               We should all take note.

We’re conditioned to think it’s a sign of weakness. And if you’re an athlete,    Winnipeg Sun LOADED 08.17.2011
you don’t want to show weakness.
If you’re a hockey player who sweats nails and carries a reputation as
someone who’d take on a steamroller, even more reason to keep your
demons locked inside.
Rick Rypien’s got out the other day, killing him at the age of 27.
And leaving everybody who came into contact with him on a regular basis
wondering what they could have done to save him.
Tanner Glass, his linemate in Vancouver and fellow Winnipeg Jets free
agent signing, wondered it aloud over the phone from the West Coast.
“One of the first things that goes through your head is, ‘What could I have
done? Could I have helped him?’” Glass said. “He was such a tough guy,
and wasn’t a guy to talk about his emotions and feelings. As a friend, you
wish you would have tried a bit more.”
Here in Winnipeg, Jets assistant GM Craig Heisinger, part of Rypien’s inner
support group, grappled with the tragedy as well as his own emotions in a
courageous meeting with the local media.
“I never got any indication there was something that was going to trigger it,”
Heisinger said. “I never got the sense there were any problems all summer.
I spoke to other people in his support group and none of us had that sense.
And that’s a small, tight-knit group.
“So either something happened very quickly, or we all missed the boat.”
How about this: we all miss the boat on this one, regularly.
How many of us have made a snide remark about somebody having “a few
screws loose,” or seeing a “shrink.”
Mental illness carries a stigma because we allow it to.
We don’t understand it, so we mock it.
Twice in the last three years, Rypien left the Vancouver Canucks to deal
with what everybody simply called “personal issues.”
Had he said he was seeking psychiatric help, you can bet he would have
heard the catcalls from the stands when he returned.
Next season, Rypien was planning to show us another side of himself.
He’d talked to his agent about how this was going to be a breakout year,
where he’d show us all he wasn’t just a fourth-liner with quick feet and rock-
hard fists.
More importantly, he’d come to realize he could use his struggles to help
others.
“The more that I go on, the more I can talk about it,” Rypien told reporters
the day he returned from treatment to sign with the Manitoba Moose, in
March. “Hopefully, one day I can help other hockey players that might be
experiencing difficulty with whatever they’re dealing with off the ice.”
Watching from Vancouver, Glass saw his old linemate on TV that day and
smiled.
“He looked great,” Glass said. “He had a sparkle in his eyes.”
This week, he’s left tears in everybody else’s.
“It’s a real challenge,” Heisinger acknowledged. “It’s hard to put into words.
But you learn lessons from these things.”
We’d better.
576608      Winnipeg Jets                                                         “It caught guys off guard because of his size, but after a little while, you
                                                                                  could see guys were very hesitant to fight him.
                                                                                  “I don’t know much about fighting, it’s not my job description, but he was
Morrison recalls Rypien's respect                                                 technical and very smart. Just incredible.”
                                                                                  Unfortunately, Rypien couldn’t punch out his demons.
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency                                                      “Because we’re in the spotlight, a lot of times guys are painted as invincible,
                                                                                  but we have everyday issues people go through and the everyday problems
                                                                                  of life,” Morrison said quietly. “He was a great kid. It’s shocking for a lot of
CALGARY - The Images every hockey fan has of Rick Rypien are the                  people what happened.
scraps.
                                                                                  “Such a very unfortunate situation.”
The former Vancouver Canucks forward who recently signed with the
Winnipeg Jets and was found dead Monday at his home in Coleman, Alta.,            Winnipeg Sun LOADED 08.17.2011
had his share of tilts.
And, despite his size, Rypien won more than his share of those NHL fights,
too.
Brendan Morrison has another image of his former Canucks stall neighbour,
a quiet and respectful young man who every teammate loved playing with.
“When he first got called up, he sat beside me in the locker-room for a long,
long time, and was a great kid,” Morrison recalled Tuesday from his off-
season home in Tofino, B.C. “He had a tremendous amount of respect for
all the guys in the locker-room. He respected the game, the coaching staff,
everybody.
“Everybody liked him because he had a great heart and was a fantastic
teammate. He’d do anything for his teammates.
“It’s a tragedy.”
Rypien, who was 27, battled depression for many years, Jets assistant GM
Craig Heisinger told media members yesterday.
It’s why the gritty forward twice was given a leave of absence from the
Canucks organization.
Morrison, who was a teammate for parts of three season (2005-06 through
2007-08), said those issues weren’t known at that time.
“When I played with him, I don’t think anybody on the team knew there was
an issue or he was battling things,” Morrison said. “It was never something
talked about or brought up. It was never something you even noticed with
him.
“The first time I heard about it was last year.
“I’d be very surprised if anybody who played with him up until the last two or
three years knew about it. It was something he kept close to the vest.
“Talking to some guys, it seemed he was getting help and was in a good
state of mind,” Morrison continued. “It’s hard to comment, because unless
you’re affected by a mental issue, you don’t know what a guy is going
through.
“It’s so unfortunate to see a guy with his whole life in front of him have this
happen to him.”
Rypien skated in 119 NHL games and collected nine goals, seven assists
and 226 penalty minutes.
He played just nine games with the Canucks last season and was
suspended for six games after shoving a fan in Minnesota following an on-
ice altercation on Oct. 19. A month later, he took his second leave of
absence.
Rypien rejoined the Manitoba Moose late in the season and played 18
games, including playoffs. He signed a free-agent contract with the Jets
July 2.
The battler appeared to be on track and ready to resume his role in the
NHL.
“I don’t know if you can print these words, but he had elephant balls,”
Morrison said. “He would fight anyone and everybody, regardless of their
size.
“When he got called up, we’d heard he played the game hard and was a
tough kid, but nobody had any idea how he’d do.
“Then we’d see him fight and be going, ‘Holy crap, what just happened?’ He
would throw lefts. He’d throw rights. He’d switch up and just destroy guys.
576609     Winnipeg Jets


Rypien family floored


By RANDY SPORTAK


CALGARY - Two weeks ago, Mark Rypien golfed with Rick Rypien in
Spokane, Wash.
On Tuesday, the Super Bowl XXVI MVP was like the rest of the family,
trying to come to grips with the death of the NHL player.
“It’s so surreal. Here one day and gone the next,” Mark Rypien said from
Spokane.
“He was a young man whose best years were still ahead of him. From our
family’s standpoint, it’s been a sad day and a half.”
Rick Rypien, who spent several years with the Vancouver Canucks
organization and signed this summer with the Winnipeg Jets, was found
dead Monday in his family’s home in Coleman, Alta. A source says he took
his own life.
He was 27.
The professional athletes were cousins.
Rick Rypien’s grandfather and Mark Rypien’s father were brothers, but
even though they were distant relatives, and from different countries, they
were close.
In fact, Mark, who played hockey himself, was as big of fan of Rick’s as so
many young football players admired him.
Five years ago, when he was in Calgary — where he was born — for the
Henry Burris All-Star Weekend for Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Mark
Rypien was beaming about his cousin’s rise in the hockey ranks, and how
much he achieved through hard work.
“He does the little things — digs the puck out, drops the mittens if he has to
and kills penalties,” he said at the time.
In April, the former star quarterback posted on his Twitter account: “Good
luck Rypper and the Manitoba Moose as they head into the AHL playoffs.”
Two weeks ago, they were on the links together.
“From seeing him two weeks ago and now he’s not with us anymore, it’s
really tough,” Mark said. “It’s tough to think we were on a golf course having
a cold beverage laughing and giggling, and here we are putting a young kid
way too young into the ground.
“I’ve been there before with my own child and it’s not how the circle of life is
supposed to be. You’re not supposed to put your children into the ground
before yourselves.
“It’s a tough day.”
Mark Rypien’s son, Andrew, died of cancer when he was three years old.
Rypien, whose 13-year NFL career included two Pro Bowl selections and a
pair of NFL titles, returned home Tuesday after participating in charity golf
tournament for victims of the April tornadoes which killed more than 300
people in the southern U.S. One of his daughters, Ambre, attended the
University of Alabama.
Much of Tuesday was spent trying to find out when services would be held
for Rick and making arrangements to attend.
“My thoughts are more with his immediate family,” Mark Rypien siad. “I ask
all, hockey fan or not, Canadian or American, whatever, to think of them at
this time.”
As for how Mark Rypien wants to remember his cousin, he said:
“I think of the wonderful, infectious smile he carried around with him.”
Winnipeg Sun LOADED 08.17.2011
576610     Winnipeg Jets


Vancouver fans mourn Rypien


By STEPHANIE IP


VANCOUVER - Wearing a Canucks shirt and hat, Joy Sodmuy held back
tears as she taped a small poster to a concrete pillar outside Rogers Arena.
The words, “Good Canadian kid” are written in blue and green.
“He’s a real fighter. He’s just a small guy with a really big heart,” Sodmuy
said of former Canucks player, Rick Rypien, found dead in his Alberta home
Monday.
But as fans mourned the loss of Rypien, long speculated to be dealing with
mental health issues, some are calling on the league to do more for their
players in light of the stressful nature of professional sports.
“I’d like to see more transparency with regards to what the NHL is doing to
make sure players are emotionally healthy,” said fan Kelli Leone, citing the
death of former New York Ranger Derek Boogaard in May due to a mixture
of alcohol and painkillers. “We hear about the people who take care of their
bodies … but not the psychologist. This is a good place where they can …
take the stigma off mental health.”
A fan memorial is scheduled for today at the memorial site where tea lights
on the ground spell out Rypien’s initials and number – 37. Markers are
taped next to a poster board, a collection of fan messages already
overlapping.
“Thanks for standing up for the boys,” read one message.
“You kept it classy, you kept it clean, you kept it pro,” said another.
George Bonofas attended the site on his lunch break.
“I need to be here for Rick, to honour him,” said the 18-year-old, adding the
death was a shock. Rypien recently signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with
the Winnipeg Jets, leading Bonofas to believe the player had conquered his
demons.
Winnipeg Sun LOADED 08.17.2011
576611     Winnipeg Jets


Rypien mourned across league


By PAUL FRIESEN


WINNIPEG - The sudden death of forward Rick Rypien continued to send
shock waves through the hockey world, Tuesday.
Tributes poured in, too, as fans in Vancouver created a makeshift memorial
to the former Canuck outside Rogers Arena, while flags outside the MTS
Centre in Winnipeg flew at half mast.
The Alberta native’s sudden death hit close to home in Winnipeg, where
Rypien began and ended his pro career with the AHL’s Manitoba Moose —
and where he was planning to start fresh after signing with the NHL’s Jets
this summer.
The 27-year-old was supposed to be here when he was found dead at his
home in Coleman, Alb., early Monday afternoon.
“He seemed really excited to be back here,” Jets assistant GM Craig
Heisinger said. “There was a comfort zone here for him. He had an
apartment all set up. He was ready to go. Did we see any signs? No, I
didn’t.”
Heisinger, though, knew Rypien suffered from depression for the last 10
years or so, a condition that twice caused him to take leaves of absence
from the Canucks, the latest causing him to miss most of last season.
“I for sure thought he’d made strides,” Heisinger said. “And I still believe
that.”
Former Canucks teammate Tanner Glass, who also signed with the Jets
this summer, certainly thought so when he saw TV coverage of Rypien
returning to hockey with the Moose, late last season.
“He looked great,” Glass said from Vancouver. “He had a sparkle in his
eyes.”
Glass heard of Rypien’s death from former Canucks teammates Aaron
Rome and Cory Schneider, Monday night.
“It was shocking,” he said. “One of the first things that goes through your
head is, ‘What could I have done? Could I have helped him?’ ”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHL Players Association boss Don
Fehr issued statements expressing their grief.
In Toronto, Canucks GM Mike Gillis said he was shocked about Rypien’s
death, given his apparent improvement over the last several months.
“It sounded like he was in a great place,” Gillis said. “I’m just extremely
shocked and disappointed.”
Gillis declined to talk about the treatment the Canucks helped Rypien seek.
“We relied on experts and we relied on both the NHLPA and the NHL
doctors,” Gillis said. “We relied on different facilities. We relied on lots of
people. There is no blueprint. I think it ebbs and flows depending on
circumstances that are beyond your control, often.
“As anybody knows, who’s dealt with these issues in the past, there’s no
answer, there’s no defined course of action. If there was, we’d all be better
off.”
Winnipeg Sun LOADED 08.17.2011
576612     Websites                                                               I was so fond of Rypien because in a small way he made me into a tougher
                                                                                  person. I’m naturally shy and it hasn’t always been easy to stand up for
                                                                                  myself. Rypien always stood up for himself on the ice no matter what the
NBCSports.com / Fans, former teammates and foes remember Rick Rypien              other guy looked like. When I wear my Rypien jersey I feel tough. I stand up
                                                                                  taller and I walk with swagger as the kids are saying these days. I can
                                                                                  handle myself. It’s silly but it’s true.

James O'Brien                                                                     Alanah McGinley looks back at Rypien’s leave of absence and struggles
                                                                                  with depression.
                                                                                  In all honesty, I don’t know whether Rypien could have ever been a great
Many people were stunned by the sad news that former Vancouver                    deal more than the player that he was, but I do firmly believe he was more
Canucks tough guy Rick Rypien died at the age of 27. Canucks fans quickly         than just some random tough guy. He voluntarily risked a promising and
put together plans to mourn his death (or “celebrate his life”) at Rogers         lucrative career in order to try healing his personal demons. Living in the
Arena on Wednesday, while a makeshift memorial has already been                   public eye—not to mention within the tough-guy culture of hockey—that
constructed, according to the Vancouver Sun.                                      took a lot of guts.
While this is by no means a comprehensive collection (there are simply too        The NHL isn’t a business that tolerates imperfection well, largely because it
many recollections and dedications out there), here are a few more articles,      doesn’t have to. While it may sound cruel, there are too many players of
Tweets and other items from fans, former teammates and even a few                 Rypien’s skill level to make anyone irreplaceable. But in spite of that, he
former opponents of Rypien. Feel free to share some of your own favorite          stepped away from his hockey career more than once in order to take care
stories about the enforcer in the comments.                                       of himself, and then fought his way back into the business. Literally and
                                                                                  figuratively.
Former teammates and opponents
                                                                                  Again, these are just two of the fan reactions and a handful of player
Jeff Marek did a great job of collecting some of the most notable Twitter
                                                                                  tributes; there are a lot more out there. Hopefully this gives you a better
tributes. Here are a handful of the most interesting ones.
                                                                                  idea about who Rypien was and what he meant to fans and teammates
Andrew Ladd (@aladd16): Sad to hear about Rick Rypien. I was looking              alike.
forward to playing with him in Winnipeg. Thoughts are with his family and
                                                                                  NBCSports.com / LOADED: 08.17.2011
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.
Bill Sweatt (@billysweatt): Tragic story. #rickrypien found dead. This is just
terrible. RIP rick. You were a great teammate and friend.
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
The National Post’s Tim Campbell caught up with Jason Jaffray, Rypien’s
former teammate with the both the Canucks and the AHL’s Manitoba
Moose. Jaffray seemed to be one of the people who took Rypien’s death
the hardest.
“Rick was a guy everybody loved having on his team,” Jaffray said Monday
night from his home in Olds, Alta. “You hated to play against him. You loved
him in your dressing room because you knew he’d have your back,
especially if your top-end guys were run over or taken advantage of. He be
the first to step up.
“He cared, and you loved him in there having your back. He was one of
those foot soldiers that brings the team together.”
Jaffray also echoed the sentiments of many other players, who found it
remarkable that Rypien was willing to fight enforcers who often held
massive height and/or weight advantages over him.
Read this post for statements from the Canucks, the Winnipeg Jets (who
recently signed him to a one-year contract) and the NHLPA.
Fan reactions
Again, it’s nearly impossible to capture the downpour of emotions from fans
regarding Rypien’s death. Here are some of the reactions that we came
across in the last several hours, though.
Alixis Wright provided a very personal account of one of her favorite
players, whom she gave the unlikely nickname “Mermaid.”
I didn’t know Rypien; not personally. But he was important and special to
me in that sort of strange, inexplicable fan with a favourite player kind of
way. When I went to training camp in 2009, Rypien sat on the ice to stretch
and looked exactly like a mermaid. Mermaid was probably the most
ridiculous nickname in history for one of the toughest fighters in the league
but that’s what I called him from then on. He was fun to watch, fighting guys
much taller and heavier than he was and making it look graceful. He was
fast and an underrated passer. I really thought he had the potential to be
more than a fighter.
576613     Websites


NBCSports.com / Bill Daly on Islanders watch party: ‘We do not approve of
the use, based on what we know’


James O'Brien


By now, you’re probably aware – and depending on your allegiances or
viewpoints on celebrating violence, maybe irate – about the New York
Islanders’ plan to host a watch party for their infamous February 11 game
against the Pittsburgh Penguins. (If you’re not, for the details on that
situation, with the viewing party planned for August 19.)
While I agree that event is in poor taste, it strikes me as the equivalent to
people who are obsessed with the “Saw” franchise. It’s not really something
I have any interest in, but if that’s their idea of a good time, then have at it.
There’s no denying that night’s existence despite the fact that most of the
hockey world would like to bury it alongside any memories of Bobby Orr
playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, so if the Islanders and their fans want
to bask in its ugly glow, then they should be allowed to do it.
There’s no denying that it isn’t a great idea for the image of the team or the
NHL, though, so it should be no surprise that the league isn’t thrilled about
the idea. USA Today’s Kevin Allen passed along word that the NHL is
“looking into it,” although it’s difficult to grasp what that entails.
“We do not approve of the use, based on what we know,” NHL deputy
commissioner Bill Daly said.
It’s an awkward situation for the NHL to be in, because it’s unclear what
they could do – or most importantly, how far they would want to go – to
make the whole thing go away. To little surprise, Penguins GM Ray Shero
didn’t seem very keen on the idea, either.
On if he has a problem with the Islanders planning a viewing party for the
Feb. 11 game:
The Islanders have a good, young hockey team and that’s what I think we
should be talking about. They should have a good year there for
themselves. What they’re doing off the ice – if they want to revisit (that
game), that’s fine. But that’s not a game we’re going to revisit. We’re going
to put that behind us. We’re not proud of it. It’s time to move on.
So the NHL and the Penguins disapprove of the Islanders’ viewing party,
along with a substantial chunk of the hockey populace. Again, I personally
view the Islanders as “that friend” who has a tendency to say all the wrong
things and generally look like a fool in this case; it’s not the recommended
course of action, but there might not be many better options than just letting
them have their misguided fun.
We’ll keep an eye out for any updates on this situation – especially if the
viewing party gets canceled – as its Friday launch rapidly approaches.
NBCSports.com / LOADED: 08.17.2011
576614     Websites                                                            So, in the case of so many, it gets unloaded at the bar. Or in the case of
                                                                               Probert and Boogaard, the dealer gets a call.
                                                                               Whatever led to the phone call that Alberta RCMP received just after 12
Sportsnet.ca / A tough loss                                                    p.m. Monday, concerning a "sudden and non-suspicious death," we may
                                                                               never know.

Mark Spector                                                                   But we know this for sure: it is seldom a 20-goal winger or power play
                                                                               defenceman whose home the cops arrive at when those calls are received.
                                                                               It’s no cliché, the words they use when they talk about what guys like
Like some enforcers before him, it appears Rick Rypien was fighting his        Rypien do.
own demons.
                                                                               It is, to be sure, the toughest job in hockey.
We won’t claim to have known Rick Rypien well.
                                                                               Too tough, sadly, for so many of them.
There were a few chats in a handful of dressing rooms over the years, but
never the kind of conversation that would qualify as relationship building.    Sportsnet.ca LOADED: 08.17.2011

But we’ve known plenty of players like Rypien over the years, and most – if
not all – filled the same role on the roster.
The tortured heavyweight has become a hockey cliché. Spend some time
around the game and you’ll see plenty of them.
Dave Semenko. Bob Probert. John Kordic. Louie DeBrusk. Derek
Boogaard.
All had a soft, off-ice side to them that could never reconcile with the
hardened fighter they had to be on the ice in order to take home that fat
National Hockey League paycheque.
So to quiet the demons, they chose drink, or drugs, or constant angst. And
it allowed them to deal with the behemoth who awaited in the next town, on
the next roster, or the children who looked up at them innocently and asked,
"Are you going to beat up so and so next game?"
So we won’t claim to know for sure where Rick Rypien’s troubles started.
We don’t yet know how (or why) he died at his home in southern Alberta’s
Crowsnest Pass, and we’ll likely never know for sure whether his demons
were there from birth, in some sort of chemical imbalance or bi-polar
disorder, or if they arrived later on.
Was he suffering from mental illness? And if so, why couldn’t it be treated?
Was he another player who gradually realized he would never be skilled
enough at the game not to have to punch for his paycheque? But perhaps
the longer he played, the less he could stomach what he had to do every
other night to hold his spot on the team.
"Rick has been a beloved member of the Canucks family for the past six
years," his former team said in a statement released Monday night. "Rick
was a great teammate and friend to our players, coaches and staff. We
send our deepest condolences to the Rypien family at this most difficult
time."
They’ll say that about any player who passes tragically at the young age of
27. But when you did what Rypien did, the part about being "a great
teammate" carried a little extra weight.
Rypien was that fourth-line cruiserweight, no heavyweight at 5-11 and 190
lbs. He was smaller than the Hal Gills, Ben Eagers, Boris Valabiks or Cody
McLeods, though he’d fought them all before.
Rypien was, pound-for-pound, as punishing a fighter as we can recall
seeing in years. Like a Wendel Clark in the old Norris Division, Rypien
regularly beat up Edmonton’s Zack Stortini, despite giving up five inches
and 25 lbs.
And that’s what always puzzles about players who do what these guys do.
They always look so comfortable in their craft when they set the ground
rules with a fellow enforcer while waiting for the puck to be dropped.
You never see the fear when they stand there in front of 18,000 fans, bare-
knuckle fighting under the glare of the TV cameras. But so many of them
speak later of how scared they were at that moment; how they barely got
out of the shower after the game when the thought of the tough guy from
tomorrow night’s opponent darkened their head space.
The toughest part, a fighter once told us, is that guys like Rypien could
never let that fear show. That there was no one to talk to about it.
Their persona is such a big part of the role as the protector on their team,
that there is nowhere for that player to unload his baggage.
576615     Websites                                                            Tuesday, the NHL is mourning another loss.
                                                                               USA TODAY LOADED: 08.17.2011
USA TODAY / Tributes pour in for NHL's Rick Rypien


By Mike Brehm, USA TODAY


Rick Rypien, the NHL tough guy who was found dead at his Alberta home
Monday, was receiving an outpouring of support over the Internet Tuesday.
Three fans on Facebook are setting up an impromptu memoriam
Wednesday for the popular former Canucks fourth-liner who signed with the
Winnipeg Jets during the summer. They are asking fans to gather near the
Roger Neilson statue at Vancouver's Rogers Arena at 2 p.m. PT.
"We plan to bring a big book for everyone to write their condolences in and
hopefully we will get the book to the Rypien family," fans Alex Ransford,
Folake Adesugba and Ellen Ransford wrote on the Facebook page.
Tributes poured in on Twitter from former teammates and opponents.
"I will always have the memories from Vancouver with Rick," wrote New
York Islanders forward Michael Grabner. "Also pound for pound was one of
the toughest guys out there."
Added Anaheim Ducks tough guy George Parros: "Rick Rypien will be
missed. He was the nicest guy, hung with him a few times in VAN…tough
as all hell too."
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Alberta said they received a call
Monday afternoon about a "sudden and non-suspicious" death. The Jets
and Canucks confirmed that it was Rypien, 27.
It's the NHL's second recent death. New York Rangers tough guy Derek
Boogaard was found dead in his Minnesota apartment in May, the result of
an accidental mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone.
Jets assistant general manager Craig Heisinger planned to hold a news
conference at 2:30 p.m. ET in Winnipeg's MTS Centre.
Rypien, the cousin of former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien, went undrafted
out of the Regina Pats and played parts of six seasons with the Canucks.
Otherwise, he played for their farm team, the Manitoba Moose of the
American Hockey League.
According to hockeyfights.com, Rypien had 38 NHL fights in his career,
including 20 during the 2009-10 season. Though 5-11, 195, he was willing
to take on bigger players. In one game against the Ottawa Senators last
season, he fought 6-4 Matt Carkner and 6-1 Chris Neil, both of whom top
210 pounds.
When he left the ice surface after an October fight, he shoved a Minnesota
Wild fan and received a six-game suspension. Several weeks after
returning, he went on a leave of absence to deal with an undisclosed
personal issue.
He later told the Winnipeg Free Press that the leave had nothing to do with
drugs, alcohol or substance abuse.
"It's a personal issue, a rare issue, what's going on," Rypien said then. "I
think I'm a good person who's had some bad luck along the way with some
unfortunate circumstances."
Rypien, an unrestricted free agent, jumped at the chance to join the Jets
this summer.
"I'm the most excited I've ever been," he said on a conference call after
signing a one-year, $700,000 deal. "Just the fact that I get to come back
where I started my professional career and kind of get my feet back on the
ground."
Rypien said it was a no-brainer to join up again with True North Sports and
Entertainment, who owned the Moose and purchased the Atlanta Thrashers
and moved them north.
"Probably the easiest thing it came down to was the character that those
guys have, how much they believe in me, the opportunity they've given me,
how much they've stuck by me, their loyalty to me," he said. "I just wanted
to be loyal back to them. … The fact that they went out of their way and
called me, it went a long way for me."

				
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