The Source.Former Vancouver Canucks tough guy Rick Rypien was found dead by a family member on Monday in Crowsnest Pass, Alta.
Rypien, who signed with the Winnipeg Jets in July, had missed most of last season because of a leave of absence from the Canucks for personal issues.
Local RCMP told The Globe and Mail on Monday night that the death was not suspicious.
Undrafted after three years with the Regina Pats, Rypien became a popular member of the Canucks’ fourth line beginning in 2005, racking up 226 penalty minutes in 119 games played over six seasons.
Off the ice, however, he battled depression, and his leave of absence last November was the second he took as a member of the team in the past three seasons.
Rypien was well known in Winnipeg after beginning his pro career there with the Manitoba Moose, the Canucks’ AHL affiliate, and the Jets gave him a chance to re-establish his career there when he was signed a one-year, $700,000 (U.S.) contract as a free agent this summer.
“Everyone that knows me, knows that everything that was happening didn’t reflect me as a person and it’s not like I was doing anything wrong,” Rypien told the Winnipeg Free Press at the time. “I went through a couple of things I had to deal with, I got over it – it took longer than I wanted.
“But just the interest people had in me and the belief people had in me … it means a lot to me. It makes me believe even more in myself. They see something in me as a person that maybe sometimes you don’t see yourself. They point that out and then you believe in yourself more and then hope you reach the potential they see and you see in yourself.”
Rypien, 27, is the second young NHL tough guy to die in the off-season. New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard was found dead in May with a mixture of alcohol and oxycodone in his system.
Rumour is that he hanged himself...not sure. Rest In Peace Rick,the Canucks organization and fans will miss you.