Canucks and Beyond
by Alanah McGinley on 08/20/11 at 05:29 PM ET
NHL toughguy Rick Rypien returned to the arena where he played his minor hockey in Saturday just days after his sudden death in his southern Alberta home.
Close to 1,000 people turned out on a bright sunny day at Albert Stella Arena in this Crowsnest Pass community for the funeral for Rypien, 27, who was found in his home in nearby Coleman earlier this week.
There’s not much more I can say about Rick Rypien that I haven’t already said. But I do think a lot of people have been affected by his death, more than they might have expected, so perhaps something good can come out of this. Not to say there’s anything ‘good’ about this horrible situation in itself, but maybe we’ll all be a little more aware, in our own lives, when we see people we know are struggling.
Of course, none of us can ‘save’ people, but maybe there’s a lesson in knowing that it doesn’t matter how privileged someone else’s life looks like from the outside, they can still use our help and understanding. It’s certainly a lesson that’s resonated with me… and I didn’t even know the man. But his uncle did, and he had this to say:
“My overwhelming question is why? How could this happen,”? said his uncle Allan Rypien Jr.
“He had a great family, great friends and a great job.”
Rypien said his nephew was battling a disease not unlike cancer.
“He fought this disease with everything he had in him,” he said. “If you knew Rick he fought with everything he had in him. Unfortunately the disease won the battle.”
Courtesy of a pointer from JJ,a look back at some of Rypien’s time on the ice…
You can also find his career fight card with videos over at hockeyfights.com.
CTV and the CP note that donations in memory of Rick Rypien will be accepted toward Kids’ Sport Alberta, if anyone wishes to contribute:
Kids’ Sport Alberta
“Crowsnest Pass Branch,”
Box 415, Blairmore, AB
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About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]