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The Center Of His Life

from Ian Brown of the Globe and Mail,

Mr. Rypien, 27, is the third National Hockey League enforcer to die prematurely in the past year. Derek Boogaard, 28, the former New York Rangers enforcer, expired in May from an overdose of alcohol and oxycodone. The supreme enforcer Bob Probert, no stranger to drugs and booze, collapsed unexpectedly last summer from a heart attack and couldn’t be revived. He was 45.

Mr. Rypien’s demon was depression; he needed two leaves of absence from the Canucks to fight “undisclosed personal problems,” and his father – a former Golden Gloves champion – admitted this week that depression has run in the family.

What he was suicidal about awaits disclosure; whether his depression was partly related to chronic traumatic encephalopathy caused by an enforcer’s constant hockey fights will be answered only when scientists examine his brain. But reducing Rick Rypien’s suicide to hockey policy misses the point of his career and his sport.

Mr. Rypien was one of the NHL’s storied enforcers – the goons who are the game’s accidental warriors. Like Laraque and McSorley and Domi and all the others tough enough to be known by one name, Mr. Rypien protected his teammates by crushing opponents.


Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: rick+rypien



Woah woah woah woah woah!! Who’s said it was suicide? Ian Brown is the only mention on the internet that he killed himself, and in the article he writes like we all know it’s common knowledge. I can’t find any mention of his actual cause of death.

That’s reprehensible and offensive.

Posted by NathanBC on 08/20/11 at 01:25 AM ET

shazam88's avatar

I appreciate being vigilant against yellow journalism but the death of a young man that was immediately termed “sudden and non-suspicious” sure sounds an awful lot like suicide.

Posted by shazam88 from SoCal on 08/20/11 at 04:03 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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