Canucks and Beyond

Canucks Remember Rypien

10/18/2011 at 4:30pm EDT

While the focus of tonight’s match-up between the Vancouver Canucks and the New York Rangers is primarily the game itself, there are other—and more important—matters at hand tonight in Vancouver. While the Canucks celebrate the return on Ryan Kesler and NYR hope to get their team on track, the game itself will be set against a more poignant backdrop.

Tonight, the Canucks will be ceremonially remembering Rick Rypien during pre-game events, starting at 7:04pm PT, delaying puck-drop to 7:15.

Among other things, Rick’s family will be on hand for an announcement on behalf of the Canucks For Kids Fund. In honour of Rick’s memory, the CFKF is contributing $50,000 to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation to develop a website dedicated to helping youth and young adults with mental health issues.

“We are committed to this partnership because we realize that by encouraging the community to have open conversations about mental illness we can start to break down the stigma that silences us. Rick Rypien was dedicated to helping young people and those in need. Through this partnership with BCCHF, BCMHAS and the support of the Vancouver Canucks we can work together to ensure Rick’s passion to help those in need is well served.”

—TC Carling, Executive Director, Canucks for Kids Fund

As mentioned, the pregame ceremony can be watched online at 7:04, and will also feature a video tribute. The ceremony can be watched live via your Canucks App, or on the Canucks.com website.

From Canucks.com, Kevin Bieksa shares his memories of his close friend:

“The best way to describe our relationship was that we were like brothers. We knew each other for a long time. Our relationship began in hockey and going to war with each other. We both played the game the same way and bonded over that.

“He was a very genuine person with a huge heart. He really cared about other people. He was very selfless. He cared a lot about what other people thought. He wanted to make everybody happy and make everybody proud. On the ice he would stick up for his teammates. He wasn’t the biggest guy but he would do whatever it took for his teammates. Same thing with his family. He was just a fun guy to be around and a team favourite.”

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