by Brandt Corbin

    I’m not going sit here and tell you why Winnipeg Jet forward Rick Rypien has died, because I don’t know, nor should anyone else speculate either. Similar to New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard who has since past on (in this off-season), Rypien had his fair share of off-ice issues. Twice in his brief six year stint with the Vancouver Canucks Rypien had a personal leave of absence.

     It’s fair to say one thing publicly. The NHL and their 30 teams have to start managing and guiding their players off the ice. It’s their reasonability to closely watch the players both in the major and minor leagues, who have had mental or substance abuse issues current or in the past. A prime example was Brian McGrattan formerly of the Ottawa Senators, he had a substance abuse issue and it didn’t arise overnight. The enforcer took it upon himself after signing with the Calgary Flames two years ago to get clean himself. The Sens took no responsibility for that for how many years. At what point do the teams not have to take the bull by the horns.

     My other beef is the following with the Rangers and more than likely with the Canucks. Boogaard late in the season last year was near 100% health, he wanted to re-join his team but was told to stay away and stay home. Did the Canucks give Rypien the same treatment? The Coleman Alberta native finished out the season with the Manitoba Moose instead of with the Canucks. Despite not saying anything publically that had to hurt Rypien, not re-joining his teammates in which he played with since 2007-08.     RIP Ripper, we will not know what could have been this upcoming season.