The day the hockey world lost one of the most feared enforcers to suicide

Today marks eight years since the hockey world lost one of the fiercest enforcers, Rick Rypien. On August 15th, 2011, Vancouver Canucks' very own Rick Rypien took his own life at the age of 27 after a troubled battle with clinical depression.

In his fourth season with the pros, Rypien's depression was made aware during camp and Vancouver management sought out help and coordinated his treatment for the rest of his time in the Canucks uniform. Rypien also took two leaves of absence while in Vancouver. The first where he disappeared off the face of the earth, but was found in his Alberta home by teammate Kevin Bieksa and Manitoba Moose's GM Craig Heisinger, who signed Rypien with the Moose to start his career. Bieksa brought Rypien back to Vancouver to live with him and his family.

On August 15th, 2011, the Vancouver Canucks announced that Rick Rypien passed away after he was found dead in his Crowsnest Pass home by a family member. The cause of death was ruled a suicide. Craig Heisinger revealed that Rypien fought with mental health issues for over a decade.

Rypien was the third enforcer to die in 2011, Derek Boogaard and Wade Belak were the two others. After Boogaard's and Rypien's death, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman stated that he would take a look into their Substance Abuse and Behavioural Issue Program.

After Rypien's death, the Vancouver Canucks helped launch an initiative to help raise awareness of mental illness. A project that involves their Canucks for Kids Foundation, the British Columbia Children's Hospital, Fraser Health and Provincial Health Services Authority.

Remember, it's okay to ask for help, you're not alone.




During his career, Rypien was feared by many other enforcers because of each blow he would deliver. Rypien wasn't scared of many. Being 5'11, Rypien fought against Montreal's 6'7 giant Hal Gill and held his own.




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