Unfortunately, the NHL offseason has once again been marred by the tragic passing of another player. After Derek Boogaard was found dead after overdosing on alcohol and painkillers, Rick Rypien was found dead last night in his home by a family member.
Rypien had just signed a one year contract with the Winnipeg Jets after starting his career with the Vancouver Canucks. He missed most of last season after the Canucks allowed him some personal time to deal with issues he was facing. Many believed it was some sort of mental illness he was fighting, most likely depression.
To speculate that isn’t much of a stretch, but as far as speculating goes, that should be as far as anyone takes it. No one knows for sure what happened and it’s not fair to the Rypien family, his teammates, the NHL community, and it’s especially not fair to Rick to assume that we know what happened. All that we know is what happened was a tragedy. Rypien was only 27 years old and a sudden death for someone that young is always extremely difficult for anyone to handle, whether it’s an athlete, a celebrity, or a “regular” person. As someone who has personally been touched by an untimely and very tragic death of a young friend, the speculation and assumptions that are made are only found to be hurtful and do nothing to soothe any of the pain.
The best thing any of us can do right now is send our thoughts and prayers to Rick and his family and friends. Respect their privacy and allow them to properly grieve. When the time is right and if they feel it necessary, the family may open up and let the rest of us know what happened.
Until then, please be respectful. Treat those involved as you would want to be treated if you were in their situation.