COLEMAN, AB (NEWS1130) – Former Vancouver Canucks player Rick Rypien was found dead in his Coleman, Alberta home by a family member on Monday afternoon. He was 27-years-old.
Rypien spent a half dozen seasons in the Canucks organization, where he played 119 games and had nine goals, seven assists and 226 penalty minutes.
He signed a one-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets as a free agent in July. Rypien was familiar with the ownership of the Jets, as that group owned the Canucks farm team, the Manitoba Moose during the forward’s time with the Canucks.
With the Canucks, Rypien had taken a couple of leaves of absence during his tenure for personal reasons. His most recent time away from the club came last November. He returned to hockey in the spring and played 18 games in the regular season and playoffs with the Moose in Winnipeg.
Rypien’s agent Allain Roy spoke with his client on Saturday morning and said the centre was looking forward to training camp with the Jets next month.
RCMP in southwestern Alberta have told several media outlets, they have confirmed a non-suspicious, sudden death.
Fans react to passing of Rick Rypien
Fans are expressing their sadness about the passing of Rick Rypien. A makeshift memorial has been set up at Rogers Arena.
Along side the Canadian flag and flowers, the ever-growing number of posters outside the arena include “Forever a Canuck” and “Rest in Peace Rick Rypien.”
Calvin Ing came down from Port Moody and a formed a set of tea lights on the pavement into “R 37 R”, 37 being the former Canucks old number.
He says any time you hear a hockey player has passed away, especially in the off season, it hurts everyone no matter what team you’re cheering for.