Rick Rypien 1984-2011

I didn’t know Rypien; not personally. But he was important and special to me in that sort of strange, inexplicable fan with a favourite player kind of way. When I went to training camp in 2009, Rypien sat on the ice to stretch and looked exactly like a mermaid. Mermaid was probably the most ridiculous nickname in history for one of the toughest fighters in the league but that’s what I called him from then on. He was fun to watch, fighting guys much taller and heavier than he was and making it look graceful. He was fast and an underrated passer. I really thought he had the potential to be more than a fighter.

I was so fond of Rypien because in a small way he made me into a tougher person. I’m naturally shy and it hasn’t always been easy to stand up for myself. Rypien always stood up for himself on the ice no matter what the other guy looked like. When I wear my Rypien jersey I feel tough. I stand up taller and I walk with swagger as the kids are saying these days. I can handle myself. It’s silly but it’s true.

Thanks to Rick Rypien. Thanks for the wonderful hockey memories and everything else. I’m incredibly sad I won’t get to see the rest of his career. I’m sorry I never had the chance to meet Rypien and tell him so in person. All my thoughts and condolences go out to his family and friends.

RIP mermaid. The world lost you much too soon. I’ll miss you terribly. But I’ll always have your jersey. And my toughness.


4 thoughts on “Rick Rypien 1984-2011

  1. Pingback: Fans, former teammates and foes remember Rick Rypien | ProHockeyTalk

  2. Well said Alix. I think hockey has lost a little bit with the passing of Ripper. A man who always gave 100% and was never afraid to stand up to the bigger guy or bully.
    Yet another hockey personality lost too early.
    Thoughts are with all the Rypien family.

  3. Pingback: RYP 1 Year Later | The Humming Giraffe

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