Northwest Sports News: Canucks Hockey Headlines
Rick Rypien died before reaching out to publicly help those who shared his suffering. But the Vancouver Canucks are determined to pick up where he left off.
The Canucks forward took his own life last week. He had battled clinical depression for years. As Canucks general manager Mike Gillis explained, the culture of hockey often kept Rypien from publicly discussing his problem.
“The nature of hockey, as you know, is that people are reluctant to talk about whether they even have a charley horse,” Gillis said this week. “People can be cruel.
People can sit at a computer and write whatever they want or sit in the stands and scream and say personal things. You’re constantly trying to protect yourself … so things remain private.
We weren’t entitled to talk about Rick’s case publicly.”
But, as Gillis explained, Rypien wanted to one day discuss the issue publicly so he could raise awareness and help other people. He specifically approached Gillis to discuss the idea.
Now, Gillis and the Canucks plan to follow through on Rypien’s plan and fight against depression in one way or another.
“We’ve talked about establishing a fund to direct resources to mental illness,” Gillis said. “We’re going to take our time to make sure we do it correctly.
Rypien is the second Vancouver player in his 20s to die suddenly in the last three years. Defenseman Luc Bourdon was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2008.