Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Trying To Make Sense When You Can't

When the word started filtering out that Winnipeg center Rick Rypien had been found dead by a family member; shock did not even begin to express the emotions that another NHL player had passed away this off-season.

This was supposed to be the happy day with the opening of training camp for the teams of the QMJHL not finding ourselves once again trying to understand another tragedy.

Rick Rypien 27, a center with the Winnipeg Jets was found on Monday dead in his Alberta home.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are saying that the death was "not of a suspicious nature" but how he died really does not matter at this point in time.

For the fans of the Winnipeg Jets as well as the Vancouver Canucks, we can not express how sorry to hear about your loss. It is a pain that New York Ranger and Minnesota Wild fans can tell you leaves you with more questions than answers.

Just as we found out about Derek Boogaard, Rypien fought his own inner demons in a battle that he tooo hid them from the rest of the world. Like Boogaard was in his final days, Rypien was seen as someone who was finding an inner peace that had escaped him during his previous stints with the Canucks.

And maybe that is why we are frustrated trying to make sense of something that makes no sense at all. What we have to say right now is that just because Boogaard and Rypien were hockey "tough guys" does not mean there was any other connection besides a senseless death.

No we can not sit here and say that the hockey world is in a crisis because 2 players have passed away during this off-season. We can not sit here and let anyone point the finger of blame at either the game or the NHL because as cold as this will sound; hockey players are not immune to the same kinds of problems that the rest of us have to confront on a daily basis.

Whether it is fighting substance abuse or battling depression the odds are that each of us knows someone who is trying to deal with a demon that sometimes is too powerful for even the biggest of "tough guys" to defeat. 

What we have to do is reach out to our fellow fans and give them the shoulder to lean on just like they did for us when we faced Boogaard's passing.We know their pain and no matter how badly we dislike our rivals this is nothing would ever wish for them to go through.

And we have to stand up when the "experts" try to blame these 2 deaths on the sport or the NHL. What has happened here as well as with Derek Boogaard is not a problem caused by the NHL or hockey as these are problems that society has to deal with every day.

We just wish we could find a way to stop these senseless deaths.

Our thoughts go out to the Rypien family, the Canucks and Jets fans.


Kirill Kabanov was not present when the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada opened their camp on Monday but before anyone starts on a Kabanov rant; it is not as big a deal as one thinks. Many a NHL team will ask that their prospects be held out of practices until their camps open.

Especially considering that the Islander camp is still almost a full month away so there really is not a reason for Kabanov to be in the Armada camp other than to risk injury.

Nothing out of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar as the veteran players were to meet with the coaching staff. Samuel Noreau (NYR 2011 5th) should be at the camp once it fully gets underway and if we get anything different we will pass it along.

Max Campbell

We asked the Rangers about Campbell and why he is not attending Traverse City. Their response was really simple, Campbell has an AHL contract already so they want him to report directly to the CT Whale camp.

Considering that Campbell "rescued" his professional hopes with a strong senior year at Western Michigan then the Rangers must feel they know what they are getting out of Campbell.

(Rypien courtesy of the Vancouver Canucks)

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