Winnipeg Jets forward Rick Rypien, a pugnacious winger who was a fan favourite at Rogers Arena during his six-year stint with the Vancouver Canucks’ organization, was found dead on Monday in southern Alberta. He was 27.
RCMP Sgt. Patrick Webb said the detachment received a phone call at 12:30 p.m. to go to a residence in Coleman.
He did not release who made the phone call or where the body was found in the home, but said RCMP determined it to be a “non-suspicious sudden death.”
The rugged centre had played parts of six NHL seasons with the Vancouver Canucks before signing a deal with the Jets this summer as a free agent.
The Canucks issued the following statement Monday night in regards to Rypien:
“It is with tremendous sadness that the Vancouver Canucks confirm the passing of Rick Rypien. Rick has been a beloved member of the Canucks’ family for the past six years.
“Rick was a great teammate and friend to our players, coaches and staff. We send our deepest condolences to the Rypien family at this most difficult time.”
“We are deeply saddened to confirm Rick’s passing,” True North Sports & Entertainment, the company that owns the Jets and the former Manitoba Moose, said in a news release.
“As many people are aware, Rick had strong ties to True North Sports & Entertainment, the Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club, the former Manitoba Moose Hockey Club and the Vancouver Canucks. We would like to express our sincere sympathies to the Rypien family as well as Rick’s friends.
“We also appreciate all of the support that has come pouring in from Rick’s fans. Rick was a talented player with an extremely bright future. His hunger for the game made him a valued team member both on and off the ice. This loss has impacted us as more than just a hockey team.”
It was widely known that Rypien struggled with mental health issues during his time in Vancouver.