On Tuesdays Game against the New York Rangers, Rypien will be remembered and honoured. Rypien’s legacy will be a website, funded by a $50,000 donation from the Canucks, to help young people deal with depression and other mental-health issues.
Rypien had been fighting clinical depression for years. A week after his phone call with Bieksa, Rypien was found dead at home. He was only 27.
Bieksa, who was good friends with Rypien, will remember him for much more than that.
“He had a huge heart and he really didn’t like for people to worry about him,” Bieksa, 30, explained. “He didn’t want people worrying about him. He didn’t want people to have to take care of him. He wanted to be the one taking care of people. That’s the way he was. He was kind of the leader of his family, the one everyone leaned on.”
Rypien confided in Bieksa about his mental issues, his anxiety and worry. The Canucks organization knew about Rypien’s depression since that 2008 camp and coordinated the player’s treatment.
“There were a lot of things going on,” Bieksa said. “I felt he was as much my responsibility as anybody’s. Looking back now, I wished I’d talked to him a little more in the summer. I thought he was getting better. I knew the severity of it (but) I don’t think anyone really thought this would happen.”
TSN is televising the game and the Canucks will livestream Rypien’s ceremony on its website.