Rypien speaks out on encounter with fan

Rick Rypien called the incident with the Minnesota Wild fan 'inexcusable' and 'out of character'....

Rick Rypien called the incident with the Minnesota Wild fan 'inexcusable' and 'out of character'. (YouTube)

HOSEA CHEUNG, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:47 PM ET

The Canucks forward faced the media for the first time since his altercation with a Wild fan last Tuesday in Minnesota, calling the incident "out of character".

"It was inexcusable what I did," said Rypien. "I just have to move forward and obviously it's not going to happen again."

With the Canucks trailing 5-1 in the second period, the 5-foot-11, 192-pound centre was sent to the dressing room by the referees following a double-minor penalty for roughing and a 10-minute misconduct.

As he was heading down the tunnel, he reached up and grabbed a fan behind the Canucks bench.

"As soon as it happened, I knew it was a big no-no to do and I stopped there," Rypien said. "The decision I made at that moment was something I like to take back. At that moment I got a little emotional but at the same time, I'm not going to make any excuses and take full responsibility."

The 26-year-old was given a six-game suspension by the NHL last Friday, while the Canucks were also fined $25,000.

"The decision the league made is something I got to live with and at the end of the day, I learn from it and never let it happen again," he said.

Rypien acknowledged he apologized to the league, to Gary Bettman, to Canucks management, and to his teammates, but when asked if he contacted the fan involved, the forward said it was something he'll deal with privately.

Defenceman Kevin Bieksa wouldn't disclose what Rypien said to the team but noted that the players were very forgiving.

"It's a very accepting dressing room and he's a guy that a lot of people on the team like," Bieksa said. "First blemish on his record, seven years, I'd say that's pretty good and like I said, I don't think you'll ever see anything like this again. It's pretty out of character."


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