Jets honour Rypien with decal

Tanner Glass is proud to wear decal. (BRIAN DONOGH/Winnipeg Sun)

Tanner Glass is proud to wear decal. (BRIAN DONOGH/Winnipeg Sun)

Ken Wiebe, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:21 PM ET

Rick Rypien is gone but won’t soon be forgotten.

The Winnipeg Jets are sporting a RR decal on their helmets this NHL season to honour Rypien, a former Vancouver Canucks and Manitoba Moose forward who died this summer after a long personal struggle with depression.

His death was tough for the Jets organization — and many individuals within it — to deal with.

There were only a few players at Jets training camp who played with Rypien, but he touched the lives of many and the decision to wear the decal has gone over well.

“I was just really proud they did that. I think it’s great,” said forward Tanner Glass, who played on a line with Rypien on the Canucks. “It’s a tough situation. I know Rick really liked playing here, enjoyed his time here and I’m happy management decided to do that.

“He was a great guy. We got along really well. We had kind of the same job and we hung out quite a bit. I look back at my time with Rick and it brings a smile to my face.”

Winger Jason Jaffray was close to Rypien and is sure to make time to look at the decal before stepping onto the ice.

“He was a great guy, a great teammate and he meant a lot to a lot of people,” said Jaffray. “He was a guy who always helped push me. Even when he came back from his stint away (from hockey) last year and I was coming back from my knee injury, we were trying to get back in the lineup and I’ll always remember Rick as a guy who was in tip-top shape and always wanted to do more a couple more reps in the gym to push that guy next to him.

“It means a lot to put on that last piece of equipment and he’s the last thing that sort of goes through your mind before you go on the ice. His work ethic and commitment to the game was just as good as anybody around.”


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