October 09, 2011
Rick Rypien(notes) never played a game for the Winnipeg Jets. He was found dead in his Alberta home on Aug. 15 after signing with the Jets as a free agent in July, having played for the Vancouver Canucks and their AHL affiliate the Manitoba Moose (now the Jets' farm team) in 2010-11.
It's with an impressive amount of class that the Jets have treated Rypien like family since then — honoring him with a sticker on their helmets and with a moving tribute before their first home game against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday:
That's Rypien's mother Shelley out three with Jets owners Mark Chipman and David Thomson, as well as NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for the ceremonial puck drop.
To take time out of what was a pregame ceremony of unparalleled joy for the fans in the building to remember a tragedy was a commendable, impressive move by the Jets.