August 15 2014 12:06PM
It was three years ago to this day that the hockey community learned of the passing of former Vancouver Canucks enforcer Rick Rypien, at the tragically young age of 27. As is generally the case when such a sobering incident strikes, the natural reaction is a feeling of shock. How could this have happened? He seemed to have had so many things going for him.
In reality, no one is immune from the personal struggles that accompany anxiety, depression, and all other forms of mental illness. Individuals from all walks of life are susceptible to it, regardless of how successful or happy they may seem. We were reminded of this all too unfortunately when Robin Williams took his own life earlier this week.
We've come a long way as a society with regards to understanding, and accepting this reality, but it'd be foolhardy and naive to think that the stigma has completely dissipated. There are still those that think this makes you look weak, as if it's an inherent character flaw that will prompt others to think of you differently.
Let today serve as a good reminder that there's always someone out there - whether it be me, or someone else you may feel more comfortable reaching out to - that you can talk to, and that things are never really as bleak as they may seem. If you'd like to learn more or help the cause out, you can do so here (an initiative started by the Canucks organization to help spread awareness).
With that, here are some of the more beautifully and eloquently penned words remembering Rick Rypien from over the years.
Nation World HQ
August 15 2014 08:05AM
The analytics debate rages on, how much does "character" matter, player profiles, ice bucket challenge, Wayne Gretzky and more in this week’s Roundup.
August 14 2014 10:46PM
After weeks of ciphering, I have figured out the Pacific Division for 2014-15. Now, if you click-through it will ruin the surprise of the actual season, so consider this a spoiler alert on winter. Up next: where do they finish?
August 14 2014 11:39AM
When we go back and analyze previous NHL drafts, certain patterns and truisms emerge. For instance, the guys who become NHLers are the guys who score a lot of points, everyone is terrible at scouting goalies, guys who are in their draft+1 and draft+2 seasons don't have a lot of upside, defensive ability tends to be overvalued, and so on and so forth.
With this stuff in mind, there are three cardinal sins that a given NHL team should not do at the draft table:
- Don't draft a goalie in the first 3 rounds.
- Don't draft an over age player in the first 3 rounds.
- Don't draft a low-scoring defensive defenseman in the first 3 rounds.
A guy who fills just one of these criteria is a long shot to play in the league - CSS' top-3 rated goalies going into the draft have an ~80% bust rate between 2001 and 2010, and D drafted in rounds 1-3 that can't score at least 0.6 pts/GP at some point in their CHL careers miss the NHL nearly 90% of the time - so when a guy fulfills two of those criteria, you can, in most cases, just write that draft pick off as a wasted asset.
Fortunately for the Canucks, Nikita Tryamkin isn't your typical prospect.
August 14 2014 10:43AM
Unfortunately, the nature of professional sports is that there tends to be an inverse relationship between the success of the NHL club and the relevance of (/stock put into) its farm system, as we've seen up close and personal lately.
This is my 3rd year participating in the annual Canucks Army Top 20 Prospect Profile series, and suffice it to say, it's shaping up to be easily the most uplifting of the bunch. We're still a few weeks away from actually reaping the rewards of that though, seeing as we've just started counting down from 20 this week.
In lieu of that, ESPN's (but most importantly friend of the blog, as he'd be the first to tell you) Corey Pronman released his Top 100 list, which you can read here. If you don't have an Insider account you should look into it because the work himself, Frank Provenzano, and Craig Custance do there is top notch. With that being said, I've gone ahead and spliced some of the key takeaways for our purposes together.
Four recent draft picks of the Canucks made the cut, with another being listed as an honourable mention. This was enough to land the pipeline as a whole a top-10 spot in the organizational rankings.