Last month, the Vancouver Canucks announced that they would be partnering with BC Guide Dogs this season to sponsor a litter of puppies and raise a service dog this season.
Today, the Canucks introduced their new pup, Ryp — named after the late Rick Rypien to fans for the first time.
“To us, the name Ryp represents the ultimate teammate. Ryp is courageous, kind, determined and supportive. He is a helper. We know Ryp will make a tremendous impact on the life of his forever teammate following his training.
A hockey hero, a son, a brother, an uncle, a teammate, a friend – former Canuck Rick Rypien meant so much to so many. He accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time, and has left a legacy of support that has helped countless fans around the word through the Hockey Talks program. To honour the work Rick had intended to do, Hockey Talks was created to help provide resources to kids and youth experiencing mental health issues, and to have it talked about like any other illness or injury. You can find out more at Canucks.com/HockeyTalks.”
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Rypien took his life after struggling with depression during his playing career. Former Canucks teammate Kevin Bieksa has become a champion of ending the stigma around mental health, and still plays a big part in the Canucks’ annual “Hockey Talks” night, which was inspired by Rypien’s passing.
Once the Canucks’ new canine completes his training with the team, he will work with a visually impaired client, a child with autism, or a veteran/First Responder living with OSI-PTSD.