J.J. covered the Rick Rypien/fan altercation quite well already (complete with video) but I’ll add some personal thoughts. After Ohlie left for the Lightning and broke my heart Rypien became my new favourite Canuck. I love my checkers and my defencemen. I have his jersey in my closet and I mentioned him in my recent bio for the blog.
Anyways, his move last night was disgusting and stupid. Most likely the Minnesota Wild fan was saying something rude and insulting but you can’t try to fight a fan like you fight another player on the ice. You just can’t. They paid money to be there. You’re pissed off because you’re losing and they may be chirping like an idiot but suck it up princess and walk to the dressing room with some class.
Bettman cares way more about a fan and good PR for the NHL than he does Rypien. He’s going to get a fair sized suspension from the NHL and there’s a good chance he’s held out even longer by the Canucks. Rypien is one of several guys that can play on the 4th line. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he played some games in Manitoba. At least he didn’t actually punch the guy. There’s that.
As a quick side note, I’m surprised the NHL doesn’t insist on teams having some kind of structure in place that separates the players from the fans more effectively. Then you wouldn’t risk an obnoxious fan and a bone headed player making contact like they did here.
I took my Rypien jersey off halfway through the game and it’s going to take a lot for me to put it back on. It’s silly in a way because we don’t know these players personally and they don’t owe us anything but they can still make you feel horribly disappointed. It may be time to buy that Hank Sedin jersey I’ve been cooing about.