RR37: Forever a Canuck

Today, I am taking a break from True Blue, for a mental health day. Not a day for myself, but a day to remember a life taken way too soon and to ignite the discussion about the importance of mental health. The world needs to come together to erase the stigma surrounding mental health and raise awareness instead.

Rick Rypien fought his demons on & off the ice. Sadly he lost his battle BUT through his life, an awareness for mental health has begun through Mind Check.

“Keep your gloves on kid, you don’t have to fight anymore.” When news broke about the death of Rick Rypien, Canucks fans were shaken to the core. Three years have gone by since we lost Rick Rypien and some days, it still feels like yesterday. Rick Rypien encompassed what it meant to have the heart and soul of a Canuck every single time he was on the ice and off the ice when he gave his time to the teams charities. His heart for the game and life was so big, and the hole left by his absence will forever be felt. Sometimes those who shine the brightest, with the biggest hearts are overwhelmed by the darkness. PLEASE, if anyone you know is suffering or you feel like the darkness is too much…PLEASE know that YOUR LIFE MATTERS, and there are more people than you know who care about you. Asking for help might be the hardest thing you do but may also be the best, and remember, YOU ARE STRONGER than you even know.

The truth is, that there are no limits on who can be and who is affected by mental illness every day. It is not our place to judge or shame anyone who suffers from mental illness. Why do we even feel compelled to make judgements of any kind? Every single person is susceptible to the possibility of suffering some type of mental illness. I read an article the other day that poignantly reminded all, that the BRAIN is an ORGAN just as our hearts, lungs and livers are organs and our brains are in need of just as much care to lead a healthy life. Mental health is just as important as our physical health.

In January 2012, Mind Check launched their ONE VOICE campaign, and invited others to take the following pledge:

MCpledgeToday, I take the pledge once more. I know that is NOT a choice. It’s NOT a weakness, self-inflicted or a result of not trying. Sometimes you can’t just get over it, it won’t just  go away. Pretending it isn’t happening doesn’t help. Talking about it does. Getting support early can make the difference. Helping someone you care about is NOT a burden. I pledge to learn the signs. I will not judge. I will have compassion. I will reach out, listen, talk, help and find help. My name is Sarah Laug. I will NOT stay silent. Will you also take the pledge?

If any of you suffer from depression, or mental illness of any kind, please remember that you are NOT alone. You may not know it yet, but there are more people than you even know who care about you and you are stronger than you think. Asking for help IS a strength, not a weakness. It may be the hardest thing for you to do, but it could also be the best thing that you do for yourself. YOUR LIFE MATTERS. If you ever need someone to talk to, please know that there is always someone willing to listen, including THIS kid. Talking about it helps and while I don’t promise to have all the answers, I do promise that I will listen without judgement.

Rick Rypien left us far too soon, but he left us some words of wisdom: “Believe in yourself. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. You just have to believe in yourself and if you want it bad enough, YOU CAN DO IT.”  We still miss you Ryp, thank-you for sharing your heart with the world. Thank-you Kevin Bieksa, the Vancouver Canucks and everyone at Mind Check for helping to raise awareness about the importance of mental health.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

NHL & NHLPA still have work to do+ Detroit looking to get a ‘yandle’ on D

Well just like that another day of meetings between the NHL & the NHLPA (NHL Player’s Association) have come to a close. It has been called a clever and creative initiative designed to avoid a  work  stoppage. A few details regarding the NHLPA’s ‘alternative view’ the NHL’s original proposal have become public knowledge: it would give extra draft picks to teams in financial trouble(they would build for the future); franchises[under special circumstances] would be able to trade/sell up to $4 million in cap space to another team. Bettman and NHL however view this as slightly too ambitious as he has stated that there is too wide of a gap between the two sides and must be resolved prior to the deadline. There is one more session of meetings tomorrow and then the next major meeting of both sides is next Wednesday. There is still work to be done before all is said and done. I remain one the sole optimists in this situation and I will remain so until otherwise filled with rage by Gary Bettman making an announcement that will anger all fans. Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen.

Rumor has it that the Detroit Red Wings have inquired about Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle. They lost both the Suter & Weber sweepstakes & Lidstrom retired…so it appears they are looking for younger solid defenseman to fill the void left behind. Detroit has also been in the pursuit of Bouwmeester from Calgary….it will be interesting to see if they acquire either and what they would have to give up to make either deal a reality.

Below is a link to a tribute one of my favourite Canucks, who will sadly never lace up the skates again…but in his short time here, left the fans with many vivid memories. Rick Rypien had no fear when it came to taking on the bigger guys…his fights and goals always had the crowd on their feet to give him a standing ovation. He may have been small but that did not stop Rypper from playing his tenacious style. #37 will always be remembered.


We await the coming drama that shall unfold as the off-season winds down. As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

NHL & NHLPA continue meetings + HABS go to the MAX + still waiting on Doan

Today marks day 3/4 of the meetings between the NHL and the NHLPA in Toronto. The NHLPA took their time in diligently putting together their perspective and yesterday Donald Fehr and the NHLPA presented their alternative view to the NHL’s original proposal. Fehr brought out the big guns(Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin & Steven Stamkos) for his presentation in push to make it known that the NHLPA wants to get a deal done. Other players were also present including: Jason Spezza, Mike Camalleri, John Tavares, & P.K. Subban. Bettman was very quiet following yesterday’s meeting only stating that the NHL is going to evaluate the proposal and hopefully respond in today’s meeting(at 12PM Eastern). Meetings go through Thursday. Rumor has it that this round of meetings have taken on a sense of urgency with both sides wanting to avoid a lockout. Let’s hope that the positives keep on coming & that we get that official announcement we are all waiting for(that the season will continue as planned) in the next 4 weeks! Bettman will have to deal with fans around the world should he even utter the word lockout as a reality. Here’s hoping he makes the right decision!

The hits just keep on coming. The Philadelphia Flyers have taken yet ANOTHER hit to the blueline. Defenseman Andreas Lilja is out until November(optimistically) due to recovering from hip surgery. The Flyers have already lost Carle(to free agency), Meszaros with his torn achillles tendon(out indefinitely), Pronger(to concussion…still no official word on when/if he will be able to to play), and Weber(thanks to Nashville’s matching of their outrageous offer sheet)

In other news the Montreal Canadiens have signed Max Pacioretty to a 6-year extension worth $27 million(or $4.5 million annual cap hit). He led the team last year with 65 points. The fact that he played at all last season(let alone led the team in scoring) is impressive following the controversial hit by Chara late in the 2010-2011 season. Despite offer sheet rumors, restricted free agent P.K. Subban is hoping to have his own contract with the #Habs signed as soon as possible…he believes that he will have a long career in Montreal. It is where is he is from, it is the team he grew up cheering for, the team that drafted him & the team he desires to stay a part of. The Edmonton Oilers are looking to be ‘taylor-made’ and  have resumed talks to extend Taylor Hall beyond next season. The Calgary Flames have invited veteran forward Steve Begin to their training camp on a professional tryout. Begin missed all of last season recovering from hip surgery. Best of luck to him on his comeback!

Still waiting…yes its true Doan has still YET to make an official decision. The guy cannot be called hasty as he really takes everything into consideration for this decision. It feels like the longer this saga takes, the more likely it is that he stays in Phoenix but then again who knows, maybe he will shock us all. Once again, we will have to wait until any official announcement is made.

I’m sure there will be drama before this day is done…all eyes will remain on the NHL/NHLPA meetings in Toronto.

As always,until next time,  nuck said.

Sarah E.L.