Well the NHL has finally leveled its judgment regarding Rick Rypien’s altercation with a fan during the Vancouver Canucks/Minnesota Wild Game the other night. The verdict? A 6 game unpaid vacation for the Canuck slugger.
Rypien got into an altercation with a fan after receiving a 10 minute misconduct after an altercation with Minnesota’s Brad Staubitz. As he was heading to the dressing room the fan was standing right above the exit way and applauding. The fan apparently said to Rypien, “Way to be professional,” as the Canucks’ forward passed beneath him. Rypien, clearly frustrated, grabbed the front of the fan’s shirt briefly before relinquishing his grasp and continuing on down the tunnel.
Though some might subscribe to the “No harm, no foul” school of thinking, the NHL clearly cannot have players engaging with fans in any sort of physically abusive behavior. This was a far cry from Mike Milbury hitting a fan with a shoe, but an example still had to be made.
Rypien will be eligible to return to the Canucks’ line-up November 6th when the team faces the Detroit Red Wings.
Watch the video of Rick Rypien attacking fan below: