Rypien suffered from depression but seemed on rebound - Jets

Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:45pm EDT
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By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Winnipeg Jets player Rick Rypien, who was found dead Monday at his Alberta home, had been dealing with depression for about a decade, the team said Tuesday, though they had not seen trouble brewing for him.

Police have said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Rypien's death, which they described as sudden.

"Certainly there were no drug and alcohol issues. Depression is the one word that has been used and that's accurate," Jets assistant general manager Craig Heisinger told reporters at a news conference.

Heisinger said it would be up to Rypien's family to confirm whether or not the hockey player had taken his own life.

Rypien signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Jets as a free agent last month after six seasons as a forward with the Vancouver Canucks.

"He seemed to be really excited to be (coming) back here. I think there was a comfort zone here for him," Heisinger said.

"Did we see any signs? No we didn't ... Either something happened very quickly or we all missed the boat."

The Canucks had granted Rypien an indefinite leave of absence last November, the second time in three years he had left the team to deal with undisclosed personal matters.   Continued...

<p>Former Vancouver Canucks Rick Rypien celebrates his first ever NHL goal during play against the Edmonton Oilers in Vancouver, British Columbia in this December 21, 2005 file photo. REUTERS/Andy Clark/Files</p>