If you haven't heard it by now, read Mirtle at the G&M. Rick Rypien is dead at 27. The cause of death is, as of this writing, unknown, but given that he battled severe depression, it could be suicide, alcohol or drugs (purely speculative).
Rypien joins fellow tough-guy Derek Boogaard this year in dying way, way too young.
Why am I posting this story on the BoO? Consider this:
Rick Rypien: last NHL fight with Chris Neil.
Derek Boogaard: last NHL fight with Matt Carkner.
I know Carkner was pretty shaken up after Boogaard's death given that D.B. didn't play another game after Carkner's right hook. There was a substantial amount of time between that bout and Boogaard's death, but it was his last game. Neil and Rypien had some good exchanges, but Rypien continued to play several months before taking time off for personal reasons.
Where am I going with this? This is where I'm going: Peter Raaymaker's post at SilverSevenSens on the human impact of fighting.
*read that article*
Rypien's death isn't the first time depression, alcohol and drugs have been linked to hockey 'tough guys'. It probably won't be the last.