Reports surfaced on Tuesday that Rick Rypien had been battling depression for the past 10 years.
The time-frame coincides with the death of his girlfriend in a car accident when she was coming to see him play during his second year with the WHL's Regina Pats. "You start wondering was that a trigger point?" said team president Brent Parker, who was the general manager at the time. "Was there something we should have done more at that time or did we miss something? Did we miss some signs?" Despite his demons, Rypien gained a great reputation among his peers for being a leader and selfless teammate. The cause of his death hasn't been reported, but police didn't think it was suspicious.