I woke up this morning to numerous "Tweets" from TSN's Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger concerning the Vancouver Canuck's Rick Rypien. Rypien was trying to drop the gloves with the Wild's Brad Staubitz, but was broken away by the linesmen and found himself being taken taken to the dressing room. Dude is fired up, beating faces in just to get three or four minutes on the fourth line, and what happens? A little Wild fan starts talking shit to him on the way in. Let's pause for a second here. Rypien came undrafted out of the WHL and made it to the NHL. How does that happen? Learning to fight on two blades; it isn't easy. Rypien put up points in the WHL, which is a sign it had to transition to the fighter position. Some guys jump from CHL to NHL just to pound heads. So, as the fan starts mouthing off at Rick, Rypien grabs him, and now Gary Bettman is getting involved. Was it out of place? Sure, but why the hell do they let the fans get so close? Furthermore, how badly would you have loved to see a video of Rypien 1-2 punching him? In my puck days, after getting a concussion, I decided to flip off the whole visitor crowd- my punishment was a call from the commissioner and some fourth-string Matt Leinart-type hack on ESPN radio saying I was unclassy.
Watch Rick Rypien's scuffle with a Minnesota Wild Fan after the jump and check our five favorite fan vs. hockey player interactions.
Rick Rypien vs. Minnesota Wild Fan
The Five Best Fan vs. Hockey Player Fights on YouTube
1. Fan Pours Beer on Player's Head
It takes some audacity to do something like this. If you pour a beer on a guys head who has Theo Fleury on his team, you better know you're going to get some cracked out nonsense ensuing. Best part is watching #38 scramble over the glass like a ballerina wielding those skates, which are about as jacknife that assistant coach and his epic 1980s jacket.
2. Junior A Fan Attacks
Instant classic: zero fans notable in the first rows. It's junior A hockey. I actually had a good friend who played for the Generals; they're f*cking crazy. They are always worried about suspensions. Best part about this is how fast the fan comes in. He had a huge running head start, perfectly time to go at the player. The preparation is perfection.
3. KHL Fan Hits Goalie
In case you're new to the KHL, let me break it down: hockey in Russia trying to beat the NHL. Yeah, it's laughable, but they have managed to steal some players over the years: Jagr, Zherdev (who is back). I would be scared as shit to play in the KHL, where teams are notorious about not even paying their players sometimes. To make it better, you're adorned with stickers from crazy companies who could be Russian oligarch controlled for that matter. All I can say about this fan who attacked the goalie is probably some hot agent chick named Svetlana seduced him then took him to sleep with the Russian anchovies?
4. Tie Domi Gets After Fan
Tie Domie is the man. End of story. Most crucial element here is how he feels the fan throw something on him, casually sips from the Gatorade bottle then jumps back at him. The guy leads the Maple Leafs Franchise in PIMs. Supposedly after this incident he said, "It was all in good fun and made it lively out there."
5. AHL Hershey Bears v. Fan
My first AHL jersey? Hershey Bears. Besides that point, the AHL is the shit. My buddies and I have a "guy's night out" that centers around getting belligerently drunk and going to a Wolfpack (name changed to Connecticut Whale) v. Sound Tigers game in search of other equally drunk fans. Last year we ended up sitting with three girls who were "dating" dudes on the team. Did we Eiffel Tower them later? Who knows...just watch the scrum