Canucks Rypen Grabs Wild Fan by the Jersey
Vancouver Canucks forward Rick Rypien will be the talk of hockey for a while. Unfortunately, it won't be in a positive way. After an "altercation" (he didn't receive a fighting penalty) with the Wild's Brad Staubitz, Rypien was escorted off the ice and sent towards the Canucks dressing room. During the short walk, Rypien grabbed the jersey of fan for a couple seconds. See the video here courtesy of Fanhouse.com:
It doesn't appear the fan does anything other than applaud Rypien being sent off. This was enough for Rypien to lose his cool briefly and grab hold of the fans jersey. Once again, the line between player and fan has been breached. I could bring up the Ron Artest incident but I won't (I just did) but it's probably more common in baseball than any other sport when a fan reaches into play to interfere with the ball or player. In fact, last night the Yankees and Rangers had a close call with a fan but it should it get that far?
Let me be clear. Rick Rypien had no right to grab the fan and should be suspended and fined. I'm sure Colin Campbell didn't get much sleep last night after watching the tape (or if he saw it live) and we can probably expect a suspension in the next couple of days. My guess would be in the area of 15-20 games.
When it comes to players and fans interacting everyone has an opinion. You could make the case it's poor design to have the visiting team exit so close to the fans. You could say the fans sit to close to the players walkway or more security should be in place but the bottom line is money.
Fans love to be close to the action whether it's on the glass a hockey game or front row at a baseball game. The closer they are they more they feel a part of the game and the more they will pay. The team makes money and once in a while we have an incident to write about. Will this change anything? Probably not. As long as fans will pay top dollar to sit close to the action the organizations will let them and incidents like this will occur... hopefully not to often.