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   Volume 81 - Issue 28 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"We'd rather have the sky full than stretch it out."
- Jamie Margetak  
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Story
Rick Rypien
 
Coleman native Rick Rypien will return to NHL action this fall with the recently reassembled Winnipeg Jets franchise.
The Jets announced on Saturday, July 2nd that they had signed the 27-year-old forward to a one-year $700,000 contract.
“I’m very excited,” Rypien said in an interview with the Pass Herald last week. “It’s good to be back in the NHL.”
The Jets, formerly the Atlanta Thrashers, were purchased earlier this year by True North Sports and Entertainment and relocated to Winnipeg, and shortly thereafter, adopted the name of Winnipeg’s original team.
The team will continue as a member of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference this season, before the entire league realigns for the 2012-13 season.
Rypien said he is glad that he will remain playing for a Canadian team.
“When the NHL switched to free agency last Friday (July 1st), I woke up Saturday not knowing what was going to happen,” he said. “I thought I would end up playing for an American team.”
He said he was presented with four or five options, and after talking it over with his girlfriend and family, decided Winnipeg was the best option.
“I’m at the point now where I want to do what’s best for me,” said Rypien. “I’ve grounded myself with the right people and everything is going good.”
 

“If I’m going to be starting a family, I want to be doing that in a place with a good background,” he continued. “Winnipeg is a good place for hockey, with a lot of opportunity for minor hockey for kids.”
He noted that the buzz and excitement from the community and hockey fans is mounting, and that it will mean a lot of support when the team begins games this fall.
“It’s a good place to be right now for hockey,” he said. “It’s going to be a fun year.”
Rypien made his NHL debut with the Vancouver Canucks in December 2005, and played on and off until this spring when he injured his knee early in the playoffs.
He said he is now in the final stages of rehab and is excited to get back on the ice.
“Everything feels good,” said Rypien. “Being able to be home and spend time with my family and close friends has really helped.”
Rypien will also be teaching the yearly Rocky Mountain Ice Hockey School and conditioning camp next month at the Crowsnest Sports Complex in Coleman.
Rypien said it is important to him to be able to teach local kids and help them develop their hockey skills.
“If even one kid can learn something from me, it would be a pretty big thing to me,” he said. “The community has always been really supportive of me, so any chance I can get to give back I take.”
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