THE Winnipeg Jets will honour Rick Rypien throughout the 2011-12 NHL season by wearing a special decal on their helmets.
The double "R" initials in blue, the Jets main colour, inside a black circle first appeared on the team's gear this week. Players are in town skating informally at the MTS Iceplex.
Rypien, 27, was found dead in his home in Coleman, Alta., on Aug. 14, just a little more than a month away from the Jets training camp.
He had played parts of five different AHL seasons for the Manitoba Moose since 2005, when he burst on the scene here as the fiesty, underweight, underdog who wasn't afraid of anything.
Rypien played for the Moose again late last season and into the Calder Cup playoffs after returning from his second leave of absence -- he was now known to have been battling depression -- with the NHL's Vancouver Canucks.
The undrafted forward signed a one-year contract worth $700,000 early this summer once the NHL free-agent season opened.