Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Rypien tribute strikes a chord

Coach Noel moved by memorial

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RR REMEMBERED: Claude Noel didn't spend a whole lot of time around Rick Rypien during his return to the Manitoba Moose late last season, but he saw enough to understand what the energetic dynamo brought to a game. And so for the Jets coach, like so many others who were close to Rypien, Sunday's memorial tribute struck an emotional chord.

"It was well done," said Noel. "I know Zinger (Jets' assistant GM Craig Heisinger) was very attached to Rick and the Rypien family. For a lot of people in our organization it was really emotional. I happened to meet his mom and dad in the locker-room because they were waiting... I didn't get a chance to go to his funeral and I only knew Rick for 11 regular-season games and then the playoffs. I asked Zinger if he could introduce me to Rick's mom and dad and then he walked away because I think he thought he was going to get emotional. I talked to them and told them I only knew Rick for 11 games and the playoffs but that he was special. And I couldn't continue the conversation because it was too tearful and I had to walk away."

QUOTABLE: "We know there will be a grace period. But is it a year, is it a month, is it a week? We don't know. But we just want their support when it's going good and their support when it's going bad. When the fans aren't happy, they'll tell us. And that's fine." -- Noel.

NOTABLE: The Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg's next opponent, will welcome back Daniel Carcillo after the winger served a two-game suspension he picked up for berating officials in the playoffs as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.

"I'm about as prepared as I'll ever be," Carcillo told The Chicago Tribune after Monday's practice. "I've been working hard. (Assistant coach Mike) Kitchen skated me two days in a row there. It was a lot tougher than being in a game, I'll tell you that. I'm ready."

Carcillo was working on a line with Marian Hossa and Patrick Kane on Monday.

"They're two of the elite players in this league," Carcillo said. "It's a pretty simple job if I'm playing with them. It's just go to the net, keep my stick on the ice and be ready for backdoor passes and rebounds. The way I play I have to bring what I bring every night, it doesn't matter who I'm playing with. That's what I plan on doing."

Worth noting, Hawks' goaltender Corey Crawford did not practice. He has a 'lower body' injury that could be related to a groin injury he suffered at the end of training camp.

"He's fine," coach Joel Quenneville said after practice. "We gave him an extra day maintenance-wise but he's all set."

-- Ed Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 11, 2011 C2

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