The NHL got some publicity on Tuesday night and Wednesday, but not the kind it likes. Canucks center Rick Rypien got into two fights with Wild winger Brad Staubitz, and he went off on a fan after getting sent to the locker room following the second one. Rypien’s been suspended by the league indefinitely pending a review. The fan has not wasted any time taking action either.
The fan in question is 28-year-old James Engquist, who told the Star Tribune he is seeking legal representation as recourse. “This is a crazy incident. I’ve seen a lot of hockey in my day, and I’ve never seen someone actually come into the stands and assault a fan.” Engquist added that he is “definitely seeking legal representation. … I was assaulted, that’s just the bottom line.”
Engquist also complained that neither the Wild, NHL, nor Rypien has called to apologize to him. Knowing that he’s planning to sue the crap out of the league and one of its teams, I’m not surprised they’re not eager to reach out to him. Bottom line: this is all on the Rypien for losing his composure. Enduring heckles from fans is part of the job, however much it sucks. Engquist’s front-row seats helps pay a portion of his salary and he should be grateful for that fact. Rypien completely overreacted and will see a hefty suspension. Engquist meanwhile is going to make a lawyer very rich.