- Associated Press - Monday, October 25, 2010

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (AP) - Canucks forward Rick Rypien has apologized for grabbing a fan during a game last week.

Rypien is serving a six-game suspension for making contact with James Engquist during a game against the Minnesota Wild in St. Paul on Oct. 19.

“I know what I did was wrong,” Rypien said.

Rypien was headed to the locker room Tuesday night after being assessed a double minor for roughing and 10-minute misconduct when he reached up and grabbed Engquist, a fan applauding at the railing. Rypien was pulled away by teammate Manny Malhotra and coach Alain Vigneault. Engquist and his brother, Peter, were removed from the area.

The Canucks also were fined $25,000, as required by NHL policy.

Rypien’s punishment was two games more than the four that Matthew Barnaby received for a similar incident in Florida 10 years ago and one fewer than the seven games handed to former Canuck Doug Halward for punching a fan in the stands in 1982.

“It’s a real eye-opener for me, so I think I’m going to come back real strong and better than ever,” Rypien said. “I think I’m going to be more focused and more determined to play the game that I love the most.”

Rypien is eligible to return Nov. 6 at home against Detroit.

“It’s not my character to do stuff like that,” said Rypien. “I don’t think I can see myself doing something like that again.”

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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