Rypien granted leave of absence. AGAIN.

2010-11 has been a tough season for Rick Rypien. Of course by tough, I mean mind boggling.

In case you haven't heard, Rick the Ripper has been granted a personal leave of absence by the Canucks to deal with a "personal matter". Thats just about as much information as they're going to release at this time. Whether he still hasn't gotten over his altercation with that Minnesota fan, or there are some problems at home, its, to say the least, troubling.

The weirdest part is, this isn't the first time this has happened. Two season ago, Rypien was granted a leave of absence to, again, attend with a "personal matter." He's missed tons of games in his young career, being injury prone, but these persistent leaves of absences has to have fans scratching their heads.

For casual Canuck fans, yes this is the same guy who was suspended six games for pushing a Wild fan in a game in St. Paul.

So the obvious question is, whats the deal?

Another is, why do the Canucks keep giving this guy chances?

He's injury prone, his hockey sense is questionable at best, and he has proven that he can go overboard in terms of his anger.

He has a paltry one assist in nine games this season, and he's a regular healthy scratch.

His one addition to the team is his fighting ability, as he is often seen going after players out of his weight class. His most memorable hockey fight is arguably his bout against Canadiens giant Hal Gill.

However, there are plenty of enforcers in the NHL, and even in the Canucks system (Andrew Peters). Is Rypien really needed this badly?

According to TSN, Kevin Bieksa was pulled aside today at practice, leading to speculation that Bieksa and Rypien had both been traded.

If this is the case, then this murky situation is a lot clearer. If it isn't however, its yet another question mark on this fourth line enforcer's career.

-Jonathan Szekeres.