Sticks out for Bloomington hockey coach killed outside St. Paul bar

Minnesota's hockey community has come together to support the man's family.
Author:
Publish date:

Minnesota's hockey community is once again rallying to support the family of a fallen member, placing hockey sticks outside front doors and generating tens of thousands of dollars through an online fundraiser. 

Mike Ryan, 48, died Sunday after being involved in a physical confrontation outside Herbie's on the Park in St. Paul late Saturday night. Charging documents say 43-year-old Ryan Whisler punched Ryan in the head, causing him to fall backward down a flight of stairs and hit his head on the pavement. 

Ryan, the varsity coach at Bloomington Jefferson High School, was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul in critical condition with an unsurvivable brain injury. He was placed on life support and died around 3 p.m. Sunday, according to police. 

In the days since Ryan's death, more than $83,000 have been donated to a GoFundMe for his family. The hockey coach is survived by his wife, two daughters, sister, mother and father. 

"Mike was devoted to his family and friends. He adored his two girls and wife, his sister and Mom and Dad. Both of his daughters have followed in Mike’s footsteps sharing his passion for family, friends, and sports," the GoFundMe says. 

The State of Hockey has become all too familiar with placing hockey sticks by front doors with lights on over the past year. In March, the hockey community put sticks out for a boy who died and four teens who were injured in a car crash in Woodbury. 

In January 2020 the #SticksOutForMarshall initiative was launched after 9-year-old Marshall "Turbo" Bader died in an accident in Cass County. He played for a Grand Rapids youth program and was described as being "made for the ice." 

"Through Mike’s time as a player, friend and coach, he touched many in the Bloomington community and beyond. He cared greatly for the young athletes he coached, and his impact on them went well beyond the rink," the GoFundMe added. 

According to the criminal complaint, surveillance video shows Ryan and Whisler arguing when Ryan grabbed onto a railing and tried to pull away from Whisler, who had grabbed hold of his shirt. A man got in between the two before Whisler punched Ryan in the head with "a large, sweeping motion," the complaint says.

"The video, when played frame by frame, shows Whisler pushed (Ryan) towards the stairs. (Ryan) flew through the air to the bottom of the stairs and his head hit the concrete."

Two friends of Ryan told police the argument began earlier in the men's restroom. The complaint says some urinals in the bathroom were covered with cellophane to help with social distancing. Whisler apparently ignored the safety measures.

The complaint says Whisler "punched a hole in the cellophane and took a cell phone video of himself urinating at the covered urinal,” later adding Ryan “was agitated with Whisler, but he didn’t say anything to Whisler at the time."

Ryan then "called Whisler out for his behavior in the men’s bathroom as they were leaving the bar which led to a verbal confrontation."

Next Up

Miguel Sano

Miguel SanĂ³'s 8th inning blast ends Twins losing streak

The 5-4 victory over the A's snapped a five-game losing streak.

Thomas Humphrey, charged in vaccine thefts.

Viral videos of vaccine thefts lead to charges for MN anti-vaxxer

Thomas Edward Humphrey is a 32-year-old St. Paul resident.

Kyle Imdieke of Osakis, Minnesota.

Community rallies around family of MN coach who died suddenly

Kyle Imdieke was a beloved educator at Osakis High School.

Hinckley crash

Fatal crash that closed north I-35 caused when SUV crossed median

The incident occurred Friday afternoon one mile south of Hinckley in eastern Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2021-05-15 at 7.17.27 AM

Viral video: Customer argues with Menards worker over store mask policy

The incident happened in Buffalo on Thursday, hours after the CDC issued new guidance on face masks for vaccinated people.

Sylvia Fowles

Phoenix, Minnesota live up to the hype in WNBA opener

Diana Taurasi hit the game-winning shot with 1.1 seconds to play.

Josh Donaldson

Oakland smacks four home runs to extend Twins' horrific start

The A's handed the Twins a 6-1 loss on Friday night.

Hy-Vee

Spring Lake Park Hy-Vee to open by the end of May

A dozen Hy-Vee stores are now located in the Twin Cities metro area.

PXG Store Manager Derek Holmes Qualifies for the PGA Championship

Minnesota golf store manager qualifies for PGA Championship

No word if he'll have to burn some vacation days to play in the PGA Championship!

Related

Mike Ryan

Charges: High school hockey coach killed in fight over distancing at St. Paul bar

The 48-year-old had coached in Bloomington hockey programs for more than 20 years.

Marlon Vincent Walker

Charges: Man with violent history killed Burnsville man outside St. Paul bar

The 29-year-old has three prior felony convictions and a pending trial for aggravated robbery.

Jason Mesich

Charges: Bloomington man killed wife, turned gun on neighbors

The 12-year-old girl was holding a 1-year-old when she was shot, a GoFundMe explains.

Marshall Bader

MN continues huge show of support after death of beloved hockey player

Marshall Bader died in an accident at his family's farm.

Screen Shot 2020-11-10 at 12.38.09 PM

Bloomington teen hero who was shot in the head returns home

The shooter was charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder.