Blog Entry

Wade Belak found dead

Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:10 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2011 11:35 pm

By: Adam Gretz

What has been an incredibly sad offseason in the NHL continued to get worse with the news that recently retired defenseman Wade Belak was found dead in a Toronto condo on Wednesday afternoon according to the Toronto Sun. He was 35 years old.

Belak, selected 12th overall in the 1994 Entry Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, spent 14 seasons in the NHL as a member of the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and, most recently, the Nashville Predators. In 549 career games he scored eight goals and tallied over 1,263 penalty minutes.

He announced his retirement back in March.

On Wednesday evening the Predators organization released the following statement:
“The entire Nashville Predators organization and family is shocked and saddened by the sudden and untimely passing of Wade Belak. Wade was a beloved member of the organization, a terrific teammate and wonderful father and husband. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Jennifer and children Andie and Alex. We offer our full support to them at this very difficult time.”
Belak's name was in the news earlier this month when it was announced that he was going to appear in CBC's Battle of the Blades, which is basically Canada's on ice version of Dancing With The Stars

His primary role in the NHL was as an enforcer and fighter, which will make it easy for everyone to immediately connect his death to the recent passings of Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien, both of whom were also fighters. Whether there's any connection or not, it's been a very disturbing couple of months.

According to Belak was involved in over 125 fights during his NHL career.

I never met Belak or had an opportunity to speak with him, but just about every person that did meet him and work with him throughout his 15-year NHL career has shared pretty much the same opinion on Wednesday night: He was an amazing person to be around and always -- always -- a fantastic player to interview.

You can find plenty of examples of his personality on YouTube, including just about every episode of the "Wade a Minute" segment that was filmed during his tenure with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Here are a couple of examples:

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.


Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:39 pm

Wade Belak found dead

RIP. my thoughts are with his family and friends. very sad news.

Since: Jan 30, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:19 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Jesus..........what the hell is going on?  One blow after another is what this summer has been.  From the elation of the Jets coming back to Winnipeg, to the serious kicks in the stomach with the Rypien / Belak passings......I need some good news.

Since: Dec 6, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:13 pm

Wade Belak found dead

This is truly sad. This is becoming a more common occurance amoung all athletes. I don't know how reliable the information is that says Wade took his own life, but that is a more likely scenario than natural causes on a still in their prime former athlete. Clinical depression is nothing to take lightly. We always say "why?" Why did someone with so much to lose do the unthinkable?" With CD, reasons mean nothing. It's more physiology than mental. Many causes for Clinical Depression like surgeries involving aneasthesia (what surgery doesn't?), blows to the head, etc. All athletes are susceptable to CD. In fact, we all are. Also, on the mental side, retiring from what you love to do can have an impact on your will to live. It's a shame, it seems he had much to live for.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 8:03 pm

Wade Belak found dead

I guess he must've had something mentally wrong with him.  I am usually pro-fighting, but I it's conceivable he might've had mental damage from all the pounding. Hockey fighting kind of falls in a gray area. The NHL doesn't want to officially sanction it like professional fighting, so as a result enforcers don't get the same level and type of medical screening a boxer would get. While hockey fights don't go the same duration as boxing matches, 125 bare fist NHL fights is nothing to sneeze at, and that doesn't even include minor league and juniors. Unfortunately for all us hockey fight fans, hockey fights might soon become a thing of the past.

Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:51 pm

Wade Belak found dead

What the hell is going on?  Why can't this happen to pro athletes that actually deserve to die?  You know like scum bag Vick, Ray Lewis, Ray Carruth,  Donte Stallworth, and any other athlete that has killed and gotten away with it.


KLM:  With the exception of Ray Lewis, every man on this list has faced some sort of legal fallout for their crimes...In fact, Rae Carruth is still in prison and will be there for a long time.  They haven't gotten away with it, but believe me, if they weren't athletes, they'd probably all would be in prison, partially because they are black.

I don't wish death on anyone, even those I think might deserve it.  That's not my place to do, and it isn't yours, either.  Hockey has suffered three deaths this offseason.  Regardless that they were white men, I have respect for these departed men.   

Since: Oct 24, 2009
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:44 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Because no black football player's died is proof there is no God? Man u got some issues, and need help before u go on some kind of rampage. This guy is dead and you do not have enough respect to realize that, just gotta come on here with hate towards blacks, and christians?? Nobody said nothing to get you all stupid talking, just deep deep issues within your brain. As a matter of fact I've never seen a monkey turn into a man, so there is even more proof evolution is what is always has been a "THEORY". Though I have seen in writing like your's for example some human act like mindless apes!

Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:43 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Toronto Sun news department says Belak hung himself, Sun columnist Steve Simmons Tweeted. 

Since: Aug 13, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:40 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Just plain old bad.
Belak was good at what he did. A real pro.

Since: Mar 3, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:36 pm

Wade Belak found dead

KLM11 are you a racist or what? Every player that you think "should be dead", are all African American. Keep it in Canada buddy.

Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:31 pm

Wade Belak found dead

this is unbelievable !!!!

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