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: Jan 5, 2010
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:29 pm

Wade Belak found dead

I think you oughta deal with your own internal issues first dude.

Since: Jan 14, 2008
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:29 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Heya Dillhole, I think you left a name off that about convicted murderer Leonard Little...oh wait he was a Ram so I guess he's ok...nice one D-bag

Since: Jun 20, 2010
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:22 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. 

This is just more proof that there is no god, deal with it, it's a fact!

Since: Apr 3, 2010
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:21 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Wow NHLers are dropping faster these days then pro wrestlers.

Very sad stuff.

Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:18 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Damn, who's next? Tie Domi, Tiger Williams, or Dave "The Hammer" Schultz? It's a damn shame, I remember him when he was the Avs' enforcer, one tough hombre'......RIP, Wade.

Since: Jul 29, 2011
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:15 pm

Wade Belak found dead

RIP Wade  - you were way to young to leave so soon.  WTF is going on here?  He's the third player to pass away this off season?  Wake up NHL, wake up.  The NHL needs to get a clue and intervene immediately with the men in their sport.  How many NHL players need to die before the league steps in and takes action to at least try to prevent this from happening.  The NHL is a corporation. They have the money to invest into the welfare of their former and current players. There's a pattern here that's very, very ugly.  Yhe NHL has money to spend on the proper health situations for the players that represent or represented them.  I read this morning that Savard will not play for The Bruins next year (and probably never again).  Do you think you want to keep an eye on him and everyone else that left the NHL and wore the team sweaters representing a team or multiple teams in the NHL?  Wade Belak - God Bless your wife, children and family members at this horrible and tragic time.

Since: Sep 25, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 7:11 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Damn, I usually believe people blow these things out of proportion, in terms of becoming an "epedemic", but this is getting kind of ridiculous with these enforcement types dying. All the anti-fighting folks will have plenty of ammo now.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:51 pm

Wade Belak found dead

It is, as you say, easy to lump them together. But let's not forget that we're talking about three individuals, three different people, who happen to have a profession in common. Saying there's a problem with the sport is a knee-jerk reaction. If three doctors died, would we say medicine needs to change?


Since: Jun 7, 2010
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:49 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Dude,  WTF?????

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:39 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Wow, whats going on with these enforcers? My guess is they are suffering from the same post-concussion issues as the retired football players (Duerson etc etc) Pretty sad... 35 is still very young in the real world.

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