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

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Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:35 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Damn these guys are dropping faster than crab fishermen on Deadliest Catch! What the hell is going on? The NHL needs to invest in some good psychiatrists and start evaluating these guys. Especially after they retire and everyone forgets about them. Training camp starts and they have nowhere to go and nobody watching them. This is bad but how many does it have ot happen to before somebody sees a pattern and does something, anything?

Since: May 23, 2009
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:32 pm

Wade Belak found dead

A stand-up guy, will always remember the goal he scored to end his 2 season streak. The prototypical NHL fighter, he'll kick your ass on the ice then buy you a beer afterward. Thoughts are with his wife and little girl, keep them in your prayers.

Since: Dec 24, 2007
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:27 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Another sad, sad day in the NHL. It will be interesting what the determination of the cause of death will be. I think we all have our fears. RIP Wade. Deep sympathy to the family.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: August 31, 2011 6:26 pm

Wade Belak found dead

Devistating news! Wade was one of the good guys. Loved him as a Leaf, and always brought out a few laughs when he was interviewed.

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