Just as the summer started on a sour note with the loss of Derek Boogard, and was sadly followed by the death of Rick Rypien, the NHL family was hit hard yet again today with the news that former Avalanche, Flame, Leaf, Panther and Predator defenseman Wade Belak was found dead in his Toronto hotel room today. The cause of death was not immediately released.
A first round pick (12th overall) of the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, Belak had retired in March after a 14 year career. He was set to be a part of the Predators’ play by play team, in addition to participating in CBC’s Battle of the Blades competition this fall.
Belak was known for his toughness and his willingness to drop the gloves. In the battle of Ontario, he was a key figure, and fought against the Senators 4 times, 3 vs Brian McGratton and one tilt with Chris Neil:
Off the ice, as with most enforcers, he was beloved by teammates, fans and journalists.
We can only hope that the saying is true and bad things do only come in threes, and it will be a long time before the hockey world is hit by such tragedies in such a short time again.
SenShot sends its condolences to all those who were affected by Wade Belak’s life, his family, friends teammates and fans.