Skip to comments.Former NHL enforcer Belak found dead in Toronto
Posted on 09/01/2011 10:56:32 AM PDT by Hunton Peck
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Former Predator Wade Belak, an enforcer who had played with five NHL teams before retiring in March, was found dead Wednesday in Toronto. He was 35.
Belak is the third NHL enforcer found dead since May.
The Predators learned of Belak's death from NHL security and the team issued a statement saying the organization was shocked and sadden by his sudden and untimely death.
"Wade was a beloved member of the organization, a terrific teammate and wonderful father and husband who will be greatly missed," according to the Predators' statement. "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."
Toronto police spokesman Tony Vella said officers found a man dead when called at 1:40 p.m. EDT Wednesday at a hotel and condo complex. Vella said "foul play is not suspected in the ongoing investigation" into Belak's death.
Belak was scheduled to work as a sideline reporter on Nashville television broadcasts this season. The 6-foot-5, 233-pound forward played for Colorado, Calgary, Toronto, Florida and finished his career with Nashville, playing in 549 career NHL games with eight goals, 25 assists and 1,263 penalty minutes.
He fought 136 times during his 14-year NHL career, according to hockeyfights.com.
Belak is the third NHL tough guy who has died this offseason.
Winnipeg's Rick Rypien was found dead at the age of 27 earlier this month at his home in Alberta after a police official said a call was answered for a "sudden and non-suspicious" death. Former Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died in May at 28 due to an accidental mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone.
After Rypien's death, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he expected the NHL to review its substance....
(Excerpt) Read more at centurylink.net ...
Perhaps they should try and track how many concussions, diagnosed and undiagnosed, each had.
Okay, I don’t know hockey at all, but is “enforcer” a real position like middle linebacker? Or do they call you that if you get in fights? Don’t they all get in fights? What up?
He hung himself
There are some guys who are out there more for their fists than their puck-handling. The “enforcers” are there so that if somebody tries to rough up one of the team’s more skilled players, they respond. They’re there to either intimidate or defend, whatever’s needed.
The old saying goes; “ If you can’t beat’um in the alley, you can’t beat;um on the ice.”
Thus all teams in the NHL carry an “Enforcer” on the bench.
Sometimes a couple of them.
Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action. - Commander James Bond
Actually, that quote is not from Bond, but from Auric Goldfinger, referring to his encounters with Cmdr. Bond.
“Let ‘em know you’re there!”
Accidental? BS. How did such an "accident" happen, I wonder?
Are you kidding? Can you imagine Wayne Gretzky in a fight?
“... track how many concussions, diagnosed and undiagnosed, each had”
I think that could be an issue. Some people who suffer from concussions have mood swings and bouts of depression (all neurological). I wonder if they got depressed and already had painkillers as a result of such damage to the body due to hockey.
Happens all the time to regular people who are daily drinkers and are then given a narcotic. They vastly underestimate the warnings and carry on with their "normal" activities. Respiratory arrest can sneak up on them. So can choking on their own vomit.
There is a certain code that most players follow. Kind of like school yard bullies picking on the little kid, someone will step up and put the bully on his keister. That is an enforcer, making sure the bully gets his due.
Chicken-sh!t players will start things, then turtle when a real enforcer gets in their mug (yes, I am pointing at you Matt Cooke). Other star players will drop the gloves when they need to, but generally don’t.
Eight goals in 14 years makes it pretty clear that he wasn’t on the ice to play hockey.
Thanks. Sometimes misattribution sounds better than truth.
That can lead to poor outcomes (Derek Brassard.)
True. He only averaged 39 games per season, which is explained by injuries and games where he was a scratch because there was little or no chance of fisticuffs breaking out. (Skill teams like Detroit of the past ten years are unlikely to drop the gloves.)
An enforcer does not only protect the skill players through intimidation. Hockey is a game of emotion. If yeor teamate just pummels an opposint player, for good reason, everybody has an extra jump in their skates. The momentum of a game, and the outcome, can change on a dime, all bucause of a good scrap.
I can see his wife kicking his rear end maybe.
In her prime, she probably could have done the same to us.
In retrospect, it probably was an accident, but not in the sense of taking small amounts of both drugs. Someone just tried to get a little too high, and miscalculated.
buccaneer81 is right that accidents like this can happen. In coroner-speak, “accident” just means that the person didn’t intend to kill himself (and wasn’t intentionally killed by someone else). It’s not a comment on his level of moral responsibility for his death.
In Boogaard’s case, he was given the drug by his brother, who was charged with a crime. I don’t remember the exact charge or status of it, but I’m not sure that that death is still classified as an accident.
I can run pretty fast.
Had experience running from mad, well never mind.
Derek Boogaard was a drug addict. It was reported that he died while celebrating getting out of drug rehab. I don’t suppose he meant to kill himself but I don’t call that an accident either.