Wade Belak was found dead in a Toronto hotel room
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Wade Belak was found dead in a Toronto hotel room

Wakefield : United Kingdom | Sep 06, 2011 at 12:36 PM PDT
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Former Nashville Predators and Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer and Predators radio analyst Wade Belak was found dead in a Toronto hotel room on Wednesday at age 35, the Toronto Star reported.

Sources said Belak, 35, died of an apparent suicide, the report said. An official cause of death for the Canadian hockey player has not yet been determined.

He was suffering from depression, according to CBC Sports.

In a statement issued by the Predators, the the team said, “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 who 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.”

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman also released a statement: “The National Hockey League family mourns the passing of Wade Belak, who competed to the utmost every minute of his NHL career. Our hearts go out to Wade’s loved ones, his friends, his former teammates and to all who feel the horrible void left by this tragedy.”

He becomes the third NHL enforcer to die in the last few months.

In May, former New York Rangers and Minnesota Wild enforcer Derek Boogaard died at age 28 from a mix of alcohol and Oxycodone. Boogaard’s brother has been charged with providing him with drugs.

Earlier in August, Rick Rypien, a former Vancouver Canuck who had reportedly battled depression, died at 27 of an apparent suicide.

Belak played 15 games last season for Nashville before retiring in midseason and joining radio broadcasts. He alternated broadcasts with another former Pred, Stu Grimson.

As recently as Tuesday, Belak was on Twitter, posting about competing in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reality television show “Battle of the Blades,” a figure-skating version of the “Dancing With the Stars.”

Belak totaled 1,263 penalty minutes in 549 games.

Predators center Mike Fisher tweeted about the surprising death: “Still in shock! Wade will be missed by many! Great person gone far too early!”

source:www.foxsportstennessee.com


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