Retired Player Wade Belak Dead at 35

Derek BoogaardWade Belak, a retired player who had previously played for five different NHL teams, but had been retired since earlier this year was found dead in Toronto. Belak was a participant in more than 545 NHL games and was responsible for 1,263 penalty minutes and 33 points. He was supposed to be working for predators television broadcasting, as a sideline reporter and he had previously played for the Colorado Avalance, as well as the Calgary Flames, the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers. He finished his retirement with the Nashville Predators.

Wade Belak was found dead on Wednesday, and is actually the third player, current and formers, that were found dead in the off season. Another was Rick Rypien with the Jets, who has found dead in his home in Alberta. It was a sudden death but police did not say it was suspicious in any way. The other was Derek Boogaard an enforcer from the New York Rangers who died in May after he mixed alcohol with oxycodone. The accidental overdose happened when he was just 28, and Rick Rypien was 27 when he died.

No word on the cause of Belak's death, but security informated the Nashville Predators and issued a statement which in effect said that they were shocked and saddened by his death. In their statement, the Predators said that Wade was a loved member of the team and had been a great team mate. They also said he was a great husband and father. The death may have been due to substance abuse and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the NHL is going to review substance abuse policies. Belak is survived by his wife Jennifer and his two children, Andie and Alex.

Searches: Florida Panthers, Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard, NHL, Gary Bettman
Posted: 1st September 2011

Hockey News Retired Player Wade Belak Dead at 35