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Report: Wade Belak found dead in home


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#41 WorkingOvertime

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:32 AM

Yes, there is a pension for players who play more than 400 games.

Belak was going to be working as a broadcaster for the Predators and was in Toronto training for Battle of the Blades on CBC. He was one of the lucky ones who had opportunities post-hockey to make a living.

I don't think money is a factor. I think getting punched in the head hundreds of times with bare knuckles and the cumulative effect it has on the brain is more at play here, but that's just my opinion.

I think Ferdoruk's quote explains a lot. You likely have to be a certain type of person to accept the role of being an NHL enforcer, especially today when the majority of fighting is placed on one or two players per team. However, I don't recall seeing these issues in the late 80's and early 90's when many of the league's most active fighters were playing/retiring.

Until there is an actual link to fighting, and not the personal demons these players had, I think naming this as the cause is a bit premature (as you suggested). I hope this is just a terrible anomaly that will help other players who are battling personal demons.

#42 Hockeytown0001

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 08:53 AM

This off-season has been awful.

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#43 LidstromIsASuperhero

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:08 AM

If it's pain killers, it really is about time they made oxycodone schedule 1 or whatever the same classification as heroin is, because that's basically what it is but in a pill.

#44 F.Michael

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:14 AM

I think Ferdoruk's quote explains a lot. You likely have to be a certain type of person to accept the role of being an NHL enforcer, especially today when the majority of fighting is placed on one or two players per team. However, I don't recall seeing these issues in the late 80's and early 90's when many of the league's most active fighters were playing/retiring.

Until there is an actual link to fighting, and not the personal demons these players had, I think naming this as the cause is a bit premature (as you suggested). I hope this is just a terrible anomaly that will help other players who are battling personal demons.

There's some valid points in your post in which I agree with...With fighting down in todays game when compared to what was seen throughout the 70's/80's/90's - I get the feeling that the few "tuff guys" on any team may feel as though that they're expendable, and not really a "part" of the team.

There's the usual player mantra of "oh it's nice knowing that 'so & so' has my back on any game night" whenever the legitimacy of having a tuff guy on the roster is in question - however it leaves me wondering if the players who say that actually feel that way in todays game.

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#45 55fan

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:21 AM

If it's pain killers, it really is about time they made oxycodone schedule 1 or whatever the same classification as heroin is, because that's basically what it is but in a pill.

Oxy, like any other drug, has its uses, and some people need it. Like any other drug, directions must be followed, particularly dosing and avoiding alcohol.

I don't know that drugs were the case in these last two. Only Boogaard's death was linked to oxy as far as I know.

At any rate, I agree with Working Overtime in hoping that this will help other players. Perhaps if it is being talked about, someone might get the help they need and we won't have to wake up to another loss.

Condolences to the Belak family and their friends.

#46 Z and D for the C

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:24 AM

Yes, there is a pension for players who play more than 400 games.

Belak was going to be working as a broadcaster for the Predators and was in Toronto training for Battle of the Blades on CBC. He was one of the lucky ones who had opportunities post-hockey to make a living.

I don't think money is a factor. I think getting punched in the head hundreds of times with bare knuckles and the cumulative effect it has on the brain is more at play here, but that's just my opinion.


I agree, this makes things a lot clearer. Such a shame this stuff happens. :(

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#47 stevkrause

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:49 AM

Such a shame... this summer has been terrible...

All I have to say about Holland and our off-season:

Here in this thread

Here in this one as well

Here in this one too

and finally

Here


Holland is a damn good GM. period.


#48 ogreslayer

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:42 AM

Reading a recent interview with Brad May about the anxiousness & depression he felt going into a game with Minny where he knew he would have to fight Boogaard really makes me wonder if that emotional rollercoaster isn't doing more damage to players in the enforcer role than the fights themselves.

Thoughts & prayers going out to the Belak family...

#49 Yzerfan1999

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:52 AM

Terrible news. I saw Belak here in Toronto on Monday afternoon on my way to the Blue Jays game. From all accounts he was a great guy. I feel awful for his wife and children.
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#50 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:52 AM

I agree that money is likely not an issue here, not only did he have sources of income coming, he also made about $9M during his NHL career (I guess he could have blown it all though). I'm not sure about the blows to the head theory though. Wade has said on a few occassions that he has never had a concussion in his entire life.

None that he knew of.

Belak probably had over 100 fights in his NHL career. And that's just the NHL, not any from his days in the minors. Seems unlikely you could fight that many times and not get at least one concussion.

I'm guessing with these guys it's a number of factors. Being a marginal player never knowing if you're going to get cut. The grueling aspects of your role in punching guys in the head and taking punches. Not having many options outside of hockey when your career is over, and hockey has probably been their whole life. And possible depression and other symptoms from post-concussion syndrome.

Edited by haroldsnepsts, 01 September 2011 - 11:07 AM.


#51 WorkingOvertime

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:02 AM

None that he knew of.

Belak probably had over 100 fights in his NHL career. And that's just the NHL, not any from his days in the minors. Seems unlikely you could fight that many times and not get at least one concussion.

I'm guessing it's a number of factors. Being a marginal player never knowing if you're going to get cut. The grueling aspects of your role in punching guys in the head and taking punches. Not having many options outside of hockey when your career is over, and hockey has probably been their whole life. And possible depression and other symptoms from post-concussion syndrome.

What incentive would Belak have to lie about having concussions or PCS after he retired? You could argue that there is incentive to lie while playing, but I can't see any reason he would knowingly deny symptoms when has retired. PCS is a serious topic, and one that is popular at the moment, but I don't think we can say he suffered from PCS if there is no evidence he did.

#52 haroldsnepsts

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:07 AM

What incentive would Belak have to lie about having concussions or PCS after he retired? You could argue that there is incentive to lie while playing, but I can't see any reason he would knowingly deny symptoms when has retired. PCS is a serious topic, and one that is popular at the moment, but I don't think we can say he suffered from PCS if there is no evidence he did.

Sorry, let me clarify. I wasn't in any way implying Belak was lying about having a concussion or PCS. But he's been in the league since 1998. Any real awareness and talk about concussions has only come in the last few seasons. I'm betting sometime in his NHL career he probably got a concussion, but may not have been diagnosed. He just got his "bell rung."

And the second paragraph I also wasn't talking about Belak specifically, but just what has seemed to be happening with enforcers lately. That it's likely some combination of some or all of those factors.

#53 sleepwalker

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:02 PM

What the f*** is going on. I can't even comprehend this.



My thoughts exactly.

What the f*** is happeneing lately? Its like there is some kind of curse on enforcers...

#54 wings1110

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:24 PM

medicinal marijuana could help a lot of these guys out, wayyyyy better for you that pain killers, you cant overdose, and it can help with depression, along with dealing with pain. not trying to start a political argument. Im just talking from the perspective of someone who knows people that has gone through these types of things.

#55 MacK_Attack

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 01:26 PM

I don't think you need to get a concussion for repeated blows to the head to do some damage, or at the very least, contribute to existing mental issues.

#56 esteef

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 02:39 PM

medicinal marijuana could help a lot of these guys out, wayyyyy better for you that pain killers, you cant overdose, and it can help with depression, along with dealing with pain. not trying to start a political argument. Im just talking from the perspective of someone who knows people that has gone through these types of things.

I like the way you think. :D

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#57 Shoreline

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 02:47 PM

Evidently Belak hung himself. Can't even imagine what would compel him to do that.

#58 Bring Back The Bruise Bros

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 02:51 PM

I think its a little premature to conclude that these deaths are the result of mental illnesses caused by repeated blows to the head, and fighting should be removed. There are plenty of enforcers from the 80s and 90s that retired and haven't had any major issues. Sure, getting punched in the head constantly won't improve your health, but its the job enforcers accept. Someone else made an interesting point saying that teams in today's NHL typically have only 1 or 2 designated scrappers to handle most of the rough stuff, as opposed to the 80s and 90s, where fighting was more prevelant, and more players fought, lessening the "workload" for each other, in essence.

My thoughts exactly.

What the f*** is happeneing lately? Its like there is some kind of curse on enforcers...

I really hope these are just rare cases happening in a short period of time. The enforcer core definitely took a hit this summer :(
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RIP Bob Probert
RIP Wade Belak
RIP Derek Boogaard
RIP Rick Rypien

#59 Donaldjr2448

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 03:34 PM

Evidently Belak hung himself. Can't even imagine what would compel him to do that.

WOW, Just WOW!! This has indeed been a strange off-season to say the least. I simply do not know what else to say!! RIP Wade!

#60 LeftWinger

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:48 PM

Reading a recent interview with Brad May about the anxiousness & depression he felt going into a game with Minny where he knew he would have to fight Boogaard really makes me wonder if that emotional rollercoaster isn't doing more damage to players in the enforcer role than the fights themselves.

Thoughts & prayers going out to the Belak family...

this makes you think that maybe this is why Probert was high on coke or drinking before every game....

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