Friday, September 2, 2011

Wade Belak a retired NHL enforcer hangs himself in hotel room - the THIRD player to be found dead in just the past few Months - 2nd Sept 2011

Former Nashville Predator Wade Belak, a tough forward who retired in March, has been found dead of an apparent suicide in Toronto.

Police told the Toronto Star that the 35-year-old's body was found hanging Wednesday in his room at the 1 King West hotel and condo building.

Mr Belak's death is the third in a startling trend of NHL tough guys who have died in this offseason.

Winnipeg Jet Rick Rypien, who suffered from depression, was found dead last month at the age of 27 at his Alberta home.

Mr Rypien's death was later confirmed to be a suicide.

Former New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died in May at 28 due to an accidental mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone.

'We're talking about such a short period of time,' said Craig Button, who was the general manager of the Calgary Flames when Belak played there early in his career, told The Canadian Press.

'It's not only about the deaths, it's the deaths that surround similar type players... It's not just getting hit in the head, it's everything that goes with that [enforcer] role.

'I think that people are paying very, very serious attention to concussions and blows to the head and the role of the enforcer. Read More