The Calgary Sun has sent out a tweet, and the London Examiner is reporting that recently retired NHLer Wade Belak was found dead in
a Toronto hotel room his Toronto Condo today. Belak played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Calgary Flames, the Florida Panthers, and the Nashville Predators. He, unfortunately, joins fellow enforcers Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien in passing away this summer.
As this is early in the reporting stage, we have zero information beyond the links above, but we are sure there will be plenty of reporting done on the story. What we know for now is this: this has to be the worst offseason in NHL history. Nothing could compare to one death in the hockey family, let alone three in such rapid succession.
I won't jump to any unfounded conclusions, nor offer any reactionary hype on the matter, but three deaths to players in the span of less than four months, all of whom were of the "enforcer" style player... no matter your stance on fighting or violence in hockey, it seems unlikely the NHL can remain silent and unmoved on the issue. What the action to take is, I am not to say, but something clearly needs to happen, and sooner rather than later. Hopefully some good can come from all of this loss.
Our condolences to the Belak family, his friends, his teammates, and to the entire hockey family.