Wade Belak, 35, was found dead on Wednesday night in his Toronto condo. Belak is the third NHLer this summer to pass away. Strangely enough, Rick Rypien, Derek Boogaard and Belak all carried the "enforcer" title during their playing careers.
The cause of death is still not known, but there is little evidence of foul play.
Belak played in 14 seasons in the NHL, mostly filling in for fourth-line minutes for five different teams: Florida, Toronto, Colorado, Nashville and Calgary. His best season came in 2002-03, when he recorded nine points, played in 55 games and collected a total of 196 penalty minutes.
Belak played in 15 games for the Predators this past season, collecting 18 PIMs, before hanging up his skates while maintaining an active role in the Nashville organization.
Former Nashville Predators assistant GM Mike Santos had this to say of the character of Wade Belak:
"He was as friendly and nice a person as I have ever met. He would give you the shirt off his back. He did so much for kids and our community. He was wonderful. I'm shocked. I'm sad. I don't know what to say. It's a real shame. He's was the best.''
Rest in peace, Wade Belak.