Longtime NHL defenseman Wade Belak, who spent much of his career with the Maple Leafs, was found dead at 35 today in his Toronto hotel, according to a report from QMI Agency in Canada.
Belak, who spent the past three years with the Nashville Predators, unofficially retired in March to work for Nashville in organizational roles. He did some broadcasting and front-office stuff.
What's weird is that Belak, unlike this summer's other deceased NHL goons, Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien, was a fairly public presence. And Boogaard suffered from a pill addiction, while Rypien was chronically depressed. Belak didn't show any signs of similar afflictions.
Fan 960 host Dean Molberg writes, "Belak was on the show last week. He spoke of the tragedy of Rypien and Boogaard. Said he felt great post career and was never concussed." More as we find more out.
UPDATE: Via Steve Simmons, "The Toronto Sun is reporting Wade Belak's death as a suicide. According to our news department, he hung himself."
Ex-Leafs enforcer Belak found dead [QMI Agency, via LFPress]