Yet another NHL enforcer has passed away.
Wade Belak, who played 14 seasons in the NHL with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and Nashville Predators, was found dead in a Toronto condominium on Wednesday, according to the Calgary Sun.
He was 35 years old. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Belak was drafted 12th overall in 1994 by the Quebec Nordiques. He played in 549 career regular season games; he scored eight goals and 25 assists, along with 1263 penalty minutes. He officially announced his retirement this summer after a career full of ups and downs.
Belak was always a fan favourite in Toronto. His outgoing personality, his great sense of humour and willingness to step up for his team always made fans want more.
He is the third NHL enforcer to die within the last four months.
Derek Boogaard, 28, passed away on May 13. His death was ruled to be an accidental mix of alcohol and oxycodone. Rick Rypien, 27, committed suicide on August 15 after battling depression for more than ten years.
A video tribute to Wade Belak:
Belak ends an insane goal drought of 143 games
Wade Belak fighting Derek Boogaard
Wade Belak says goodbye to Toronto after being traded to the Florida Panthers
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Lukas, a student at the University of Ottawa, covers the Toronto Maple Leafs on a part-time basis for The Hockey Writers. Contact Lukas at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter, @LukasHardonk.