GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 21: Wade Belak #3 of the Nashville Predators looks on from the bench during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on January 21, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Predators 4-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Wade Belak Found Dead; Former NHLer Reportedly Took His Own Life

Wade Belak has been found dead in a Toronto hotel complex. Reports have confirmed that he took his own life. The 15-year NHL veteran had just retired from the game in March and was set to begin a career in the hockey media.

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NHL, Players Association Vow To Examine Existing Safeguards In Wake Of Player Deaths

Three NHL players have died in the last four months, and as the hockey community grieves the tragic loss of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak, the league and the NHL Players Association have vowed to search for answers. 

From a joint statement released late Thursday by the NHL and the PA:

While the circumstances of each case are unique, these tragic events cannot be ignored. We are committed to examining, in detail, the factors that may have contributed to these events, and to determining whether concrete steps can be taken to enhance player welfare and minimize the likelihood of such events taking place. Our organizations are committed to a thorough evaluation of our existing assistance programs and practices and will make immediate modifications and improvements to the extent they are deemed warranted.

It is important to ensure that every reasonable step and precaution is taken to make NHL Players, and all members of the NHL family, aware of the vast resources available to them when they are in need of assistance. We want individuals to feel comfortable seeking help when they need help.

NHL Clubs and our fans should know that every avenue will be explored and every option pursued in the furtherance of this objective." 

It's certainly too early to find a direct link between the deaths of these three players, but one thing is for certain: they're all hockey players that had some sort of issues with the mental state. After all, how else do we explain a drug overdose and two suicides? Hopefully the NHL and the NHLPA can find some solutions and some answers for a community that's desperately in need of some. 

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Wade Belak Death Ruled A Suicide, According To Report

The shocking death of former NHL enforcer Wade Belak on Monday was indeed a suicide, according to the Associated Press. An anonymous source told the news organization that the 35-year-old Belak hanged himself.

The person familiar with Belak's death said he hanged himself at a downtown luxury hotel and condo building. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Thursday because details of the investigation were confidential.

Toronto Police have said they will not release any further details surrounding the death as it has been considered non-suspicious. 

The news that Belak took his own life is puzzling and extremely hard to comprehend or even believe. He seemed like he had it all: a jovial personality, two beautiful young daughters, a decade-long marriage and a blossoming new career in the Nashville hockey media that was set to kick start this upcoming season. He was set to play a role on the CBC reality series "Battle of the Blades," the taping of which was the reason he was in Toronto.

As we all know at this point, Belak is the third NHL enforcer to pass away this summer, and all three have fallen under unfortunate circumstances. Derek Boogaard overdosed on oxycodone in his Minneapolis apartment in mid-May and Rick Rypien took his own life just two and a half weeks prior to Belak doing the same.

It might be too premature to try to link the three deaths together, but there's no doubt that such a link should be investigated. One unnecessary death in the hockey community is a tragedy, but three of them in four months? There truly are no words to explain such a thing. There are certainly no answers, either.

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Wade Belak Found Dead In Toronto Hotel

Wade Belak has been found dead in a Toronto hotel complex. The 15-year NHL veteran had just retired from the game in March and was set to begin a career in the hockey media.

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