Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: wade belak
From Bob Padecky of the Post-Democrat:
It was Aug. 30, the night before it happened. Wade Belak was vamping in front of the mirror, that’s what Kim Navarro remembered. The music was on in her Toronto hotel room. Choreographer Rene Roca was selecting tunes for Belak and Navarro, who would be competing in “Battle of the Blades,” Canada’s ice skating version of “Dancing With The Stars.” Belak, who played in the NHL for 14 years, stood in front of the mirror, striking poses, working it, wiggling this, shaking that, grinning, creating quite a profile for someone 6-foot-5.
“Rene fell out of her chair, she was laughing so hard,” said the 1999 El Molino grad. “He was hilarious.”
A couple hours later, energy evaporated, Belak said goodbye. Navarro will never forget his words.
from Michael Landsberg of TSN,
E-mail, texting and instant messaging all have places in our lives. But I believe I have relied too much on them, often replacing personal contact with letters and words and symbols that are like the Buckingham Palace Grenadier Guards - conveying no emotion, revealing no subtlety. They are zombies devoid of anything meaningful outside of the obvious.
How many times have you wondered while reading a text whether someone was serious or joking, sarcastic or straight? Have you ever wondered when you ask someone how they are, whether fine really means fine?
Fine written in text always looks the same, but in person, on the phone, fine can reveal so much more. I am having a tough time forgiving myself for texting Wade Belak seven days before he died and accepting his fine.
Wade was my buddy. That didn’t make me unique. Wade was everyone’s buddy. Even guys he fought with on the ice liked him.
recommended to continue reading...
from the CP at The Hockey News,
Wade Belak’s family members, friends and teammates gathered for a private ceremony at Woodmont Christian Church on a rainy Sunday to remember the former NHL player….
The Predators players placed a full-page tribute to Belak in Saturday’s edition of the Tennessean newspaper. One of the photos featured the six-foot-five Belak reading a book to elementary school kids with a children’s sized plastic firefighter hat on his head.
Several Predators players who had planned to come back to Nashville later in the month in advance of the opening of the team’s training camp rearranged their travel plans to attend the funeral.
“It’s so sad,” Nashville defenceman Ryan Suter said. “He always saw the bigger picture.
“He was so happy to be retired. He was happy to be moving on because he had played for so long and now he was going to be able to relax and enjoy it.”
Nashville, Tenn. (September 1, 2011) – The following statement was released today by Jennifer Belak:
“We are overwhelmed and deeply touched by the outpouring of compassion and support since Wade’s passing. Wade was a big man with an even bigger heart. He was a deeply devoted father and husband, a loyal friend and a well respected athlete. This loss leaves a huge hole in our lives and, as we move forward, we ask that everyone remember Wade’s infectious sense of humor, his caring spirit and the joy he brought to his friends, family and fans. The coming days will be very difficult for our family and we respectfully ask that we be allowed to grieve privately.”
In lieu of flowers the family will accept donations to The Andie and Alex Belak Scholarship Fund. Checks may be made payable to Woodmont Christian Church/Belak (3601 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215).
Wade Belak was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques as the 12th overall pick in the 1994 draft. Although he only played 35 games over three seasons before being traded to the Calgary Flames (in the Theoren Fleury trade), he is still missed and mourned today. I think we’ll start this blog post with a short piece about his career, before getting more personal after the break.
Belak, as mentioned, played only 35 games with the Avs before being traded. He spent much of his career with the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to the Florida Panthers in 2008. Not famous for his goal-scoring ability (he had 8 goals in 549 career games), he was known and loved by the fans as a funnyman who gave it his all on the ice and had a wry humor off the ice. He joked about being “the next best thing” when he was traded and Mats Sundin wasn’t in 2008, and during a particularly long goal-scoring drought with the Maple Leafs, he joked that he was doing it on purpose. During the lockout season he played with Coventry Blaze in the British Elite Ice Hockey League and was an instant fan-favourite.
Join me after the break for a more personal take on this tragedy.
from Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star,
Maybe the job needs to change.
We cannot know to a certainty what role their work — intimidating and inflicting pain on other people — played in these deaths. However, the league must now operate under the assumption that the loss, in such a short time, of three men who performed the same specialty function for a living points toward a causal link.
What exactly that link may be — brain injury? the cumulative mental toll of a life of violence? — is the starting point of a debate.
Debate is what the NHL’s overseers do best — much of it pointless, and most of it leading nowhere.
Headshots were easy for them to brush past — no amount of rule changes can entirely prevent blows to the skull, since so many of them are accidental.
There is no such thing as an accidental fist fight.
This new debate must be different.
from QMI Agency at the Toronto Sun,
Former Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy Wade Belak was found dead in a Toronto hotel Wednesday.
The 35-year-old from Saskatoon was found in the tony 1 King West hotel and condo residence.
Belak retired in March after a long NHL career that included stops in Colorado, Calgary, Toronto, Florida and Nashville. He was recently announced as one of the ex-NHLers who would be performing on CBC’s Battle of the Blades this year.
I had heard rumors of this early today, but in a situation like this, you surely do not want to report anything that is not correct.
Nashville, Tenn. (August 31, 2011) - “The entire Nashville Predators organization and family is shocked and saddened by the sudden and untimely passing of Wade Belak. Wade was a beloved member of the organization, a terrific teammate and wonderful father and husband who will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Jennifer and children Andie and Alex. We offer our full support to them at this very difficult time.”
added 6:55pm, Ian Robertson of the Toronto Sun, in the original link to the Belak story has updated with this…
Belak took his life, according to sources.
NEW YORK (August 31, 2011)—Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the National Hockey League, today released the following statement regarding the death of Wade Belak:
“The National Hockey League family mourns the passing of Wade Belak, who competed to the utmost every minute of his NHL career. Our hearts go out to Wade’s loved ones, his friends, his former teammates and to all who feel the horrible void left by this tragedy.”
TORONTO (August 31, 2011) – National Hockey League Players’ Association Executive Director Don Fehr issued the following statement on the passing of Wade Belak:
“All Players and NHLPA staff are sincerely saddened and shocked by the passing of former member Wade Belak. His affable personality made him popular with teammates, fans and media, and he was a hardworking, respected member of the Association. He will undoubtedly be greatly missed throughout the entire hockey community. Our deepest condolences go out to Wade’s family and friends during this very difficult time.”
One of two Yukon RCMP officers charged with sexual assault is the brother of NHL hockey player Wade Belak, according to court documents obtained by CBC News on Thursday.
Graham Belak, 29, and Shawn McLaughlin, 32, were charged Wednesday after a woman in the southern Yukon town of Watson Lake told police that she was sexually assaulted Sunday by two off-duty officers from the local detachment. [...]
On his website, Wade Belak said his brother had played in some lower-tier professional leagues, including the American Hockey League and Elite Ice Hockey League in the United Kingdom.
Aside from working from the Whitehorse RCMP detachment last year, Graham Belak played hockey and helped coach a midget boys hockey team in the Yukon capital.
fromn John Glennon of the Tennessean,
There were a couple of hard-hitting bouts in the opening period, with the Predators coming out on top in both. Wade Belak buckled Donald Brashear with a straight left and dropped him to the ice, while Jordin Tootoo turned Matt Bradley’s face into a bloody mess — cutting Bradley’s nose badly and giving him a black eye to boot.
“We have guys that can battle each and every night and that’s part of our team,’’ Tootoo said. “We play physical and bring it all.’‘
Brashear didn’t return after the fight and might have sprained a knee when he fell to the ice.
more on the Preds including some Radulov talk…
Wade Belak of the Predators takes on Cam Janssen of the Blues.
From George Richards at the Miami Herald:
Wade Belak was back on the ice for the Panthers on Wednesday night, two days after clearing waivers.
His return was short lived.
The Panthers sent Belak to Nashville on Thursday afternoon, bringing back center Nick Tarnasky. Belak, 32, signed a two-year deal with the Panthers during the offseason and makes $650,000 per year. The 24-year-old Tarnasky is also signed through the 2009-10 season, but the Panthers will see a savings as Tarnasky makes $525,000.
via George Richard of On Frozen Pond,
...just got word that enforcer Wade Belak was placed on waivers today.
Belak signed a two-year deal with the Panthers during the offseason but hasn’t seen much playing time this season.
from the Florida Panthers (reader submitted questions),
Beside yourself, who are some of the toughest fighters in the league?
Belak: “Probably (Derek) Boogaard, (Georges) Laraque, and (Donald) Brashear. Top three.”
Since you fight on skates, does it really help hockey players to take boxing lessons?
Belak: “I think so. It teaches you to take a punch and protect yourself. For balance you have to turn your skates sideways. You don’t want to come in straight on because they’ll easily knock you off balance…In the past guys would go in toe to toe, blow for blow. But guys are bigger and stronger.
From the Florida Panthers,
Florida Panthers General Manager Jacques Martin announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with RW Wade Belak and C Kamil Kreps. In addition, the club has agreed to terms with D Luke Beaverson on an entry level contract.
From the CP,
“When Wade Belak gets a point, we win,” Belak said. “It’s been proven.
“You look back at all my goals and see if we won or not. Usually it’s a bad night for the other team.”
He was asked if the stick he used in practice was the same one with which he’d scored his rare goal.
“No, no. That’s in the Hockey Hall of Fame now,” he replied.
more… *an entertaining read as Belak gets on a roll with the one-liners. As the writer notes, “That’s Wade Belak: often lost near the net but never lost for words.”
from the Toronto Sun,
Citing Avery’s pre-game tomfoolery Saturday night as yet another example of why the instigator rule should be scuttled, Belak warns that the New York Rangers agitator is going to pay the price for his antics.
“He’s pissing guys off,” Belak said yesterday. “He’ll bring harm to himself and not too many guys around the league are going to be sad to see it.
“If he keeps this up, someone is going to kill him. One day he’s going to say something the wrong way and he’ll be clubbed.
“And I’m not saying it will be by me, either.”
from the Toronton Star,
Time was that when you wanted to learn more about a player or the game itself, you were limited to traditional forms of media. And, unless you wanted to head down the arena to boo, it was one-way communication.
Now, your favourite player might post a blog, he might be reading messages on social networking websites or he might have his own website on which he entertains comments and queries.
“Fans feel free to email me, ask a question or tell me I suck,” said Wade Belak, who started his own website as a way to keep family and friends in western Canada up to speed.
from the Toronto Star,
Toronto Maple Leafs tough guy wade Belak depends on a drink made for babies to help him through an NHL season.
For years the 6-foot-5, 221-pound enforcer has been drinking Pedialyte, a drink designed to help re-hydrate toddlers with diarrhea.
But Belak’s original reason for drinking from the bottle with a teddy bear on its label was decidedly grown-up.
“You really want to know the truth, why I started drinking Pedialyte?” he said yesterday at the team’s practice facility.
“I used to drink it for hangovers.”
Belak isn’t the only athlete making trips to the baby aisle for the drink.