September 03, 2011
Via Mirtle, here is a full page ad that will appear in the Saturday edition of The Tennessean: a tribute to the late Wade Belak(notes) penned by his Nashville Predators teammate David Legwand(notes) and on behalf of the Preds:
Belak's funeral is in Tennessee on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the story surrounding his death in Toronto on Wednesday is slowly coming into focus.
It has widely been reported that Belak hanged himself and that he intentionally took his own life. But former NHL fighter, "Battle of the Blades" contestant and current CBC Sports insider P.J. Stock said on Team 990 in Montreal Friday that "there's a lot more that's going to come out of the story." (s/t Jerome Berube)
"So many things spread so quickly. I feel terrible for Wade's family and his family and friends and the team about how quickly everything spread. And now it just opens up so many possibilities on why he passed away. It follows up of course the Rick Rypien(notes) story and [whether they are] related. It's just a snowball that's gotten way out of control and I don't know how to reel it back in.
"There's going to be a little bit more to the story. I was just with him a couple of weeks ago and I know a lot of people who know Wade really well, and a lot of people are throwing this on depression and he was not a real depressed guy. He might have had a couple of issues but not demons like Rick Rypien did. Not demons that would have taken his life.
"I believe they've taken the word 'suicide' away from this and called it an 'accidental death'. That's kind of the latest."
Stock later said: "Let's just call it an accidental death right now. But he did die of strangulation," and that "it's not fair" to place the deaths of Derek Boogaard(notes), Rick Rypien and Wade Belak in the same context.
Out of respect to the family, we'll leave the speculation out of this post. But with so many conclusions having been drawn about Belak's death, the context has already been politicized. So the full story, as uncomfortable as it may be to hear, is newsworthy, especially as Stock and others tell us the assumed story isn't accurate.