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Wade Belak found dead


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http://espn.go.com/nhl/story/_/id/6914665/former-nhl-player-wade-belak-found-dead

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Wade Belak, an enforcer who had played with five NHL teams before retiring in March, was found dead Wednesday in Toronto. He was 35.

Belak is the third NHL enforcer found dead since May.

Toronto police spokesman Tony Vella said officers found a man dead when called at 1:40 p.m. ET Wednesday at a hotel and condo complex. Vella said "foul play is not suspected in the ongoing investigation" into Belak's death.

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The referees don't police the game like they need to, though, that's the thing. They did in the first season back from the lockout, but then regressed to the importance of Letting Players Play and thus letting a lot of dirty stuff go uncalled. Remember, it's totally true: stick work will injury you. As long as the league feels it should take a hands-off approach to close, late games, there will be filthy play, and as long as there's filthy play, there will be goons. They had their chance to prove they were serious about purging that crap and they didn't stick to it, so excuse my skepticism.

Moving this quote over from the general NHL thread to respond: Right, the referees don't police the game like they need to, and the league office isn't as tough as it needs to be. That doesn't mean they can't, and that those things can never change, though. The NHL (and most fans) just haven't reached the point where they value the integrity of the sport, or players' bodies and lives ahead of the bottom line. Fighting and dirty play can be eliminated or severely minimized, it's a lazy argument to dismiss it all as "part of the game".

Belak is the third NHL enforcer found dead since May.

I pray and hope that nothing happens to George Laraque anyone else. In the meantime, RIP Wade Belak.

What a weird thing to say. Anyway, I fixed it for you.

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Belak is the third NHL enforcer found dead since May.

I pray and hope that nothing happens to George Laraque anyone else. In the meantime, RIP Wade Belak.

What a weird thing to say. Anyway, I fixed it for you.

?What? ... What?s with all the tough guys dying or having problems?? said retired enforcer Georges Laraque when reached by the Star. ?Am I next on the list? That?s unbelievable.?

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/1047590--the-sweetest-most-gentle-guy-ever-former-leaf-belak-commits-suicide?bn=1

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Belak is the third NHL enforcer found dead since May.

I pray and hope that nothing happens to George Laraque anyone else. In the meantime, RIP Wade Belak.

What a weird thing to say. Anyway, I fixed it for you.

?What? ... What?s with all the tough guys dying or having problems?? said retired enforcer Georges Laraque when reached by the Star. ?Am I next on the list? That?s unbelievable.?

http://www.thestar.com/sports/hockey/article/1047590--the-sweetest-most-gentle-guy-ever-former-leaf-belak-commits-suicide?bn=1

There's a lot just in that one article from actual players (not just fans like us speculating), pretty much stating as fact that the role of enforcer effs guys up. So does the NHL care enough to phase them out and make the referees take the reins?

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Belak is the third NHL enforcer found dead since May.

I pray and hope that nothing happens to George Laraque anyone else. In the meantime, RIP Wade Belak.

What a weird thing to say. Anyway, I fixed it for you.

Of course I hope no one else has another tragic ending as well.

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Because depression and otherwise self-destructive behavior can be a consequence of brain damage brought on by head injuries.

Do you mean that the consequences of brain damage cause depression, or that the brain damage does something to make you depressed? Ex: Not being able to play to your full ability due to brain damage VS the brain damage causing some chemicals in your brain to mess up, making you depressed.

I can understand the first thing, but not the second.

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Because depression and otherwise self-destructive behavior can be a consequence of brain damage brought on by head injuries.

Do you mean that the consequences of brain damage cause depression, or that the brain damage does something to make you depressed? Ex: Not being able to play to your full ability due to brain damage VS the brain damage causing some chemicals in your brain to mess up, making you depressed.

I can understand the first thing, but not the second.

I'm not a scientist or anything, but I could see both things being true. The brain is so complex, and no one really knows the full effects of concussions.

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Because depression and otherwise self-destructive behavior can be a consequence of brain damage brought on by head injuries.

Do you mean that the consequences of brain damage cause depression, or that the brain damage does something to make you depressed? Ex: Not being able to play to your full ability due to brain damage VS the brain damage causing some chemicals in your brain to mess up, making you depressed.

I can understand the first thing, but not the second.

I don't see why brain damage can't cause a chemical imbalance that leads to depression.

Let's go Emile Durkheim for a second. Wade Belak as an NHL player, especially by the end, played the role of the gregarious lunkhead whose value lies more in locker room morale and the occassional fight than in any quantifiable production. In an evolving league where even the loathsome Predators can't waste a roster spot on someone without quantifiable production, there was no place for him by the end of the season and he couldn't even finish out the year in the league, having to mutter his retirement in March rather than accept an assignment to Milwaukee. So he really didn't finish an illustrious career in any illustrious manner; he just hung around until he limped to the finish line. Now, even though he wasn't dressing for games on a regular basis or playing more than ten minutes a night when he did, the NHL and everything around it was still his life for fifteen years, and then suddenly it wasn't. And yeah, everyone is talking about how he had jobs lined up and a family and all that, but that still can't be a replacement for losing a lifestyle you've had for your entire professional life and perhaps one that you didn't quite deserve to have. So I can see where someone would feel dangerously untethered by retirement. Of course, dozens of players retire or wash out of the NHL every year and don't kill themselves, so there are obviously larger factors at work as well, but I can see how one could consider it an egoistic suicide in some sense.

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Because depression and otherwise self-destructive behavior can be a consequence of brain damage brought on by head injuries.

Do you mean that the consequences of brain damage cause depression, or that the brain damage does something to make you depressed? Ex: Not being able to play to your full ability due to brain damage VS the brain damage causing some chemicals in your brain to mess up, making you depressed.

I can understand the first thing, but not the second.

I'm not a scientist or anything, but I could see both things being true. The brain is so complex, and no one really knows the full effects of concussions.

As you said, nobody know the full effects of a concussion, so it could be true... but we don't know if it is or not.

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Noted CBC dimbulb P.J. Stock is now saying Belak's death was "accidental by strangulation," which, if true, certainly changes things, and not necessarily in a positive fashion. After all, there are only two other cases of accidental death via strangulation I can think of.

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