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09-01-2011, 10:18 AM
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Even if his death is ruled accidental, which I think it will be, or natural, which is also possible, then I think the NHL should still look at ways of focusing on the mental health of its players without being too intrusive. It's such a touchy subject, and you cannot force anyone to seek help. Even if you could, they have to want the help for it to actually work. Belak himself said in the past that he would lie awake in bed at night if he knew he had to fight the next night. He said the nerves and stress of knowing what was likely to happen weighed on him before each game. I've heard that from other fighters as well. People who have played hockey have said that the guys who played the role of enforcer seemed to always be a different breed with their individual issues. Often times they had anger management issues, but they say the personalities would range. At very least the issue is worth some research. Any effort that is invasive likely isn't a good solution, though.

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