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Wade Belak dead at 35

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Old
09-01-2011, 08:41 AM
  #76
Andy
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With the Savard and Crosby concussions and the death of enforcers, the whole physical side of hockey isn't making a good case for itself.

I don't think it will be long before any contact with the head is banned as well as the implementation of stricter punishment for fighting(i.e you can fight, but you will be punished more severly for doing so).

I don't think it will be long before it happens.

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Old
09-01-2011, 09:06 AM
  #77
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I'm also wary of the rush to blame the NHLPA. The players ARE the NHLPA. If they want change, they should be active in their union and start aggressively representing themselves vis a vis the league/ownership.

The league does not protect its players (anyone on a Habs board who denies that after MaxPac doesn't make sense to me) and the players don't police themselves. Until players recognize that they're all in it together and work together to protect themselves, I don't think we'll see big changes.

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09-01-2011, 09:12 AM
  #78
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Originally Posted by Habs13 View Post
When I was a kid, I wanted to be like Chris Nilan... so what about Aussie Rules football then (cant make a question mark for some reason) No kids grow up wanting to be boxers or MMA fighters... what about lacrosse! I know plenty of people who love to fight so why wouldnt an NHL enforcer enjoy his job!

Youre right though, I dont know for sure.

By the way, I played hockey (badly hehe) and lacrosse and rugby and I never got hit harder than when I did in rugby games.
Boxing is a sport. If that's what you dream of doing then great, but don't tell me you want to become a boxer on skate like Wade Belak or Derek Boogard, I'm just not going to believe you.
Chris Nilan was a cherished star in Mtl. You wanted to be a star. If he was playing 5min a game and only fighting, you wouldn't have wanted to be him. Kids will go for the Sakics, Lemieuxs, Gretzkys, Bourques, Roys, Coffeys, Housleys, Haseks, of their times. Nobody wants to play in the NHL to be a Boogard, Downey, Roberge, etc..

The point I'm making is not that enforcers don't like their job, it's that they settled for that job. They got into hockey to score some goals or have a strong impact, not to be playing 5min a game only to fight.

Rugby hits are different than hockey's. They're hard, no doubt about it. Doesn't mean it's the most violent sport or that what's true for you is true for me.

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Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
Is it possible he was emotionally depressed and just happened to be a hockey player? Does it really mean the league and the mentailty of the league played a roll. I have no idea what Belak endured during his personal life, with other players suffering similar fates it's easy to assume the common denominator is the NHL, but is it possible these were struggling young men on the outside and the NHL had nothing to do with it. If these events had of been 12 years apart I don't think anyone would think much of it, but since they happened within a few months of each other it looks worse than it might be.
Sure it's possible, but the fact it all happened so close is what's alarming.
If you have one deadly car crash at an intersection once every blue moon, there's nothing to really investigate. Have three in three days however and you can be sure they will look into it.
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Originally Posted by neofury View Post
Some football players can run/accelerate almost as fast as skaters and have even bigger equipment to the point where it becomes a wash imo. I'd say Football/Rugby/MMA are all fair examples of sports where you can get concussed or hit hard. Speed isn't the only factor here. Ultimately a concussion is what it is regardless of sport/speed/factors.
Sure, but I was speaking of violence in team sports and saying hockey ranks atop imo. Fighting puts it over NFL/Rugby/GAA/etc..(MMA is not a team sport).

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Old
09-01-2011, 09:28 AM
  #79
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Depression is difficult to deal with mentally, physically and socially. I could only imagine how harder it would be with the combination of pills, alcohol all mix together.

RIP Wade Belak

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Old
09-01-2011, 09:31 AM
  #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
With the Savard and Crosby concussions and the death of enforcers, the whole physical side of hockey isn't making a good case for itself.

I don't think it will be long before any contact with the head is banned as well as the implementation of stricter punishment for fighting(i.e you can fight, but you will be punished more severly for doing so).

I don't think it will be long before it happens.
Whether we can tie in fighting with the death of these enforcers in recent months, or others in years past, is yet to be confirmed.

But I personally, think fighting is completely useless in the NHL and I continue to think it's inevitable that it is sanctioned (by suspension/fines) or just banned all together.

The NHL tends to take forever to make these types of obvious and critical decisions (i.e. waiting until 1979 to make helmets mandatory ). But hopefully, when fighting IS banned, it won't be the result of a players paralysis or death on the ice as a result from a fight gone wrong.

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Old
09-01-2011, 09:33 AM
  #81
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WTF, i can't believe this. The guy seemed like he was having so much fun doing the commentaries with the Preds. Also, he had a family he cared for... This summer is getting really tragic.

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Old
09-01-2011, 09:53 AM
  #82
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I am shocked and saddened to hear this, RIP Wade. I met him once at a Bulldogs game in Hamilton and he was such a nice approachable guy, he signed an autograph for my little cousin. Was always funny on TV and radio, he is the last fighter I would have expected this from.

As a traditionalist I am on the fence about fighting in the NHL, I like/love it when it is warranted but don't like the staged fights. Laraque has been saying for a while what kind of emotional/physical toll it takes on the body and I didn't want to hear it because he was being payed handsomely for it. Now with these recent deaths I have to re-evaluate my stance on fighting and think it just might be time to take a look at removing it, or at least curbing the show fights. I never thought I would consider that but this is getting serious.

I don't blame the NHL for these instances though, these guys have a choice and know what they are getting in to. Most fans want fighting in the game along with most players and owners. This is not the same issue as headshots which the NHL must bear some responsibility for.

This is an NHLPA issue imo and has been stated as such by several players. There is no support system after they retire and not enough is being done to look out for their union brothers well being. It seems the union only cares for the dollars and cents, and the top earners at that. These fighters unfortunate deaths in the last few months will hopefully change their tune, a little late but better than never.

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Old
09-01-2011, 09:57 AM
  #83
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Originally Posted by loudi94 View Post
I recently watched the documentary "Facing Ali". Great video BTW. Anyways with the exception of George Chuvalo, these gladiators that made up the golden age of boxing are messed up. Slurred speech and incoherent thoughts. You will see the first crop of MMA fighters start to hit that age soon and then we will start to really see the effects. Guys like Shamrock and Frye are getting up there. You know Tito is probably in quite a few death pools already.
Sure but lets face it, thus far aside from that the odd death is an anomaly, even despite the severe brain damage these guys endure. And often times they aren't depressed so really you can't really say the two are guaranteed related, only rather that they can be and thus far it is an anomaly not the rule.

The brain damage part I'll give you hands down, but we're discussing depression and/or brain damage related death. Thus far doesn't seem to be the case that it's very common but rather a string of them all happened recently. Maybe we go 10 years before another NHL depression/concussion related death occurs. We'll need to wait and see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kriss E View Post
Sure, but I was speaking of violence in team sports and saying hockey ranks atop imo. Fighting puts it over NFL/Rugby/GAA/etc..(MMA is not a team sport).
Good point. Yeah it is true that aside from MMA/Boxing which are sports designed for it, hockey is the only sport not based on martial arts where fighting is actually allowed. Definitely a fair point. It's two stones one bird so to speak. The fighters endure it from the fighting and from the tempo of the game.(big hits, etc)

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09-01-2011, 10:06 AM
  #84
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... dont normally comment on the death threads (find it somewhat cliche), but this one somehow effected me.

How can you not like this guy and feel sorry for him? very tragic.

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Old
09-01-2011, 10:25 AM
  #85
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Who knows what new drugs these guys take. I'm sure there are all kinds of things we've never even heard of to beef up and get tougher and go undetected with drug testing.
They make cause the deppression and then mixed with a depression drug and whatever else they are taking. Boom, a suicide machine.
I don't think it's a coincidence these three guys so far have self destructed over a summer.

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09-01-2011, 10:36 AM
  #86
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This is concerning on so many levels. That a man could give the appearance of being happy, cracking jokes and lifting those around him with his sharp wit and happy outlook then close his hotel door and do his is, well, messed up.

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09-01-2011, 11:02 AM
  #87
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Originally Posted by SAKS AVENUE View Post
Who knows what new drugs these guys take. I'm sure there are all kinds of things we've never even heard of to beef up and get tougher and go undetected with drug testing.
They make cause the deppression and then mixed with a depression drug and whatever else they are taking. Boom, a suicide machine.
I don't think it's a coincidence these three guys so far have self destructed over a summer.
A read of the Probert book would shed a little light on the drug cocktail.

It goes... uppers for the game... downers after the game... painkillers for the off-season.

rinse/repeat.

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Old
09-01-2011, 11:02 AM
  #88
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Horrible news. God be with his family.

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Old
09-01-2011, 11:15 AM
  #89
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
While you may be right, I think these deaths warrant some examination of the difficulties of: a) the role of fighters in the NHL; b) transitioning to retirement.
I think this idea is a good one as well.

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Old
09-01-2011, 12:50 PM
  #90
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RIP Wade Belak!

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Old
09-01-2011, 01:03 PM
  #91
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I don't get it. Suicide? Why? He was such a funy, charasmatic guy. He retired and was attempting a broadcasting career. He seemed like a very happy guy.

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Old
09-01-2011, 02:13 PM
  #92
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Originally Posted by LyricalLyricist View Post
I don't get it. Suicide? Why? He was such a funy, charasmatic guy. He retired and was attempting a broadcasting career. He seemed like a very happy guy.
I`m no psychologist, but from personal experience, it`s in moments of solitude that depression is ******* powerful. When you`re doing something or chilling with people, your mind keeps on working and you`ve got no time to ponder on dark/negative thoughts (or at least, less time). At night, I suffered, had a terrible time falling asleep because of these messed up thoughts, had to find ways for my mind to be entertained until I fell asleep. My parents hated it that I watched tv until 3AM on the couch and fell asleep there, but I am lucky to have had TSN/RDS/SNET/SETANTA looool. Next morning, university class. First year was hell. What put me back on my feet was opening up to my family. Once you talk about it and on top of that get feedback from people that also had a similar episode, time heals you and you free yourself from it eventually, drug and psychologist free (internet is great!).

That`s why, speak up folks. Even on a forum or to some random dudes like me, it helps.

I`ll go pour myself some cranberry/rasberry/apple/grape juice...

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Old
09-01-2011, 02:15 PM
  #93
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Originally Posted by PhysicX View Post
I`m no psychologist, but from personal experience, it`s in moments of solitude that depression is *********g powerful. When you`re doing something, chilling with people, your mind keeps on working and you`ve got no time to ponder on dark/negative thoughts. At night, I suffered, had a terrible time falling asleep because of these messed up thoughts, had to find ways for my mind to be entertained until I fell asleep. My parents hated it that I watched tv until 3AM on the couch and fell asleep there, but I am lucky to have had TSN/RDS/SNET/SETANTA looool. Next morning, university class. First year was hell. What put me back on my feet was opening up to my family. Once you talk about it and get feedback, time heals you and you free yourself from it eventually, drug and psychologist free (internet is great!).

That`s why, speak up folks. Even on a forum or to some random dudes like me, things will change.

I`ll go pour myself some cranberry/rasberry/apple/grape juice...
I find it's the exact opposite for me. I am very negative when I am working and am a very happy person when I have time off.

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Old
09-01-2011, 02:21 PM
  #94
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Originally Posted by PhysicX View Post
I`m no psychologist, but from personal experience, it`s in moments of solitude that depression is ******* powerful. When you`re doing something or chilling with people, your mind keeps on working and you`ve got no time to ponder on dark/negative thoughts (or at least, less time). At night, I suffered, had a terrible time falling asleep because of these messed up thoughts, had to find ways for my mind to be entertained until I fell asleep. My parents hated it that I watched tv until 3AM on the couch and fell asleep there, but I am lucky to have had TSN/RDS/SNET/SETANTA looool. Next morning, university class. First year was hell. What put me back on my feet was opening up to my family. Once you talk about it and on top of that get feedback from people that also had a similar episode, time heals you and you free yourself from it eventually, drug and psychologist free (internet is great!).

That`s why, speak up folks. Even on a forum or to some random dudes like me, it helps.

I`ll go pour myself some cranberry/rasberry/apple/grape juice...
Exactly, we don't know what these guys are dealing with on a personal level, but like the WWE this is becoming a more frequent problem, changing the game completely isn't the answer though, at least not in my opinion. Education, education, education and have these guys some sort of transition program to ease them back into real life once their time is up.

Friends, family, coaches they have to be better at identifying those with problems and not dismiss them so easily. Maybe Belak had been begging for help for awhile now. We don't know how troubled he was or what he went through in his young adulthood that may have triggered these depressing thoughts. Maybe he was abused or something else entirely that had nothing to do with hockey.

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09-01-2011, 02:26 PM
  #95
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I find it's the exact opposite for me. I am very negative when I am working and am a very happy person when I have time off.
I never said I was happy when I worked. Man, I worked night shift during my depression episode as a janitor in an old age institute, cleaning the kitchen and dining room. Alone on the whole floor. Trust me, you`ve got plenty of time to think. Time off, hardly was ever alone, always doing something or going to the boxing gym.

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Old
09-01-2011, 02:29 PM
  #96
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My buddy just sent me a text saying he heard Belak hung himself. Heard it on the radio.

What an eerie video I found :S

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Old
09-01-2011, 02:32 PM
  #97
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Very sad to hear. That's 3 hockey player suicides in one year if the rumours are true.

R.I.P. Wade

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Old
09-01-2011, 03:01 PM
  #98
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Originally Posted by PhysicX View Post
I`m no psychologist, but from personal experience, it`s in moments of solitude that depression is ******* powerful. When you`re doing something or chilling with people, your mind keeps on working and you`ve got no time to ponder on dark/negative thoughts (or at least, less time). At night, I suffered, had a terrible time falling asleep because of these messed up thoughts, had to find ways for my mind to be entertained until I fell asleep. My parents hated it that I watched tv until 3AM on the couch and fell asleep there, but I am lucky to have had TSN/RDS/SNET/SETANTA looool. Next morning, university class. First year was hell. What put me back on my feet was opening up to my family. Once you talk about it and on top of that get feedback from people that also had a similar episode, time heals you and you free yourself from it eventually, drug and psychologist free (internet is great!).

That`s why, speak up folks. Even on a forum or to some random dudes like me, it helps.

I`ll go pour myself some cranberry/rasberry/apple/grape juice...
You're right, and I don't doubt you've had your moments. It's normal, most people in life have endured some sort of depression, even minimal. That being said, I found it odd that it reached this point for Wade. He wasn't a go to guy, and he didn't really play 82 games a year. He was just a guy in the room 50% of the time, and on the bench 90% of the time he in the line-up. It's not like I can't imagine him being depressed as I think it's a very common thing in life, but to imagine it reaching the point that he'd commit suicide not even a year after his seperation from on ice hockey? I mean, i'm not saying he should've waited or something, but it seems rather soon for a guy to feel and ACT on the depression so soon. If it were a case where hockey started and he saw the games and started to get depressed, I would understand more, but it seems odd to me. Even so, he was starting a new career in hockey, so it's not like he was out of the game completely or bored at home. He was supposed to play in AHL after placed on waivers, he chose to retire from the game.

His father seemed at a loss for words, so do all the players he played with. I do find it strange that he was home, without his wife and kids.

I find it odd, that's all. I think there was something past the hockey spectrum with him. Off-ice stuff so to speak, because he seemed perfectly comfortable with his role, career and future career choices.

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Old
09-01-2011, 03:13 PM
  #99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habsjunkie2 View Post
Exactly, we don't know what these guys are dealing with on a personal level, but like the WWE this is becoming a more frequent problem, changing the game completely isn't the answer though, at least not in my opinion. Education, education, education and have these guys some sort of transition program to ease them back into real life once their time is up.
Maybe not changing the game completely, but finding ways to decrease the number of shots to the head or concussions. Yes, fights are entertaining in hockey, but are they necessary? Is the player`s present and future health of less importance than keeping the tradition of the sport intact? I don`t know, it could be time to simply ban fighting or harshly sanction it. In boxing, you train for years and even decades the proper stance, defense, distance, combinations, how to absorb shots, and you wear gloves and a mouthguard (maybe in hockey as well) and fall on a ring. In hockey, come on...

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09-01-2011, 03:16 PM
  #100
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Condolences to the Belak family. Hard to believe that he would leave two young daughters and a wife behind, almost seems selfish to me, but I have no idea what was going through his mind. Hopefully he is in a place where there are no more demons. RIP.

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