From Slam Sports, "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 was scheduled to be one of the participants in this season's "Battle of the Blades" and was starting a new radio show in Nashville on 102.5 The Game.
Here is Belak's official biography. He leaves behind his wife of nine years, Jennifer Jordan Russell, and two daughters, Andie Marie (7) and Alex Grace (5).
Our prayers go out to his family, friends, and fans.
Update... Here are more details from Sean Fitz-Gerald at the National Post.
Update # 2... Here is the official statement from the Nashville Predators on the Passing of Wade Belak:
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.”
Update # 3... NHLPA STATEMENT ON THE PASSING OF WADE BELAK
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.”
Update # 4... Statement from Gary Bettman
“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.”
Buddy Oakes for PredsOntheGlass