Police have not officially confirmed the cause of death, but Belak's father has been told the 35-year-old committed suicide. Jennifer Belak, the hockey player's widow, said his family was "overwhelmed and deeply touched by the outpouring of compassion and support" since her husband's death. Former European hockey player Kerry Goulet, who with Primeau runs the organization Stop Concussions, said depression and suicide have long been linked to head injuries, along with anxiety, dementia and early-onset Alzheimer's. Belak spent most of his career as an enforcer with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He is the third professional hockey enforcer to die this year. Former NHL player Wade Belak hanged himself, according to a person familiar with the case. Belak, an enforcer who had played with five NHL teams before retiring in March, was found dead Wednesday in Toronto. The person familiar with Belak’s death said he hanged himself at a downtown luxury hotel and condo building. Belak is the third NHL enforcer found dead since May. Former New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died in May at 28 because of an accidental mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone. Belak was scheduled to work as a sideline reporter on Nashville television broadcasts this season.
The 6-foot-5-inch, 233-pound forward played for Colorado, Calgary, Toronto, Florida, and finished his career with Nashville, playing in 549 NHL games with eight goals, 25 assists, and 1,263 penalty minutes. He fought 136 times during his 14-year NHL career, according to hockeyfights.com.
Ticket prices range from $10 to $340. Former Nashville Predator Wade Belak, a tough forward who retired in March, has been found dead of an apparent suicide in Toronto.
Mr Belak's death is the third in a startling trend of NHL tough guys who have died in this offseason.
Winnipeg Jet Rick Rypien, who suffered from depression, was found dead last month at the age of 27 at his Alberta home.
'It's not only about the deaths, it's the deaths that surround similar type players... Toronto police spokesman Tony Vella said 'foul play is not suspected in the ongoing investigation' into Belak's death.
Belak was scheduled to work as a sideline reporter on Nashville television broadcasts this season.
The 6-foot-5, 233-pound forward played for Colorado, Calgary, Toronto, Florida and finished his career with Nashville, playing in 549 career NHL games with eight goals, 25 assists and 1,263 penalty minutes.
Former minor league hockey player Troy Kahler told the Toronto Star that he saw Belak on Tuesday night at the Underground Garage bar.
After Rypien's death, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he expected the NHL to review its substance abuse and behavioural health program.
NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr released a statement in support of changes to the NHL's current policies.
Fellow Predators forward Blake Geoffrion sent his prayers to Belak's family on Twitter.