This is my fourth attempt writing this piece. Not something I wanted to write about, or anything close to it. To be honest, I had trouble accepting that it was suicide.
No one could’ve suspected that Wade Belak was dealing with personal demons and issues leading to his death. Of all the players who’ve worn the fanged sweater, he’s about the last one I’d suspect ever to have these kind of issues. It further adds to the tragic summer of the NHL; Boogaard, Rypien, and now Belak have left life too early, and two of their own choice.
Wade had a great life ahead of him. Those around the Nashville hockey community will note that Belak was more than superb in his role for the Preds radio and TV teams, and was on the way to being a star. I fully expected him to be on TSN before 2013.
I was diagnosed with depression in 2003, and have dealt with it and all that comes with it. I am in no way an expert on this subject, and nor am I even trying to interject my own story in this. When someone loses their battle, its the most painful news you could hear. “There goes someone who could’ve understood me”… “We could’ve helped each other”… those type of thoughts run through your head upon hearing another person has taken their own life. No telling what thoughts were rolling through his mind, but that does weigh in.
The Predators community will remember Wade for being a great teammate, and a great father and husband. I’ll miss that goofy tattooed guy on the radio, as well as the ambassador for the sport to the city of Nashville.