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Wade Belak

    Wade Belak with his daughter

    - Actually smiles like that.
    - Has pretty unattractive hockey faces, even compared to other hockey faces
    - His name is Wade.
    - No one knows if he plays forward or defense. Unlike Rob Scuderi.


    If you showed this blog to someone who had never been exposed to sportsfan mentality before, they would probably conclude that part of being a fan of a team is being able to mock other teams.

    They'd be right.

    Point is: we don't give a shit who the Pens are playing anymore. We just want to see them enjoy a game of hockey. We want to see them win. They need to find a way to win regardless of who they're playing. That's what you do in the NHL when you can qualify for the playoffs.

    If anyone cares, Fedo is out, Dupuis is probably out, Minard got recalled.

    The big news is that Jaromir Jagr said he would play in Pittsburgh for chump change if Mario asked him to. Because he owes him his "hockey life." We think this is interesting. It definitely paints Jagr in a different light for Pittsburghers who still hate him. But we can't think much about it at this point. Still not relevant. We live in the now. The now is that the Pens play tomorrow.

    Who are the Avalanche? No one gives a shit. Go Pens.

    Wade Belak's death continues a disturing trend

    Wade Belak becomes the third NHLer with a history of fighting to pass away since May. Derek Boogaard, just 28, of the New York Rangers was found dead in his Minnesota apartment on May 13 with the cause of death later determined as an accidental overdose of alcohol and oxycodone toxicity. On August 15, Winnipeg Jets forward Rick Rypien was found dead in his Alberta home at 27. Belak, a 15-year NHL veteran who announced his retirement in March, was found dead in his Toronto condo early Wednesday afternoon. He was just 35. Cause of death is still unknown. 
    Is it just a coincidence that 3 enforcers have died suddenly in just 3 months? Maybe. But both the NHL and NHLPA should be taking note. It has already been taking well documented the toll both physically and psychologically that fighting has on NHL players. No one aspires to be an NHL enforcer. No mother relishes watching their son batter an opponent or taking a beating. All enforcers were star players at one point in their hockey career. When you hit the wall in your development and you have the size, well you do what you have to do to stay in hockey. 
    Fighting takes a physical toll on enforcers. It's inevitable that you get hurt and the incidence of addiction to pain killers and other drugs is high. What you don't see are the emotional and psychological scars. Some fighters begin to avoid fights and before you know it their NHL career is over. Veteran enforcers become targets for younger guys who want to make a name for themselves. 
    I sometimes think that eliminating fighting from hockey would be a good thing because the marginal players could no longer be coerced into being an enforcer. If they don't have the talent to be an NHLer so be it. 

    Wade Belak Found Dead

    Wade Belak was tragically found dead in a Toronto hotel this afternoon. As of this writing, details are not known. Police forensic units are still on the scene.

    The Nashville Predators, for whom Belak last played, released this statement:
    “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.”
    Belak was scheduled to appear in the Canadian show The Battle of the Blades and was employed by the Predators as an analyst for their radio broadcast team for the upcoming season.

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