Wednesday August 31 2011 – 10:32pm Eastern – Orlando, FL
This space is normally reserved for stories related to the Raptors, the NBA and pretty-much anything on the hard court (from Canada Basketball to high school ball, etc).
But I wanted to take a moment away from hoops – and my family vacation – to pass along my condolences to Wade Belak’s friends and family.
I never met Belak in person; only chatted with him on the radio a few times. He came across as genuine and likable. He was friendly and funny. He seemed to have all of the attributes one would look for in a budding broadcaster – let alone as a friend.
The hockey world has lost another tough guy but for many in Toronto, this one hits much closer to home (respectfully) than the deaths of Rick Rypien and Derek Boogaard.
Belak played in 340 regular season and playoff games for the Leafs from 2001-2008.
The Maple Leafs issued this statement earlier tonight:
“(We) are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Wade Belak. Wade was extremely popular with his teammates, the staff, and Maple Leafs fans everywhere. He was the consummate team player on and off the ice. He will be deeply missed in the hockey community and our thoughts and prayers are with Wade’s family and friends during this challenging time.”