Wade Belak

Wade William Belak (born Wade William Aadland; July 3, 1976 – August 31, 2011) was a Canadian professional ice hockey forward and defenceman. He was drafted 12th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft. He played for the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, and the Nashville Predators in the National Hockey League (NHL).

Wade Belak
Wade Belak
Belak pictured warming up during his time with the Nashville Predators
Born July 3, 1976
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died August 31, 2011 (aged 35)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Weight 222 lb (101 kg; 15 st 12 lb)
Position Right Wing/Defenceman
Shot Right
Played for Colorado Avalanche
Calgary Flames
Toronto Maple Leafs
Coventry Blaze
Florida Panthers
Nashville Predators
NHL Draft 12th overall, 1994
Quebec Nordiques
Playing career 1996–2011

Playing career

Saskatoon Blades

Belak made his WHL debut with the Saskatoon Blades as a 16-year-old during the 1992–93 season, getting no points in seven games, along with 23 PIM. In seven playoff games, Belak had no points. He made the Blades as a full-time player in 1993–94, scoring four goals and 17 points in 69 games, while recording a team high 226 PIM. In 16 playoff games, Belak had two goals, four points and 43 PIM. After the season, Belak was drafted in the first round, 12th overall by the Quebec Nordiques in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft.[1]

In 1994–95, Belak appeared in all 72 games, scoring four goals and 18 points, while finished fourth in the league with 290 PIM. In the playoffs, Belak had no points in nine games, while recording 36 PIM. He returned to the Blades for the 1995–96 season, scoring three goals and 18 points in 63 games, while getting a team high 207 PIM. In four playoff games, Belak had no points and nine penalty minutes.

Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche

Belak made his professional debut during the 1994–95 AHL playoffs, when the Quebec Nordiques assigned Belak to the Cornwall Aces. In 11 playoff games, Belak had a goal and three points, while getting 40 PIM. During the 1995 off-season, the Nordiques relocated to Denver, Colorado, and became the Colorado Avalanche. In the 1995–96 season, Belak appeared in five regular season games with the Aces, getting no points, followed by two playoff games, where he also had no points.

Belak spent most of the 1996–97 season with the Hershey Bears, where in 65 games, Belak had a goal and eight points, as well as a team high 320 PIM. In 16 playoff games, Belak had an assist and 61 PIM. He made his NHL debut during the 1996–97 season with the Colorado Avalanche on December 21, 1996, getting no points in a 6–2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Overall, Belak appeared in five games with Colorado, going pointless with 11 PIM. Belak began the 1997–98 with the Avalanche, and on October 22, 1997, Belak had a goal and assist against Olaf Kolzig of the Washington Capitals to record his first NHL points in a 4–3 win. Belak had an injury plagued season, appearing in eight games with Colorado, getting two points and 27 PIM, while in 11 games with Hershey, Belak had no points and 30 PIM.

He began the 1998–99 in Colorado, and in 22 games with the Avalanche, Belak had no points and 71 PIM. He also appeared in 17 games with Hershey, getting an assist and 49 PIM. On February 28, 1999, the Avalanche traded Belak, Rene Corbet, Robyn Regehr, and the Avalanche's second round draft pick at the 2000 NHL Entry Draft to the Calgary Flames for Theoren Fleury and Chris Dingman.

Calgary Flames

Belak began his Calgary Flames career with the teams AHL affiliate, the Saint John Flames in the 1998–99 season, appearing in 12 games with Saint John, getting two assists and 43 PIM. He made his Calgary debut on March 27, 1999, as Belak had no points in a 2–1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. Belak earned his first point as a Flame on April 1, 1999, getting an assist in a 4–1 loss to the Coyotes, that being his only point in nine games with Calgary. At the conclusion of the regular season, Belak was sent back to Saint John for the playoffs, where he had an assist in six games, along with 23 PIM.

Belak spent the entire 1999–2000 season in the NHL, where he appeared in 40 games with Calgary, recording two assists and a team high 122 PIM. He suffered a shoulder injury on February 10, 2000 against the Colorado Avalanche that caused him to miss six weeks of action. He began the 2000–01 season with the Flames, where in 23 games, Belak had no points and 79 PIM. On February 16, 2001, the Toronto Maple Leafs claimed Belak off waivers.

Toronto Maple Leafs

Belak made his Toronto Maple Leafs debut on February 17, 2001, getting no points in a 5–5 tie against the Colorado Avalanche. He scored his first goal and point as a Maple Leaf on February 25, 2001, scoring against Jocelyn Thibault in a 6–4 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. It was Belak's first goal since October 22, 1997, when he was a member of the Avalanche. He finished the season appearing in 16 games with Toronto, scoring a goal and an assist, as well as 31 PIM.

Belak played in 63 games with Toronto during the 2001–02 season, scoring a goal and four points, while recording 142 PIM, which was second to Tie Domi on the team. Belak made his playoff debut on April 18, 2002, getting no points in a 3–1 win over the New York Islanders. He scored his first playoff goal and point on April 28, 2002, scoring against Chris Osgood in a 5–3 loss to the Islanders. Belak appeared in 16 playoff games for Toronto, getting one goal and 18 PIM. He had his most productive season during 2002–03, as Belak had three goals and nine points in 55 games, as well as a team high 196 PIM. In the playoffs, Belak appeared in two games, getting no points and four penalty minutes.

Belak had an injury plagued 2003–04 season, as he suffered an abdominal injury on November 20, 2003 against the Edmonton Oilers and a knee injury on January 6, 2004 against the Nashville Predators. He appeared in 39 games, getting a goal and two points, along with 110 PIM. In four playoff games, Belak had no points and 14 PIM.

During the 2004-05 NHL lock-out, Belak signed with the Coventry Blaze of the EIHL. In 42 games with the Blaze, Belak had seven goals and 17 points and 178 PIM. In the playoffs, Belak had a goal and two points in eight games. After the season, Belak was named to the EIHL Second All-Star Team. Belak returned to the Maple Leafs for the 2005–06 season, as in 55 games, he had three assists and 109 PIM, second highest on the team. In 2006–07, Belak appeared in 65 games with Toronto, getting three assists and 110 PIM, again finishing with the second highest penalty minute total on the Leafs.

Belak began the 2007–08 with the Maple Leafs, and on December 4, 2007, Belak ended his 143-game scoreless drought, as he scored against Chris Mason of the Predators in a 3–1 Maple Leafs win.[2] He played in 30 games with Toronto, scoring the lone goal, while getting 66 PIM. On February 26, 2008, the Maple Leafs traded Belak to the Florida Panthers for the Panthers fifth round draft pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Florida Panthers

Belak finished the 2007–08 with the Florida Panthers, playing in 17 games, getting no points and 12 PIM. His first game as a Panther was on February 27, 2008 against his former team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began the 2008–09 season with Florida, where in 15 games, he had no points 25 PIM. On November 27, 2008, the Panthers traded Belak to the Nashville Predators for Nick Tarnasky.[3]

Nashville Predators

Belak made his Predators debut during the 2008–09 season, as on November 28, 2008, he suited up against the Atlanta Thrashers, earning no points. He recorded his first point as a Predator on December 4, 2008, getting an assist in a 3–2 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Belak finished the season appearing in 38 games with Nashville, recording two assists, and 54 PIM. In 2009–10, Belak returned to the Predators, getting two assists in 39 games, as well as 58 PIM.

Belak played his last season in the NHL in 2010–11, going pointless in 15 games with the Predators. On February 25, 2011, the Predators placed Belak on waivers, however, he went unclaimed. The club then assigned Belak to the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL, however, on March 8, 2011, Belak retired, due to arthritis in the pelvis,[1] Belak remained with the Predators in an organizational role.[4]

Personal life

Belak was born in St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, to Lorraine and Lionel Aadland.[5] His mother, Lorraine, married Barry Belak when Wade was four years old and they took his surname.[6] When he was six years old, his family moved to Battleford where he attended St Vital's Catholic School, Battleford Junior High, and North Battleford Comprehensive High School. By age 14, he was aiming to become a certified lifeguard.[7] His younger brother, Graham, played in several lower-tier leagues and was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche, 53rd overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, although he never played in the NHL.

On July 20, 2002, Belak married Jennifer Jordan Russell in Banff, Alberta. The couple had two daughters, one born in 2004 and one in 2006, both born in Toronto.[7]


At approximately 1:33 p.m. on August 31, 2011, Belak was found dead in a condo at the One King Street West hotel in Toronto.[8][9] Police did not confirm a cause of his death, but Toronto Police treated it as a suicide.[10][11] He was 35 years old, and had been preparing to take part in the upcoming season of Battle of the Blades. His death was the third in a series of NHL players found dead in a four-month span, following Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien.[11] His mother stated that he had been suffering from depression.[10] Michael Landsberg reported that he had spoken with Belak one week before his death about their mutual depression, and that Belak admitted having been on "happy pills" for the previous four to five years.[12] Landsberg stated that Belak was agreeable to appearing in a documentary on celebrity depression that Landsberg was working on, and going public about his condition.[12]

On September 2, 2011, P. J. Stock suggested that Belak's death might not be suicide. "Let's just call it an accidental death right now. But he did die of strangulation" said Stock.[13] On September 21, 2011, Stock expressed regret for making those comments, explained that he did not have any information about Belak's death that was not public, and said "I just wanted to protect Wade, protect his family and his role in the game."[14] Belak's family members have stated that they believe his death was accidental.[15]

Belak's funeral was held in Nashville, with friends, family, and former teammates in attendance.[16]

Career statistics

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1992–93 Saskatoon Blades WHL 7 0 0 0 23 7 0 0 0 0
1993–94 Saskatoon Blades WHL 69 4 13 17 226 16 2 2 4 43
1994–95 Saskatoon Blades WHL 72 4 14 18 290 9 0 0 0 36
1994–95 Cornwall Aces AHL 11 1 2 3 40
1995–96 Saskatoon Blades WHL 63 3 15 18 207 4 0 0 0 9
1995–96 Cornwall Aces AHL 5 0 0 0 18 2 0 0 0 2
1996–97 Colorado Avalanche NHL 5 0 0 0 11
1996–97 Hershey Bears AHL 65 1 7 8 320 16 0 1 1 61
1997–98 Hershey Bears AHL 11 0 0 0 30
1997–98 Colorado Avalanche NHL 8 1 1 2 27
1998–99 Hershey Bears AHL 17 0 1 1 49
1998–99 Colorado Avalanche NHL 22 0 0 0 71
1998–99 Saint John Flames AHL 12 0 2 2 43 6 0 1 1 23
1998–99 Calgary Flames NHL 9 0 1 1 23
1999–00 Calgary Flames NHL 40 0 2 2 122
2000–01 Calgary Flames NHL 23 0 0 0 79
2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 16 1 1 2 31
2001–02 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 63 1 3 4 142 16 1 0 1 18
2002–03 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 55 3 6 9 196 2 0 0 0 4
2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 34 1 1 2 109 4 0 0 0 14
2004–05 Coventry Blaze EIHL 42 7 10 17 178
2005–06 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 55 0 3 3 109
2006–07 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 65 0 3 3 110
2007–08 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 30 1 0 1 66
2007–08 Florida Panthers NHL 17 0 0 0 12
2008–09 Florida Panthers NHL 15 0 0 0 25
2008–09 Nashville Predators NHL 38 0 2 2 54
2009–10 Nashville Predators NHL 39 0 2 2 58
2010–11 Nashville Predators NHL 15 0 0 0 18
NHL totals 549 8 25 33 1263 22 1 0 1 36


  1. ^ a b Harrison, Doug. "Ex-NHLer Belak committed suicide: sources". CBC Sports. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Toskala, Leafs stonewall Predators". Associated Press. 2007-12-04. Archived from the original on 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-12-05.
  3. ^ Zwolinski, Mark (28 November 2008). "Former Leaf Belak traded to Predators". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Belak to stay with Predators". The Tennessean. 2011-03-08. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  5. ^ "Wade Belak biography". WadeBelak.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-05.
  6. ^ Feschuk: Belak’s family trying to cope with tragic ‘accident’
  7. ^ a b "Wade Belak: Biography". Wade Belak. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2008-03-01.
  8. ^ "Report: Wade Belak found dead". The Score. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  9. ^ "Ex-Leafs enforcer Belak found dead". Toronto Sun. 2011-08-31. Retrieved 2011-08-31.
  10. ^ a b "Wade Belak's mother struggles with son's death". CBC Sports. September 2, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-02.
  11. ^ a b Harrison, Doug (September 1, 2011). "Ex-NHLer Belak committed suicide: sources". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
  12. ^ a b "Landsberg: His Depression and His Friend, Wade Belak". The Sports Network. September 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  13. ^ "CBC's P.J. Stock: Wade Belak not a suicide but an 'accidental death'". Yahoo. 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  14. ^ "P.J. Stock has second thoughts on Belak comments". The Globe and Mail. 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2012-08-20.
  15. ^ "Feschuk: Belak's family trying to cope with tragic 'accident'". Toronto Star. 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2011-10-18.
  16. ^ "Friends, family and teammates celebrate Belak". Retrieved September 6, 2011.

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Adam Deadmarsh
Quebec Nordiques first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Jeff Kealty
1976 in Canada

Events from the year 1976 in Canada.

2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs season

The 2000–01 Toronto Maple Leafs season was the franchise's 84th season of existence and their 74th season as the Maple Leafs. The team finished third in the Northeast Division with a 37–29–11–5 record (90 points). In the 2001 Stanley Cup playoffs, they swept their rivals, the first-place Ottawa Senators, four games to none in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals before falling to the New Jersey Devils in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Key dates prior to the start of the season:

The 2000 NHL Entry Draft

The free agency period began on July 1.

2001–02 Toronto Maple Leafs season

The 2001–02 Toronto Maple Leafs season was the team's 85th season as a franchise, and the 75th season as the Maple Leafs. They finished second in the Northeast Division with a record of 43–25–10–4 for 100 points. Qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, they downed the New York Islanders in seven games in the Conference Quarter-finals and the Ottawa Senators in seven games in the Conference Semi-finals. However, their luck ran out in the Conference Finals, as they were eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in six games.

Leafs captain Mats Sundin ranked fourth in the NHL in scoring, with 80 points. Head Coach Pat Quinn and goaltender Curtis Joseph were members of the gold medal-winning Canadian ice hockey team at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

Key dates prior to the start of the season:

The 2001 NHL Entry Draft

The free agency period began on July 1.

2002–03 Toronto Maple Leafs season

The 2002–03 Toronto Maple Leafs season was the team's 86th season of the franchise, and the 76th season as the Maple Leafs.

Key dates prior to the start of the season:

The 2002 NHL Entry Draft

The free agency period began on July 1.

2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs season

The 2003–04 Toronto Maple Leafs season, the club's 87th season of existence and 77th as the Maple Leafs, saw the team finish in second place in the Northeast Division with a record of 45 wins, 24 losses, 10 ties and three overtime losses for 103 points. It was the highest point total in franchise history, beating out the 100 points earned by the 1999–2000 team. The Leafs defeated their provincial rivals, the Ottawa Senators, in seven games in the Conference Quarter-finals before falling to the Philadelphia Flyers four games to two in the Conference Semi-finals. The Leafs did not qualify for the playoffs again until the 2012–13 season.

2007–08 Florida Panthers season

The 2007–08 Florida Panthers season began on October 4 with a game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. It was the Panthers' 15th season in the National Hockey League.

The 2007 NHL Entry Draft took place in Columbus, Ohio on June 22–23. For a complete list of Panthers' draft picks, see below.

2007–08 Toronto Maple Leafs season

The 2007–08 Toronto Maple Leafs season began October 4, 2007. It is the 91st season of the franchise, 81st season as the Maple Leafs.

In an effort to return to the playoffs in 2007–08, the Leafs made two significant moves during the off-season. The first was to acquire goaltender Vesa Toskala, along with Mark Bell from the San Jose Sharks for three draft picks. Toronto also signed free agent Jason Blake to a five-year, $20 million contract. Blake topped the 40-goal mark for the first time in 2006–07.With the Leafs struggling in the Northeast Division, the future of John Ferguson, Jr.'s tenure as general manager has been widely debated after Team President Richard Peddie admitted that hiring Ferguson was "a mistake." According to TSN, the Leafs asked former Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher to serve as interim GM early in January. On January 22, it was announced that Ferguson's time with the club had ended, as the board of directors at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment voted to make a change. Fletcher was named interim general manager of the team.Defenceman Tomáš Kaberle was selected to represent the Maple Leafs and the Eastern Conference at the 2008 All-Star Game in Atlanta, Georgia. He hit all four targets in four shots to become the winner of the accuracy competition.

2008–09 Florida Panthers season

The 2008–09 Florida Panthers season was the 16th season for the franchise in the National Hockey League. The 2008–09 season was also the eighth consecutive season in which the Panthers did not make the playoffs, missing them via tiebreaker, based upon losing the season series vs. the Montreal Canadiens (1–3).

On June 14, 2008, the Panthers named Peter DeBoer head coach and signed him to a multi-year contract. Former coach Jacques Martin relinquished his coaching duties, but continues as the team's General Manager.

2008–09 Nashville Predators season

The 2008–09 Nashville Predators season began on October 10, 2008. It was the Nashville Predators' 11th season in the National Hockey League. The Predators ended up missing the playoffs for the first time since 2002-03 season

2009–10 Nashville Predators season

The 2009–10 Nashville Predators season is the Nashville Predators' 12th season in the National Hockey League.


Aadland or Ådland is a Norwegian surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Beverly Aadland (1943–2010), American actress

Eivind Aadland (born 1956), Norwegian conductor and violinist

Wade Belak (1976–2011), Canadian ice hockey player, born Wade William Aadland

Battle of the Blades (season 3)

The third season of Battle of the Blades premiered on September 18, 2011 as a part of CBC's fall line-up. Like previous seasons, this season showcases a lineup of 8 couples.

Ron MacLean and Kurt Browning return as the show's hosts, with the addition of Virgin Radio 999 DJ Maura Grierson as the "Battle Correspondent", providing viewers a look backstage during the competition. Sandra Bezic continues as the head judge, with Jeremy Roenick as the other regular judge. This season will continue to have one rotating guest judge every week. The show venue for this season is MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Ontario.Like the previous season, the September 18th season premiere was actually a preview of the competition, entitled "Battle of the Blades: Game On". It documented the announcement of the cast, training camp and partner assignments of the eight couples, and was dedicated to deceased competitor Wade Belak. The first competition night was broadcast live on Sunday, September 25, 2011. Due to public demand, there was no elimination in week 1, with the first couple eliminated in week 2.

This season introduces "The Judges' Save", which can be used to save a couple from elimination should they be voted off after the Monday night Skate-Off. However, it can only be used once during the entire season and only with the consensus of all judges.


Belak is a Slavic surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Ivan Belák (born 1978), Slovak football midfielder

Karlo Belak (born 1991), Croatian football player

Teja Belak (born 1994), Slovenian female artistic gymnast

Wade Belak (1976–2011), Canadian ice hockey player

Chris Dingman

Christopher Robert Dingman (born July 6, 1976) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. He played in the National Hockey League with the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Enforcer (ice hockey)

Enforcer is an unofficial role in ice hockey. The term is sometimes used synonymously with "fighter", "tough guy", or "goon". An enforcer's job is to deter and respond to dirty or violent play by the opposition. When such play occurs, the enforcer is expected to respond aggressively, by fighting or checking the offender. Enforcers are expected to react particularly harshly to violence against star players or goalies.

Enforcers are different from pests, players who seek to agitate opponents and distract them from the game, without necessarily fighting them. The pest's primary role is to draw penalties from opposing players, thus "getting them off their game", while not actually intending to fight the opposition player (although exceptions to this do occur). Pests and enforcers often play together on the same line, usually the fourth line.

Kimberly Navarro

Kimberly Navarro (born April 26, 1981) is an American former competitive ice dancer. With partner Brent Bommentre, she is the 2008 Four Continents bronze medalist and a two-time (2008 & 2009) U.S. national bronze medalist.

Nick Tarnasky

Nick Tarnasky (born November 25, 1984) is a professional ice hockey centre who is currently an unrestricted free agent who was most recently under contract with the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League (AHL). He has previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Nashville Predators and the Florida Panthers.

Slovene Canadians

Slovene Canadians (Slovene: Kanadski Slovenci, literally 'Canadian Slovenes') are Canadian citizens of Slovene descent or Slovenian-born people who reside in Canada.

Wade (given name)

Wade is a masculine given name. Notable people with the name include:

Wade Allison (born 1941), British physicist and Oxford professor

Wade Baldwin IV (born 1996), American basketball player

Wade Belak (1976–2011), former National Hockey League player

Wade Boggs (born 1958), former Major League Baseball player

Wade Cunningham (born 1984), New Zealand race car driver

Wade Davis (anthropologist) (born 1953), Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author and photographer

Wade Davis (baseball) (born 1985), Major League Baseball pitcher

Wade Hampton (disambiguation), various persons of that name

Wade Hayes (born 1969), American country music artist

Wade Helliwell, (born 1978) retired Australian basketball player

Wade Houston, former collegiate basketball player and coach, father of former National Basketball Association player Alan Houston

Wade Ivy

Wade MacNeil (born 1984), Canadian singer and guitarist of post-hardcore band Alexisonfire

Wade Mainer (1907–2011), American singer and banjoist

Wade Miley (born 1986), Major League Baseball pitcher

Wade Phillips (born 1947), National Football League defensive coordinator and former head coach

Wade Rathke (born 1948), co-founder of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)

Wade Redden (born 1977), National Hockey League player

Wade Regehr, Professor of Neurobiology in Harvard Medical School's Department of Neurobiology

Wade Robson (born 1982), Australian dancer, director, producer, songwriter and choreographer

Wade Sanders, former Deputy Assistant United States Secretary of the Navy for Reserve Affairs and sex offender

Wade Schalles (born 1951), American champion amateur wrestler

Wade Ward (1892–1971), American old-time music banjo player and fiddler

Wade Watts (1919–1998), African American gospel preacher and civil rights activist

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