Again and again and again, the aftermath of sustaining one or several traumatic brain injuries, hits the NHL like a hip check as it was reported today that former NHL veteran Wade Belak has hanged himself. Belak, 35, who had the position in a game program of forward was more known for his roll as an enforcer, a big, tough guy that hit hard and fought often. Belak’s tragic death, marks the third NHL “enforcer” found dead since May. Rick Rypien of the Winnepeg Jets and the NY Rangers’ Derek Boogaard, also died likely of suicides and all performed the roll of “enforcer” on their respective teams. Did this man, who had a future career in hand as a reporter with Nashville Preditors, suffer one too many undiagnosed concussions which caused him to commit suicide? What about Rypien and Boogaard?
When will the NHL take traumatic brain injury seriously?