It has been over 14 hours since we hear the news of Wade Belak's passing. I spent the entire evening last night discussing the matter with my wife (who is a pastor - little known fact) about how a guy that appears to have it all can go down the path he chose. There are no easy answers or any way to know what lead up to the end of Wade Belak's life.
The question of "where was God?" (or even where was Satan?) are not easy questions to ask or answer when you see someone that appeared to be fast-tracking in their post career success decide to take a sudden off ramp in the highway of life.
Our initial report was basically without words as it came as such a total shock. I'm not sure the situation is any easier to process now. Please forgive us if we missed something in our daily links as I have been truly distracted with the loss of a guy that was so full of life and was a fixture at the rink.
Make the jump for much more on Wade Belak and our daily links...
Wade Belak Passing...
Update: This story that includes what was probably the last picture taken of Belak is difficult to read.
Ben Butzbach shares his personal remembrances of his friend Wade.
J.R. Lind has a nice piece on Belak that points out that "He was, in many ways, the Predator that was easiest for the people in the stands to relate to. (In fact, Belak and I have scored the exact same number of goals for the Predators.)" This is be best piece that I have read that captures the spirit of Wade Belak.
Adrien Dater explains the situation and adds perspective better than anyone in the business. He has a compelling piece here.
Another good story comes from Bruce Arthur who has a post from afar (but at the scene).
This is the eeriest piece of the puzzle that we can't figure out with Belak talking about the passing of Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien on the Fan 590 within the last week.
Josh Cooper has the video from last nights presser at the Bridgestone. He also share his own remembrances of Belak.
Jon Blum speaks shortly after the news.
Bob McKenzie adds perspective in this video.
Ryan Porth touches on the Wade Belak we saw around the rink.
Jim Diamond reports with quotes from Stu Grimson on the tragedy.
Patten Fuqua has a piece with a few videos.
Paul McCann shares his thoughts on his times with Belak.
James Gralien exposes his own demons to give perspective to this summer's deaths.
Becca at Japers Rink points out that the "Hockey Family" is all encompassing from players to fans and ends with the perfect line, "Take care of each other, members of my hockey family. We're all in this together."
After revealing the shocking news of Belak's death, Steve Simmons recalls better times with the big guy. Here is the Toronto Sun's news story on the death.
The Globe and Mail checked with my friend, Georges Laraque on the issue of the difficult role of an enforcer.
Jas Faulkner has walking in the shadow of the funny man.
Chris Wassel has a few videos of Belak showing the man's diversity.
Here's an older piece from Amanda Brooks that really gets in to who Wade was as an athlete.
From @ericshuff: Just now getting around to reading the blogs/tweets/posts reacting to Belak. If you were a fan of hockey, you were a fan of Wade's.
From @Sullivan26: RIP Wade. Great father, husband, teammate and friend. You leave us way too early. You will be missed. Strength to your family and friends!
From @codeyh: My thoughts are with the @PredsNHL organization. As Dave Matthews said "It's easier to leave than to be left." Tough days ahead...
From @ShaneOBrien55: RIP Beeker you were the best.... My thoughts and prayers are with Wade's family friends and former teammates..
From @BigBenPreds: When a FF dies, on duty or not, I recall John15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends #RipWade
Josh Cooper has a few more Tweets from teammates and a long quote from Mike Fisher.
Robby Stanley has additional tweets from teammates.
Here is an interesting piece from The Mind of Zate about Belak on the recent playoff run.
Leaf's Nation has an ever expanding collection of Belak video clips.
Finally, this video will help with your personal therapy.
In Pred Nation...
Josh Cooper has an update on a few players availability when camp opens.
Dirk Hoag has a camp preview for rookie Brent Andrews as well as for David Elsner.
The three finalist for the Predators Anthem Contest have been announced. Go here to listen and vote.
Predatorial is hoping the Predators buck the trend.
Around the NHL...
In another high dollar deal, the Columbus Blue Jackets gave Fedor Tyutin $27 million in a six year extension.
The Winnipeg Jets finalized their TV and radio deals with TSN in a 10-year deal.
It all begins today at RLD Hockey with 30 teams in 30 days.
Rick Jeanneret and Dale Hawerchuk will be inducted into the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.
Michael Langlois has 25 thoughts at the end of the offseason.
Mark Savard is not expected to play this season and my face retirement. let's hope the same thing doesn't happen to Sid.
Sean Leahy has the final report on the twins that switched tickets before the 89 foot shot for $50,000.
Odds and Ends...
Here is an interesting story on the Cape Canaveral lighthouse.
Feet in tennis shoes washing ashore in Vancouver are a mystery. That's not something I've ever heard of before.
The Titans' Chris Johnson lashed out against "fake Titan fans" on Twitter yesterday and further proved what a lack of character idiot that he really is. If the Titans re-sign him, they will fall further off my radar as an organization that I have any interest in.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass