The hockey world was rocked Wednesday night by the death of popular forward Wade Belak, who retired from the NHL in April after a 15-year career. Belak was 35.
As news of the tragedy spread, condolences flooded in from around the hockey world. Many of the messages were posted on Twitter as the hockey world gathered to remember the personable Belak, who played for Colorado, Calgary, Toronto, Florida and, most recently, Nashville. Belak retired from the Predators following the end of the season and had moved into a broadcasting capacity with the team.
"Wade Belak was one of funniest dudes I had ever met. Just was with him earlier this summer. Can't believe it Thoughts and prayers to his fam." -- Nashville forward Blake Geoffrion.
"Very sad to loose a great teammate and a better person in Wade Belak. The Tootoo family send his family all our thoughts and prayers." -- Nashville Predators forward Jordin Tootoo
"RIP Wade. Great father, husband, teammate and friend. You leave us way too early. You will be missed. Strength to your family and friends" -- Pittsburgh forward Steve Sullivan, who played with Belak in Nashville
"R.I.P. Wade Belak. I had the chance to play with his brother Graham, what an amazing family. Toughts and prayers to him and his family." -- Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Bruno Gervais.
"RIP Wade Belak. Lost for words. My heart goes out to his wife and kids. Another great guy gone." -- Former NHL defenseman Brent Sopel, now playing in Russia.
"Extremely saddened by Wade Belak news. Grew up watching him with Leafs. Thoughts and prayers for his family and friends" -- New York Islanders forward Matt Moulson
"Can't believe I have to tweet another memorial... Wade Belak was a great guy, tough SOB and honorable on the ice... RIP brother." -- Anaheim forward George Parros
"Terrible news about Wade Belak. Prayers go out to those who were close to him. Very sad summer for the nhl" -- Montreal forward Max Pacioretty
"RIP Beeker you were the best.... My thoughts and prayers are with Wade's family friends and former teammates." -- Colorado Avalanche defenseman Shane O'Brien
"RIP Wade Belak. Sad sad news in the hockey world once again." -- Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson
"Sad sad news about another nhl warrior, wade belak. Condolences to his friends n family. Been way too many of these tweets this summer." -- New York Rangers forward Brandon Prust
"I remember skating with Wade 13 years ago at a summer camp when I was 18 and in college. He was a pro, he worked hard, he was funny and ... he was extremely nice to me and he didn't have to be. I was just a college kid. I looked up to him ever since then. You'll be missed Wade." -- Detroit defenseman Mike Commodore in a series of tweets
"Another sad day in hockey today, thoughts and prayers are with Wade Belak's family today." -- Phoenix forward Kyle Turris
"RIP Belak. Thoughts and prays to his family in this tough time. Sad to see another person go so young" -- Boston Bruins defenseman Steve Kampfer
"The hockey world lost another member today. Tough to understand. Hard to hear. Thoughts and prayers to friends and family of Wade Belak. RIP." -- Anaheim forward Andrew Gordon
"Don't have words to describe how good of a guy/teammate Wade Belak was. So sad to hear the news today. Thoughts and prayers to his family!" -- Edmonton forward Ryan Jones
"This is so sad and anytime you lose a member of the hockey family it's a huge loss. He was a guy who played the game tough." -- Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nate Thompson
"Such sad news about Wade Belak. Always heard great things about him. Thought go out to his family. RIP." -- Edmonton Oiler defenseman Ryan Whitney