I have been a fan of the heavyweights in hockey for all of my life. It started with Wendel Clark and will probably end with Wade Belak. As fighters in our game are being pushed towards the brink of extinction, there are a select few that I would consider my heroes.
I write this post without allowing the details of Wade’s passing to affect my vision of who he was. I write this as a passionate Toronto Maple Leafs fan and a fan of the toughest men in sport. I could not begin to understand the pressure that these individuals go through on a day-to-day basis. I try to live my life making the necessary assumptions to be somewhat like them in times of need. We all need heroes.
Wade Belak played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, following a line of enforcers who were hard to replace. We were spoiled with the likes of Wendel Clark, Tie Domi and countless others who understood their role in our great game. He never appeared to be shy, or complain of his role and was always the first person to stick up for his teammates. He had the face of the kid next door you grew up with. He appeared kind, understanding and was always good for a laugh. I will never forget the day he scored his first goal in a bazillion games. The crowd loved him and I hope that in the afterlife those sounds continue to make music to his ears.
Wade you will be missed. I am sure many of us wish you were still here. You deserved a better fate.
May you rest in peace
Blog Post Inspiration:
Summary: I picked up the card featured below at a local Sports Card Show here in Toronto.
Manufacturer: In The Game (Brian Price)
Year: 2001-02 Be A Player Update series
Attributes: Dual Game used Jersey card with Luke Richardson
Card # TC-25
Card Status: Will be kept in my personal collection