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3rd NHL Player Found Dead

Check out Bas Rutten's Liver Shot on MMA Surge: The NHL was shocked by the third suicide of one of its players this week when former Nashville Predator Wade Belak hanged himself. Belak, an enforcer who had played with five NHL teams before retiring in March, was found dead Wednesday in Toronto. He was 35. Belak is the third NHL enforcer found dead since May. The body of 27-year-old Rick Rypien of the Winnipeg Jets was discovered earlier this month at his home in Alberta after a police official said a call was answered for a "sudden and non-suspicious" death. Former New York Rangers enforcer Derek Boogaard died in May at 28 due to a mix of alcohol and the painkiller oxycodone. Craig Button, general manager of the Calgary Flames when Belak played there early in his career, told The Canadian Press it's not only the deaths that are disturbing, but the deaths of similar players. "It's not just getting hit in the head, it's everything that goes with that (enforcer) role. I think that people are paying very, very serious attention to concussions and blows to the head and the role of the enforcer," Button said. An enforcer's role, albeit unofficially, is to fight. As such, Belak, Boogaard and Rypien were among the NHL most aggressive players, and arguably those most likely to take a punch. Post Concussion Syndrome over the past two years has been blamed for causing early onset dementia, Lou Gehrig's disease, and even suicides and suicidal tendencies. A tough guy in the NHL, whose job is to take fists to the face, and hit people against the boards would presumably have a higher likelihood of dealing with (and concealing) concussion issues than any other type of player.
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