News that Wade Belak was found dead in as Toronto hotel room came as a total shock to those close to him at CBC’s Battle of the Blades.
The former NHL enforcer and one time Toronto Maple Leaf was an early recruit for the third season of the CBC reality series. Blades, which is set to return Sept.  18, is already in production in Toronto and Belak along with the others took part in skating exercises shot for the opening episode. A source close to the show says Belak seemed in high spirits and was joking as recently as yesterday on Twitter with ex-teammate and former Blades champ Craig Simpson. The Toronto Sun, among others, are reporting Belak’s death was a suicide.
The following message is posted at the show’s web site: “We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Wade Belak. We send our thoughts and condolences to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”
Bryan Berard, Brad May, Boyd Devereaux and Tessa Bonhomme were announced last week as participants along with Belak in the third season of the series.
Producers of Battle of the Blades cancelled plans to attend Wednesday night’s Gemini Awards presentations in Toronto. The series is up for Best Music or Variety program.
The 35-year-old leaves a wife and two small children. Condolences to his friends and family.

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