Wade Belak

Wade Belak’s mother says he suffered from depression

Wade Belak’s tragic death has created debate and discussion throughout the hockey world.

From seeing other former players come out and put pressure on the NHL and NHLPA to do things to better assist players to the league and the union saying they’ll team up to start improving things, it’s been a terrible summer for the league and for those who care for its players.

As for what ailed Wade Belak, who’s believed to have committed suicide, his mother says that he suffered silently with the same issue that addled Rick Rypien: Depression.

James Mirtle from The Globe & Mail shares the story.

 Speaking from Nashville, where Belak’s funeral will be held Sunday afternoon, Lorraine Belak told the CBC on Friday that the family believed he was in “control” of the problem.

“I think he was taking control of that,” she said. “We didn’t talk about it all the time, or a lot.

“It’s extremely difficult to wrap our heads around this. But we are trying to cope the best we can.”

Two players dead over the course of a month and both dealt with depression problems. Depression is a difficult problem because many who suffer from it do so privately never wanting to put on a public face that shows pain. Others don’t want to their family and friends to worry about them.

In Belak’s case, given what others have said about him after his death, many never seemed to know that he was struggling with depression. With his mother saying she knew as well as TSN host Michael Landsberg also confirming Belak’s personal ordeal, it shows how an illness like this can go unnoticed and unknown by even those that work with him daily.

It’s so sad to see these things come to a head in such terrible ways. Seeing someone get to a point where they feel their only escape is to end their own life is the most tragic and terrible situation and one that affects everyone around them after the fact. Getting players and people the help they need when they feel hopeless is something that hockey fans are getting to know all too much about now.

Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins

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The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.

But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.

In the process, they held a red-hot Sidney Crosby off the score sheet, which has been a difficult, sometimes impossible task for opposing teams since about the middle of December. He entered this game with a seven-game scoring streak.

(In fact, New York held No. 87 to without a shot on goal in the entire game.)

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 34 shots he faced for the shutout.

Kevin Hayes gave the Rangers the lead in the first period, before Dominic Moore and Jesper Fast put the game away in the third.

Pittsburgh remains in the second Wild Card spot in the East. The Rangers now move three points clear of the rival Islanders for second in the Metropolitan.

Video: Wideman hearing ‘a tricky case’ as NHLPA hopes to get 20-game suspension reduced

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There is no certain timeline for when NHL commissioner Gary Bettman might rule on Dennis Wideman‘s appeal, according to a report from hockey insider Darren Dreger on NBCSN, as the Calgary Flames defenseman hopes to get his 20-game ban for hitting linesman Don Henderson reduced.

“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.

“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”

Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season

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Joe Vitale will not play again this season.

The Arizona Coyotes have shut Vitale down for the remainder of the 2015-16 campaign due to “concussion-related issues,” according to a report from Sarah McLellan of azcentral sports on Wednesday.

Vitale, a 30-year-old veteran center, appeared in only one game for the Coyotes this season. That was back on Oct. 17, when he suffered a concussion and broken orbital bone in a fight with Kevan Miller of the Boston Bruins.

Sens announce Frattin, acquired in Phaneuf deal, will stick with AHL Marlies

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Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.

But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.

On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.

Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.

Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.