He spent a lot of time in the penalty box, in fact Wade Belak has earned 1,263 penalty minutes in the NHL, but he is now situated in another box at the arena - the press box.
Belak, who played just 15 games with the Nashville Predators this season, cleared waivers Feb. 26 and appeared to be leaving Nashville for the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL. After a meeting with the higher ups of the Predators, Belak was given the option to either go to the AHL as a 35-year-old enforcer or decline that offer and hang up his skates for the season and take another position with the Predators.
Belak will reportedly continue to do TV and radio work for the Predators, something he has embraced since being traded to Nashville during the 2008-09 season along with other jobs around Nashville. A Predators' spokesperson said Belak looks to make his home long term in Nashville.
Although his retirement has not been officially announced, it is likely this season, his 14th in the NHL, will be his last.
Belak played a total of 549 NHL games splitting time with Colorado, Calgary, Toronto, Florida and Nashville. He epitomized what it meant to be a team player and someone who embraced his role as an enforcer to live his hockey dream of playing in the NHL.
If nothing else, the Predators should without a doubt have the toughest broadcasters in the NHL, as Stu Grimson is reportedly also a broadcaster for the Predators.