February 28, 2008
Belak deal a heartbreaker
By JODY VANCE -- Sun Media
I'm going to miss Wade Belak.
The longtime Leafs enforcer, who is Florida bound, is one of the good guys in the game.
The Panthers are lucky; their room just got better, stronger and a lot more funny.
Traded at the deadline, Wade and his lovely wife Jen, along with their two little girls, are packing -- again.
I cringed at the news of his trade because this couple just moved into their newly renovated dream home in Leaside.
Toronto will miss Wade Belak.
We will miss the guy who never once worried about political correctness, who loved to get the media throng laughing with his post-game one-liners, win or lose.
We will miss the camouflage-wearing, hunting-licence-carrying guy who makes no excuses about the man he is.
We will miss the heavily inked metalhead tough guy who is 100 per cent softie.
Personally, I count myself lucky for getting to know the Belak family. All last season, Wade and I did a fun feature that caught on with Leafs Nation in a big way. You may have seen "Wade a Minute" on Leafs TV -- and if you haven't check it out on YouTube. Belak is hilarious.
From salsa dance lessons with his wife (he's still getting ribbed about that across the league) to gearing up at the Toronto fire training facility, Wade was up for anything.
This quick-witted hockey player is made for TV.
We will all miss Wade. Mind you, something tells me when his playing days are done I just may find him sitting next to me on-set at Gate 1.
-- Jody Vance is a sportscaster and personality with Leafs TV. Her columns appear Tuesdays and Thursdays in 24 hours.