The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Byers on D&C: Belak death 'sad coincidence'
Fri, 09/02/2011 - 9:07am  

Byers on D&C: Belak death 'sad coincidence'

Former Bruins enforcer Lyndon Byers, now a morning co-host at WAAF, joined sister station WEEI Friday morning for a discussion about problems with brain damage caused by repeated hits to the head in hockey.

Wade Belak died this week -- reportedly a suicide -- and became the third NHL enforcer of playing age to die in the last four months, joining Rick Rypien and Derek Boogaard.

Byers said he's not treating Belak's case the same as the previous two.

"Sad coincidence," Byers said. "I expected a knee-jerk reaction. It's very, very sad that Wade Belak hung himself. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. I think it's completely separate from Rypien and [Boogaard]. To be honest, I think all three deaths are completely separate.

"The Boogaard incident, he was doing drugs with his brother and overdosed. His brother might be going to jail for that. Rick Rypien dealt with depression. Millions of Americans -- millions and millions and millions, in the hundreds of millions of Americans -- deal with depression. So, is it hockey? I beg to differ. I do not think it's hockey.

"You add the fact that Wade Belak just retired. I went through it. I wasted a year-and-a-half of my life, ended up in rehab because I was one of those guys who didn't plan to do something after hockey. I was just living the good life, living the dream, enjoying it. When it was all said and done, I was lost."

That said, Byers acknowledged that hockey is a sport that leads to physical problems.

"The human body wasn't made to run into a wall over and over and over and over and over and over again for 60 minutes," he said. "That's what happens in hockey."

Added Byers: "The game is a physical, violent game. There's going to be a worst-case scenario. My point to you is, it's amazing, I think, that there's not more Wade Belaks, Derek Boogaards, [Rick] Rypiens."

Asked how the sport has affected his post-hockey health, Byers said: "Physically, I feel the effects already. I have awful, awful arthritis in my hand. My back just about a year ago is acting up to the point where I'm actually back trying to lose some weight, get back to some decent amount of weight so that I can walk and play with my 18-month-old son.

"Do I worry that I'm going to lose my mind and maybe commit suicide? I do not think about it. … I don't pee and moan about how bad I feel because I played pro hockey and was a meathead for 13 years. My life has been a gift, I signed on the line and I played a role and played a game — like I said, I played a game that's very violent."

Byers said the people running the NHL and the Bruins care about the sport, and now it's up to the skaters to make a difference.

"The executives, they truly care about their sport," he said. "I've talked to Cam [Neely], Donny Sweeney, those guys truly care. They don't want to see Marc Savard not play hockey again. They want to try to change the rules. But ultimately when it comes down to it, it's the players that have to respect the other player and say, 'I'm not going to elbow this guy in the squash to win this game because I might end his career.' "

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.




Audio On Demand

Chris Price, WEEI.com, jo…

Chris Price, WEEI.com, joins Butch Stearns to talk franchise tags and NFL free agency 3-1-15

Price calls Butch to discuss the March 2nd deadline for franchise tags, free agency and the Pats' plans going forward.

Jim Quirk, NFLRA Executive Director, talks with Mut about the NFLRA's statement, 2-18-15

Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement

Chris Price joins Mike Mutnansky, 2-5-15

WEEI's Chris Price joins Mut to talk about his experience of being in yesterday's Patriots championship parade, and which New England free agents could return to play for the Pats next season.

SB Nation's Paul Flannery…

SB Nation's Paul Flannery joins Mike Mutnansky, 2-19-15

Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline

SI's Chris Mannix with Dale and Holley

We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.

We Love Anthony Davis - Jessica Camerato joins us to talk Marcus Smart

Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.

WEEI.com's Rob Bradford (…

WEEI.com's Rob Bradford (@Bradfo) joins Butch Stearns from sunny Fort Myers on "Picture Day" 3-1-15

The one and only Rob Bradford calls Butch to discuss his early thoughts on this Red Sox team, the potential in the rotation, how the outfield will shake out and more.

David Ortiz says remove instant replay to increase pace of baseball

David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.

Hot Stove Show 02-26-15

Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game

Sunday Skate with WEEI's …

Sunday Skate with WEEI's DJ Bean and ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald - Hour #2 3-1-15

In the second of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe discuss the approaching NHL trade deadline and what the B's will do. They get into the Boychuk move at the beginning of the season and Boychuk's brother venting on Twitter this morning about complaining B's fans. There is more discussion on the 3rd and 4th lines, their playoff chances and then they are joined by ESPN's Scott Burnside.

Sunday Skate with WEEI's DJ Bean and ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald - Hour #1 3-1-15

Another edition of Sunday Skate is upon us and DJ and Joe get into the B's big win over Arizona last night and the improvement of Ryan Spooner. They get into the Blackhawks giving up a 1st round pick for C Antoine Vermette - someone the B's could certainly use but weren't willing to give up the steep price of a 1st rounder. DJ and Joe also get into Claude's willingness to switch up lines as well as the performance of the 3rd and 4th lines. Finally, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sits down with the boys.

Scott Burnside, ESPN, joins DJ Bean and Joey Mac on Sunday Skate 3-1-15

Scott Burnside joins the boys to discuss the Bruins and the NHL trade deadline.

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Bill O'Reilly lied 3-3-15

All the latest stories brought you by Kirk Minihane.

Patriots don't play tag with Devin McCourty 3-3-15

Dino, Gerry and Kirk look at the Patriots choice not to use the franchise tag on Devin McCourty.

Gerry declares Mookie Betts the winner in center field 3-3-15

Dino, Gerry and Kirk kick off thier second to last day in Fort Myers by looking at the competition in center field.

Manish Mehta, New York Da…

Manish Mehta, New York Daily News: "If all things are equal, Revis will come back to New England." 3-3-15

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News joins MFB to talk about his column about Darrelle Revis and the New York Jets' possible pursuit of Darrelle Revis

Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks Patriots offseason moves, 3-3-15

Jackie MacMullen of ESPN Boston joins MFB for their weekly to talk about Patriots offseason moves and news from the NBA

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, talks franchise tag & Darrelle Revis, 3-3-15

Tom E. Curran of Comcast SportsNet New England talks about the Patriots placing the franchise tag on Stephen Gostkowski and what is going on with Darrelle Revis' contract situation

With only a few minor mov…

With only a few minor moves, have the Bruins done enough to compete in 2015?

Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins AFTER the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Trade Deadline Deals Edition - 03-02-15

We examine four trade deadline day deals that helped or affected Boston teams in recent history.

What do the Bruins need to do at the deadline?

Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins before the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.

The Rev Girls come in stu…

The Rev Girls come in studio to talk MLS

Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.

Bill "Spaceman" Lee talks Red Sox spring training andCuban baseball players

Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.

Kirk Minihane calls to clear the air with Mikey

Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.

College Puckcast – Hock…

College Puckcast – Hockey East opening round preview with Mike McMahon and Northeastern coach Jim Madigan

WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin previews the opening round of the Hockey East tournament with Northeastern coach Jim Madigan and Mike McMahon of College Hockey News and The Mack Report.

D&C's Breaking Balls: The podcast is on the road with special guest Doug Lane 3-2-15

Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about their time in Fort Myers and are joined by a special guest, Doug Lane.

College Puckcast – BU coach David Quinn talks Beanpot title, state of team

Boston University coach David Quinn joins WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin to discuss the Terriers’ Beanpot title and how he feels about his team as the postseason approaches. Quinn also discusses reports about NHL interest in goalie Matt O’Connor and briefly touches on a recent misstep by Jack Eichel.

Curt Schilling takes on t…

Curt Schilling takes on the Twitter trolls 3-2-15

Curt Schilling didn't back down when twitter trolls took shots at his daughter. Dino, Gerry and Kirk applaud Schill's stand.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: SNL's ISIS Sketch 3-2-15

All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.

More from this show

The guys recap their week…

The guys recap their weekend in Fort Myers 03-02-15

Dino, Gerry and Kirk look back at their weekend in Fort Myers. Who visited Mommy and Daddy over the weekend?

More from this show

Adam Schefter, ESPN, thin…

Adam Schefter, ESPN, thinks Revis will hit the free agency, 3-2-15

With free agency looming, Adam Schefter, on Sportscenter, said that he thinks Darrelle Revis will NOT be re-signed by the Patriots and that they will cut him instead, making him the most coveted free agent on the market.

More from this show

Curt Schilling talks abou…

Curt Schilling talks about taking on the Twitter trolls 3-3-15

Schilling chatted about his decision to fight back against the Twitter trolls that targeted his daughter. Curt talks about what he would like to see happen to the most vicious trolls.

More from this show

Weei Writers