HomeSportsFormer NHL player Chris Simon dies at 52 after family blames CTE

Former NHL player Chris Simon dies at 52 after family blames CTE

<span>Chris Simon during his time at the <a class="koppeling " href="" gegevens-i13n="sec:inhoud-canvas;subsec:anker_tekst;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:New York Rangers;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">New York Rangers</a>.  He played for six other NHL franchises.  </span><span>Photo: Ed Betz/AP</span>” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/ 20b69b92c9b2″ data-src= “–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU3Ng–/ 9b92c9b2″/><button class=

Former NHL winger Chris Simon died Tuesday night, with his family blaming his death on chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Simon’s family confirmed the 52-year-old committed suicide and suffered brain trauma. CTE can only be diagnosed through a postmortem, although progress is being made toward live assessment.

“The family strongly believes and has seen firsthand Chris’s tremendous struggle with CTE, which unfortunately resulted in his death,” said a statement on behalf of Simon’s family.

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“We mourn the loss of our son, brother, father, partner, teammate and friend. The entire Wawa community shares in our grief. We are not releasing any further details at this time and ask for privacy at this very difficult time. We appreciate everyone who shares in our tragic loss.”

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The Canadian played for seven NHL franchises in a career that lasted from 1992 to 2013. He also played in the KHL, which is largely based in Russia.

Simon was known for his physical and aggressive play and was also valued as a loyal teammate. His most notable performance came in the 1995-96 season when he helped the Colorado Avalanche to their first-ever Stanley Cup title.

“Chris was a great guy, a beloved teammate and an important part of our first championship season,” Avalanche president Joe Sakic said in a statement. “He was a very good hockey player who could score goals, was a big presence in the locker room and was the first person to stand up and defend his teammates. Off the ice he was an incredible guy and a caring father, son, brother and friend. He will be greatly missed.”

Another of his former teams, the New York Islanders, paid tribute to his impact off the ice. “[He] embodied what it means to be an Islander, someone who wore his heart on his sleeve both on the ice and in the community,” the team said in a statement.

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Simon was married twice and had five children. In 2017, he filed for bankruptcy, saying he was unable to work due to what he said were symptoms of CTE that, according to documents, he said were “due to significant brain trauma during his hockey career.” A doctor confirmed that Simon suffered from anxiety and depression, which are symptoms of CTE.

News of Simon’s death came on the same day that another former NHL player, Konstantin Koltsov, died in what police said was an “apparent suicide.” Koltsov was the partner of tennis world number 2 Aryna Sabalenka.

Last week the first confirmed diagnosis of CTE in a fully professional rugby player was made, following the death of New Zealander Billy Guyton at the age of 33. His brain was donated to the University of Auckland brain bank after his death in Kan.

The only known cause of CTE is traumatic brain injury, which can result from repetitive blows to the head in sports such as rugby, boxing, ice hockey and American football. It can also occur in one-off catastrophic incidents such as car accidents.

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