Chris Simon, Stanley Cup winner and former NHL winger, dead at 52

UPDATE: In a statement provided to ESPN on Tuesday night, Chris Simon’s family confirmed he died by suicide on Monday night.

“The family strongly believes and witnessed firsthand, that Chris struggled immensely from CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) which unfortunately resulted in his death,” read the statement provided by Simon’s former agent, Paul Theofanous. “We are grieving with the loss of our son, brother, father, partner, teammate and friend.

“The entire Wawa community is sharing in our grief. We will not be releasing any further details at this time and ask for privacy during this very difficult time. We appreciate everyone who shares in our tragic loss.”

CTE can only be diagnosed after death.

According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, CTE is progressive degenerative disease of the brain commonly found in people with a history of repetitive brain trauma, including concussions and repeated headshots.

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Deaths by suicide and drug overdose are common among athletes in CTE cases. The NHL has repeatedly disputed any links between hockey and CTE.

ORIGINAL: Stanley Cup-winning winger Chris Simon has died at the age of 52, the NHL Players’ Association has confirmed.

Simon, a native of Wawa, Ont., played for a number of NHL franchises in his long hockey career, including the Quebec Nordiques, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild.

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He was selected as a 25th-overall pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft out of the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s by the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then sent to the Nordiques in 1992 as part of the famed Eric Lindros trade.

Simon was known as one of the toughest players of his time, racking up 1,824 penalty minutes spanning 782 career NHL games.

He helped Colorado hoist the Stanley Cup in 1996 and played in Cup finals with Washington in 1998 and Calgary in 2004.

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“Chris Simon was most definitely an intimidating guy on the ice…hell of a player as well,” former Flames teammate Mike Commodore wrote in a post to X Tuesday.

“We spent a lot of time together during Flames 04 run since we were both living in the hotel… he couldn’t have been nicer to me. RIP Chris. You will be missed.”

Following the NHL, Simon spent five seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, where he was named an All-Star on two occasions.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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