HomeTop HeadlinesFormer NHL Player Commits Suicide at 52

Former NHL Player Commits Suicide at 52

- Advertisement -

The hockey community is in mourning following the unexpected death of former NHL enforcer Chris Simon. Simon, born on January 30, 1972, in Wawa, Ontario, was a powerful force in the NHL, overcoming numerous obstacles throughout his professional career.

Simon’s family confirmed his death on March 18, 2024, as a suicide at the age of 52. They attribute his struggle to brain trauma and suspected chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a condition only diagnosed after death, although progress is being made towards diagnosing it in living individuals.

During his 15-year NHL career from 1992 to 2008, Simon was involved in 101 fights and amassed 1,824 penalty minutes over 782 games. He was part of the 1996 Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche team.

Simon’s career also featured notable disciplinary actions, including two of the NHL’s most severe suspensions. The first was a 25-game suspension during his tenure with the Islanders for an incident involving Rangers player Ryan Hollweg in March 2007. The second was a 30-game suspension for stepping on Jarkko Ruutu’s leg in a December 2007 game against the Penguins.

Simon scored 144 goals and made 161 assists while playing for the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Rangers, and Islanders. His NHL career ended with a playoff series against Colorado in April 2008 while playing for Minnesota. Simon continued his career in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), Europe and Asia’s top hockey league, and played in the All-Star Games in 2010 and 2011 before retiring after the 2012-13 season.

Despite earning an estimated $15 million during his NHL career, Simon faced financial difficulties post-career. As reported by the Ottawa Citizen in 2017, Simon filed for bankruptcy and depended on social assistance and disability checks.

Simon’s health issues, including symptoms of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), depression, anxiety, PTSD, and arthritis, impacted his ability to work after retiring. In a public statement, Simon’s family said they believe CTE played a significant role in his death: “Our family has experienced firsthand Chris’s significant struggles with CTE, which, regrettably, brought about his passing.”

The family also expressed their grief and thanked their community for sharing in their mourning: “As we mourn the loss of a son, brother, father, partner, teammate, and friend, the entire community of Wawa joins us in our sorrow. We request privacy during this immensely challenging period and are grateful for the condolences shared by many, acknowledging our profound loss.”

Former teammates and the broader NHL community mourned Simon’s passing, with many sharing tributes on social media. Mike Commodore, a defenseman who played with Simon in Calgary, described him as a formidable force on the ice and a remarkable teammate. Commodore recounted their shared experiences during the Flames’ 2004 campaign, noting that Simon’s kindness was evident even amid his fearsome reputation. “RIP Chris. You will be missed,” Commodore’s farewell message read.

Simon is survived by four children from his second marriage to Valerie, which ended in divorce in 2017.

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

More Articles Like This