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Former NHL Player Chris Simon’s Cause of Death Revealed

Former NHL Player Chris Simon s Cause of Death Revealed 280
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

A cause of death has been revealed in the sudden passing of NHL journeyman Chris Simon.

In a Tuesday, March 19, statement through Simon’s former agent Paul Theofanous, Simon’s family said he died by suicide. “The family strongly believes and witnessed firsthand that Chris struggled immensely from CTE which unfortunately resulted in his death,” the statement read.

CTE, also known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a progressive degenerative disease that affects individuals with repeated concussions and multiple traumatic brain injuries.

Simon died Monday, March 18 at the age of 52.

“We are grieving with the loss of our son, brother, father, partner, teammate and friend,” the family’s statement continued. “The entire Wawa [Ontario, Canada] 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.”

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A gritty forward who played for seven different franchises over his 15-year NHL career, Simon was drafted 25th overall in the 1990 NHL Draft by the Quebec Nordiques, eventually making his NHL debut during the 1992-1993 season.

After following the Nordiques to Colorado, where they became the Avalanche, Simon won a Stanley Cup with the team in 1996.

Simon would also complete stints with the Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild before his NHL career came to an end in 2008.

The NHL Alumni Association remembered Simon after his death in a Tuesday post via X, saying he was “never afraid to stand up for his teammates, and played a key role in the dressing room.”

In 2017, Simon filed for bankruptcy and cited “significant brain trauma” suffered during his playing days for his inability to find work, according to documents obtained by the Ottawa Citizen.

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The documents cited a doctor who stated Simon suffered from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and arthritis in his shoulder, hand, knees, back and neck.

Simon’s death occurred on the same day former NHL player Konstantin Koltsov died by suicide after jumping off a hotel balcony in Miami. Koltsov was 42 years old.

A first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1999, Koltsov played in 144 NHL games between 2003 and 2006. In addition to his hockey career, Koltsov was also the boyfriend of world No. 2 tennis player Aryna Sabalenka.

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