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Chris Simon Calgary Flames NHL
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Death of former enforcer comes with unacceptable comments from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman

Published March 20, 2024 at 12:34
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The hockey world mourned the loss of former NHL enforcer and Chicago Blackhawks player Chris Simon, who passed away at 52 years old.

His family confirmed his death by suicide, shedding light on the struggles he faced, likely stemming from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), they stated.

In a statement released by Simon's former agent, Paul Theofanous, on behalf of the family, they expressed their profound grief and emphasized Chris's battle with CTE as a contributing factor to his death. They requested privacy during this challenging time as they navigate their loss.

«The family strongly believes and witnessed firsthand, that Chris struggled immensely from CTE which unfortunately resulted in his death,» the statement, provided by Simon's former agent, Paul Theofanous, on behalf of Simon's family, read. 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.»



However, the sad news was overshadowed by controversial comments from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. When questioned about the league's stance on CTE and its link to head injuries, Bettman remained steadfast, stating the following:

«Chris' passing is tragic, it's sad. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends. And, you know, on all of these matters, we wait to see what the medical experts tell us. Having said that, I think it's well documented with all of the progress that we've made over the last couple decades to make the game as safe as possible.»

While Bettman acknowledged the tragedy of Simon's death, his comments raised eyebrows and prompted criticism for downplaying the significance of CTE in hockey-related injuries.



The hockey community awaits further developments and hopes for increased awareness and support for players facing similar challenges.
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Death of former enforcer comes with unacceptable comments from NHL commissioner Gary Bettman

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