Former NHL hero Chris Simon dies by suicide as family pay tribute to Stanley Cup winner

Chris Simon represented the likes of New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche in an incredible NHL career.
NHL star Chris Simon has died from suicide aged 52.NHL star Chris Simon has died from suicide aged 52.
NHL star Chris Simon has died from suicide aged 52.

Ice Hockey fans are mourning the loss of NHL icon Chris Simon who has died aged 52 by suicide, according to his family.

In an emotional statement they explained that Simon ‘struggled immensely’ with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease.

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Simon’s former agent Paul Theofanous issued a statement on behalf of the NHL legend’s family.

It reads: “The family strongly believes and witnessed firsthand that Chris struggled immensely from CTE which unfortunately resulted in his death.”

'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.'

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The 52-year-old died on Monday 18 March in his home of Wawa, Ontario. This was confirmed by a statement from the NHL Players’ Association on Tuesday.

Simon is remembered as one of the greats of NHL and he had an incredible 15-year career in the division from 1993-2008 which saw him represent the likes of New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche where he lifted the Stanley Cup in 1996.

Simon played 857 regular-season and playoff games in the NHL. Over his career, he fought more than 100 times and racked up 1,824 penalty minutes to rank 67th in league history. The final five years of his career were played in Russia and he announced his retirement in 2013.

Former agent Larry Kelly paid tribute to the star: “For a big tough player, he was also a very kind, caring individual who was always respectful and grateful for advice.”

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Joe Sakic, Colorado's president of hockey operations who was captain when the team won in 1996, added: “'Chris was a great guy, a beloved teammate and an important part of our first championship season.

“He was a really good hockey player who could score goals, was a big presence in the dressing room and was the first person to stand up and defend his teammates. Off the ice, he was an unbelievable guy and a caring father, son, brother and friend.”

Many NHL fans have also paid tribute on X. One posted: “Chris Simon was part of the team that made fall in love with hockey. May God bless him and his family. If you’ve struggled with depression and despair, people are always there for you. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Please.”

Another added: “Devastated to hear of the passing of former NHLer Chris Simon at just 52-years-old, gone way too young. Thinking of his family and friends during this difficult time. RIP Chris. Gone but never forgotten.”

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