NHL Legend Dead Aged 52

(Daily360.com) Long-time National Hockey League (NHL) enforcer Chris Simon is dead from suicide at 52 years old.

Simon was found in his Wawa, Ontario home on Monday, March 18th and his family announced his death by suicide the next day. His family said Simon had been dealing with the effects Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which they believe caused his post-career struggles and eventually led to his death. CTE is a degenerative condition believed to affect people who have had multiple concussions and brain injuries.

Simon played in the NHL for 15 seasons, suiting up for seven different teams before ending his career playing five seasons in the professional Russian KHL league. During his time in the NHL, Simon played in a combined 857 regular season and playoff games.

Simon was a fierce defender of his teammates, had more than 100 NHL fights and put up nearly 2,000 penalty minutes. Simon was drafted in the second round of the 1990 draft by Philadelphia but was traded to Quebec in a multi-player swap for star center Eric Lindros in 1992. Simon played in three Stanley Cup Finals series, winning one Cup with Colorado (formerly Quebec) in 1996. Simon was a member of the Ojibwa Native tribe and is remembered as a loyal teammate and great friend. His family said he was tough on the ice but very warm and kind off the ice.

On the same day another former NHL player, Konstantin Kolstov, was also found dead by apparent suicide. The 42-year-old Kolstov leapt to his death from the balcony of his Miami area hotel. Kolstov was a two-time Belarusian Olympian and a first round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1999. He played in a total of 144 NHL games over three seasons before playing the Russian KHL league. He was dating 25-year-old Aryna Sabalenka, the number two ranked female tennis player in the world.

Kolstov was in Miami because he was accompanying Sabalenka while she participated in a tennis tournament. It’s not known if Kolstov suffered from CTE symptoms prior to his death.

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