Family of Montreal Canadiens legend announces devastating diagnosis posthumously

Published June 14, 2023 at 12:01
The family of 11-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Famer Henri Richard announced that he was diagnosed with Stage 3 CTE posthumously, which was confirmed by Dr. Stephan Saikali from Universite Laval in Quebec City.

"I hope my father's brain donation and diagnosis will lead to more prevention efforts, research, and eventually a CTE treatment," Richard's son, Denis said. "I want people to understand this is a disease that impacts athletes far beyond football."

Richard is now the 16th former NHLer and second member of the Hockey Hall of Fame to be diagnosed with CTE, which is a degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive blows to the head.

RIchard's former teammate and Hall of Famer Ken Dryden reacted to the news in a statement.

"I played with Henri. We won two Cups together. He fits none of the easy stereotypes, checks none of the easy boxes," Dryden said.

He added, "Played in a different time, old-time hockey, all the fights? Not Henri. Big hitter? Not Henri. Like Stan Mikita and Ralph Backstrom, he was a great skater, and physical, but he had a playmaker's mind, and played that way. But all those hits to the head. We have to understand, whatever the sport, a hit to the head is not a good thing."

'The Pocket Rocket' passed away in March 2020 at the age of 84 and at the time, it was announced that his cause of death was Alzheimer's disease.

To this day, National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman continues to deny the link between CTE and hockey, despite evidence showing otherwise.

Source: TSN
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