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Former NHLer Greg Johnson posthumously diagnosed with CTE


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TJ Tucker
July 10, 2024  (11:16)
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Former NHLer Greg Johnson
Photo credit: TBNewsWatch.com

Five years after his death, the family of former NHLer Greg Johnson has announced he has been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE

The family of former NHLer Greg Johnson, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2019, has announced that he has been posthumously diagnosed with a brain-withering disease believed to be caused by repeated brain trauma. Johnson played for four teams throughout his 14 season career for a total of 785 regular season games.
Johnson's daughter Carson said in a news release this should be a wake up call for the NHL and its players.
"I had no idea what CTE even stood for when my dad took his life. Now understanding that the hits he endured throughout his hockey career damaged his brain, I want all athletes to understand the risks and I want the NHL to start acknowledging it exists and do more to protect its players so other daughters don't have to lose their fathers."

The NHL has long denied a link between hitting and fighting in hockey and CTE, calling any evidence anecdotal and incomplete. 17 of 18 players in Canada and the US who were studied have been diagnosed with CTE. Besides Johnson, this includes Ralph Backstrom, Henri Richard, Stan Mikita, Bob Probert, Steve Montador, Bob Murdoch, and a number of amateur players. Johnson's wife said he told her his forced retirement was a blessing in disguise.
"He experienced very few symptoms that we knew of, but he spoke of his concussions often.

I remember the exact moment he told me his heart condition forcing him to retire was a blessing because he couldn't take another hit. He knew his hockey career had a profound impact on his brain."

Johnson played for the Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, and Nashville Predators throughout his NHL career. He earned a silver medal playing for Team Canada at the 1994 Winter Olympics, and a gold medal at the 1991 World Juniors.
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Former NHLer Greg Johnson posthumously diagnosed with CTE

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