(OTTAWA) Former Montreal Canadiens star and captain and Hockey Hall of Fame member Henri Richard was posthumously diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the Legacy Foundation for Children announced on Wednesday. Concussions Canada.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a progressive brain disease associated with repeated brain trauma, including concussions and repeated blows to the head.
Richard’s son, Denis, released the results of his father’s brain study in hopes of drawing attention to the risks of repetitive head trauma in hockey.
“I hope that my father’s brain donation and diagnosis will help to intensify prevention efforts, research and ultimately the development of a treatment for CTE,” said Denis Richard in a statement.
“I want people to understand that this is a disease that affects athletes far beyond football. »
Richard, known as “Pocket Rocket” as the younger brother of Maurice (Rocket) Richard, played with the Canadiens from 1955 to 1975 and won 11 Stanley Cups. He died in 2020 at the age of 84 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
The Foundation says 16 of the 17 NHL players whose cases were studied were diagnosed with ETC. The list includes former Chicago Black Hawks star and Hockey Hall of Famer Stan Mikita.
“Henri Richard was not a brawler and ETC still ravaged his brain. It is high time that all members of the Canadian sport community recognize the long-term effects of repetitive impacts on the brain,” Tim Fleiszer, a former Canadian Football League player, said in a statement today. now Executive Director of the Foundation.
The NHL, which made helmets mandatory in 1979 for new players, has always denied any connection between hockey and ETC.