Home News Canadiens Legend Henri Richard, 11-Time Stanley Cup Champion, Diagnosed with CTE Posthumously

Canadiens Legend Henri Richard, 11-Time Stanley Cup Champion, Diagnosed with CTE Posthumously

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The family of Montreal Canadiens legend Henri Richard announced on Wednesday that the Hockey Hall of Famer had stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) at the time of his death in March 2020.

In a statement released by the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Richard’s son, Denis Richard, expressed his hope that his father’s brain donation and diagnosis would lead to increased prevention efforts, research, and eventually a treatment for CTE. Denis emphasized that CTE is not limited to football and affects athletes from various sports.

CTE is a progressive and fatal brain disease associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries, as described by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Richard, who holds the NHL record for winning 11 Stanley Cups, passed away at the age of 84 while also battling Alzheimer’s disease. The foundation’s press release revealed that 16 out of 17 NHL players studied had been diagnosed with CTE, including notable names like Steve Montador, Ralph Backstrom, Bob Probert, and Stan Mikita.

Richard retired from professional hockey in 1975, before helmets became mandatory in the NHL in 1979.

Ken Dryden, Richard’s former teammate and fellow Hall of Famer, has been advocating for the National Hockey League and other levels of hockey to impose severe penalties for hits to the head due to the long-term damage they can cause. Dryden emphasized that Richard, despite not fitting the typical stereotypes associated with hockey, suffered numerous hits to the head throughout his career.

“I played with Henri. We won two Cups together. He defies the easy stereotypes and doesn’t match the common expectations,” Dryden said in a statement. “During his time, it was old-time hockey with fights, but that wasn’t Henri. He was a skilled skater and had the mind of a playmaker. However, he endured countless hits to the head. We must understand that regardless of the sport, a blow to the head is never a positive thing.”

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about CTE diagnosis

What is CTE?

CTE stands for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a progressive and fatal brain disease associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries.

Who was Henri Richard?

Henri Richard was a legendary hockey player who played for the Montreal Canadiens and won a record 11 Stanley Cups during his career.

When was Henri Richard diagnosed with CTE?

Henri Richard was posthumously diagnosed with stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy at the time of his death in March 2020.

What impact does this diagnosis have on sports?

The diagnosis of CTE in Henri Richard highlights the need for increased prevention efforts and research to understand and mitigate the long-term effects of head injuries in athletes across various sports.

How common is CTE among NHL players?

According to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, 16 out of 17 NHL players studied have been diagnosed with CTE, including notable players such as Steve Montador, Ralph Backstrom, Bob Probert, and Stan Mikita.

What is the connection between CTE and hits to the head?

CTE is associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries, including hits to the head. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing and minimizing such impacts in sports to protect the long-term brain health of athletes.

What has Ken Dryden advocated for regarding hits to the head?

Ken Dryden, a former teammate of Henri Richard and a Hall of Famer, has been calling for stricter penalties for hits to the head in the NHL and other levels of hockey to prevent long-term damage caused by such incidents.

More about CTE diagnosis

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