April 12th, 2024

Former NHL enforcer Chris Simon dead at age 52

By The Canadian Press on March 19, 2024.

Chris Simon, once one of the hockey’s most feared enforcers, has died.

He was 52.

The NHL Players’ Association confirmed the news via Simon’s family that he died Monday night. The cause of death wasn’t provided.

The six-foot-three, 232-pound forward from Wawa, Ont., amassed 1,824 penalty minutes in 782 games with the Quebec Nordiques/Colorado Avalanche, Washington Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild.

The NHLPA said in an email Tuesday confirming Simon’s death that “his children and family are grieving the sudden loss of their father, son, brother, friend and teammate. “

The NHL suspended Simon eight times during his career for a total of 65 games. He was hit with a 25-game ban when he was with the Islanders for a cross-check to the face of Rangers forward Ryan Hollweg in March 2007.

Simon was then forced to sit 30 games for stomping on the leg of Pittsburgh Penguins winger Jarkko Ruutu in December of the same year.

Simon, who was drafted in the second round by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1990 and shipped to Quebec as part of the Eric Lindros trade, won the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 1996 before making the final with Washington in 1998 and Calgary in 2004.

Known for his fists in an era when staged fights and intimidation were big parts of NHL life, he could also put the puck in the net.

Simon, who was of Ojibwa heritage, registered 144 goals, including a career-high 29 with Washington in 1999-00, to go along with 161 assists for 305 points.

He added 10 goals, 17 points and 191 penalty minutes in 75 playoff contests.

Simon played parts of five seasons in the Russian-based Kontinental Hockey League after his final NHL stop with Minnesota in 2007-08.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 19, 2024.

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