Hockey Hall of Fame member Henri Richard had stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy at the time of his death in 2020, the Concussion Legacy Foundation Canada announced Wednesday.
Denis Richard, Henri's son, publicly released the findings of the posthumous brain study through the foundation in an effort to help raise awareness about the risks of head impacts in hockey.
"I hope my father's brain donation and diagnosis will lead to more prevention efforts, research, and eventually a CTE treatment," Denis Richard said. "I want people to understand this is a disease that impacts athletes far beyond football."
According to the foundation, 16 of 17 NHL players whose brains have been studied have been diagnosed with CTE, including Stan Mikita, another Hall of Fame member.
Richard played for the Montreal Canadiens from 1955-75 and won 11 Stanley Cup titles -- the most by one player in NHL history. He was 84 when he died
"Henri Richard was not an enforcer and CTE still ravaged his brain. It is far past time for all of us in the Canadian sports community to acknowledge the long-term effects of repetitive impacts on the brain," said Tim Fleiszer, executive director of the foundation and a former football player who won four Grey Cup titles. "We are grateful to the Richard family for their decision to share Henri's diagnosis publicly to help others and are hopeful it will inspire change."
Richard, a 5-foot-7 forward, tallied 1,046 points (358 goals, 688 assists) and was the younger brother of Hall of Famer Maurice Richard. They played five seasons together with the Canadiens
The NHL did not make helmets mandatory until 1979.
--Field Level Media