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Hockey Hall of Famer Henri Richard Tested Positive for CTE

Hall of Fame center Henri Richard, an 11-time Stanley Cup champion during his 20-year career with the Canadiens, tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a posthumous test, his family announced Wednesday morning.

“I hope my father’s brain donation and diagnosis will lead to more prevention efforts, research, and eventually a CTE treatment,” Denis, Henri’s son, said in a statement.

Citing the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Rick Westhead of TSN in Canada reported that Henri, who died in March 2020, is the 16th NHL player known to have suffered from the disease.

Henri was a cornerstone for Montreal from 1956 to ’75, winning nearly half of its 24 championships. His 11 Stanley Cups are tied with Hall of Fame Celtics center Bill Russell for the most in the Big Four leagues.

Henri, the brother of Hall of Fame forward Maurice “Rocket” Richard, was 84 and had Alzheimer’s disease when he died. As Westhead noted, the NHL has yet to formally acknowledge a potential link between head trauma in hockey and CTE.

“We listen to the medical opinions on CTE, and I don’t believe there has been any documented study that suggests that elements of our game result in CTE,” commissioner Gary Bettman told NPR in April.