Ex-NHL enforcer Chris Simon files for bankruptcy, says he's suffering in retirement

Justin Cuthbert
Long-time NHL enforcer Chris Simon filed for bankruptcy in an Ottawa court on May 15. (AP Photo/Ed Betz)

Former enforcer Chris Simon, who recently parachuted in on the ongoing class-action lawsuit brought against the NHL by a fleet of former players, has revealed that he’s more than a half a million dollars in debt.

Simon, 45, claimed bankruptcy on May 15 in an affidavit submitted to the Ottawa court system, stating that the $15 million he made across two decades in the NHL is gone and that he relies on social assistance to make ends meet.

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Included in his document, Simon has requested that the court excuse three years of missed child-support payments – which adds up to $128,875 – on the grounds of his inability to work due to injuries that eventually ended his NHL stay.

Simon claims he suffers from symptoms commonly linked to CTE, including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, which, as he stated, are “thought to be attributable to significant brain trauma during his hockey career.”

As retrieved by Andrew Seymour of Postmedia, Simon stated: “I have no ability to pay the alleged arrears or enter into any form of payment agreement. My financial situation is bleak.”

Considering Simon’s stated burden, his involvement in the lawsuit brought against the NHL – which alleges that players were not properly educated on the dangers of concussion, head injuries and risks associated with playing in the league – is understandable, perhaps acceptable, but at the same time contentious.

Simon undeniably perpetuated violence in the NHL during the 1990’s and 2000’s as one of the most prolific enforcers the league has seen. He has more than 100 fights on record, collected nearly 2,000 penalty minutes, and was suspended eight times. Two of those bans were the result of stomping and stick-swinging incidents, which earned him suspensions of 30 and 25 games, respectively.

All told, he missed 65 games due to his seemingly bottomless indiscretions.

To add further context, Simon, who was embattled with addiction and plagued by on-ice incidents even before reaching the NHL, has a league-mandated pension at his disposal, but has chosen not to take from it. Doing so would apparently prevent him from dodging his current debt, which his ex-wife claims he’s done previously by failing to disclose his income – most recently in his post-NHL career in Russia.

Simon last played in the NHL in 2007-08. He won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 1996.

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