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Residents mourn Chris Simon in his hometown of Wawa

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The Town of Wawa is grieving the death of hometown NHLer Chris Simon, who died by suicide at age 52 this week.


Mayor Melanie Pilon said Michipicoten First Nation is burning a sacred fire for the Ojibwa man and inviting family, friends, fans and community members to pay their respects.


Pilon said Simon lived in Wawa until his death and had a large extended family in northern Ontario.


She called the Stanley Cup winner and feared former enforcer an inspiration for the community and Indigenous people.


“A person of pride, he was Wawa’s hero,” Pilon said.


“He really lived out his passion and made his dreams come true. And so many people in Wawa and northern Ontario — and especially those in the Indigenous community — really somewhat lived vicariously through him. Chris showed us all that if he could achieve his dreams, we could, too.”


Pilon also shared a statement from Simon’s family, thanking everyone who reached out and highlighting that Simon suffered from what they believe was a degenerative brain disorder brought on by his battles on the ice.


They urge anyone with thoughts of suicide to seek out help.

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