The Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan spoke with concussion research advocate Daniel Carcillo regarding the death of former Red Wings forward Greg Johnson, and Carcillo suggested that a history of concussion issues may have contributed to Johnson’s suicide:
“There’s been a pretty steady amount of death it seems,” Carcillo said. “I didn’t know Greg personally but when you hear something like that about a former player — and I’ve battled a fair share of mental health issues — it definitely hits home.
“You want to be respectful to the family, but you also have to talk about it honestly and talk about what happened, because in an effort to educate people about possible signs or symptoms — or getting a discussion going about suicide, mental health, concussions — it all ties in to each other.
“In talking (to former players, teammates of Johnson’s) you get the sense he was a really good guy, from that region of Thunder Bay (Ontario), down to earth, and you feel for everybody involved.”
Continued; I’ll be blunt here–until there’s an autopsy, I believe it’s too early to suggest that Johnson died due to the cumulative effects of brain injuries.
Yes, former and current NHL players are dealing with what is clearly a health crisis regarding cumulative concussions, but suicide is the result of a unique set of circumstances in most cases, and those circumstances have to be respected.