NHL hockey legend Bob Probert spent 16 seasons on the ice as one of the toughest players in the league—by the end of the career he had fought (and won most of) some 246 fights. Probert died of heart failure last July, at the age of 45. Now, the New York Times is reporting that researchers at Boston University have found that Probert’s brain showed a degenerative disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy—the same brain trauma that occurred in more than 20 deceased professional football players and prompted the NFL to change its rules to limit dangerous hits to the head. While the NHL has taken steps to reduce potential brain trauma, fighting has nonetheless remained a big part of the game. Probert is the first contemporary hockey player to show C.T.E. after death.
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