Former Buffalo Sabres and Hartford Whalers forward Jeff Parker has died at age 53 from complications of a heart and lung infection. Parker played 141 games in the NHL between the Sabres and Whalers and was also involved with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Winnipeg Jets organizations before retiring from professional hockey in 1991 due to a career-ending head injury.
In 2015 Parker became a plaintiff in a joint lawsuit filed against the NHL for its negligence in head-injuries and post-concussion treatment. Parker was an outspoken advocate for NHL players in their post playing days saying:
“If you’ve played the game and need a new knee or shoulder or if you’ve smashed your elbow, or if you’ve had concussions, it would be nice to be taken care of. You are only here a short time and you want to be able to enjoy life. It’s sad that they have not been able to settle. It’s just a matter of time.”
Unfortunately Parker never saw the conclusion of his lawsuit and succumbed to a lifetime of hockey much too young. He’ll forever be remembered for his courage and contributions to the sport.
RIP Jeff Parker. Gone, but never forgotten.