On Wednesday, the longtime N.H.L. veteran Daniel Carcillo, now retired, announced that he would donate his brain, joining a growing list of hockey players that includes Hayley Wickenheiser and Andrea Ruggiero, Olympic gold medalists who made the pledge this year.
Parker made no plans for a brain donation before he died from an infection related to a catheter that treated pulmonary hypertension. The subject was raised with family members just moments before Parker was to be cremated in Minnesota.
“It’s hard to make the decision at the time because you’re grieving so hard,” John Parker said. “Once my mom gave the half-O.K., we made the call.”
The C.T.E. results, recently given to the family, confirmed suspicions.
“He was fighting through more than we knew, probably,” John Parker said. “More than we could see. And he was persevering the best way he could.”
Parker was a high school star in Minnesota, a national champion at Michigan State and a gritty professional who played all or parts of five seasons in the N.H.L., ending when he was knocked out with a hit in 1991 while playing for the Hartford Whalers. It was barely…