Longtime Colorado Avalanche color analyst Peter McNab passed away after losing his fight to cancer. He had been with the team since it moved to Colorado.
The Colorado Avalanche lost a member of their broadcasting team today. Color analyst Peter McNab lost his battle with cancer. He passed away at the age of 70.
McNab started his career as many NHL hosts do, on the ice. He was drafted 85th-overall by the Buffalo Sabres in 1972, but he spent most of his playing career with the NHL Bruins.
One of my favorite stories that MacNab told was about when he went to take his photo for his rookie card. This was the 1970s, so fashion was… distinct. Besides his trademark 70s shag, apparently McNab chose to wear one of those shell necklaces. Apparently the bosses weren’t impressed by that fashion choice, and they actually airbrushed it out for the official rookie card.
As a Bruin, McNab was a player during their heated rivalry — one that’s the equal to the hate the Avalanche and Detroit Red Wings felt. Just like with our homegrown rivalry, a lot of their animosity stemmed from heated playoff battles.
Here in Avs Nation, we all remember the atrocious call that went against Colorado. Well, McNab was part of a Boston team that were absolutely robbed by the Canadiens. The referees had swallowed their whistles all night, but when a few too many Bruins swarmed the ice late in the third, suddenly they found their wind again. The Canadiens went on the win the series and eventually the Cup.
McNab was notoriously humble about his NHL past, but he was playing with some of the old-time greats such as Guy LaFleur, Bobby Orr, and Guy Lapointe. Impressive stuff for a guy who was always cracking up about how slow he was and brick-like his hands were.
As the Avs announcer, he was absolutely brilliant about giving some backstory. He certainly had the time for it since he joined the team right when they moved to Colorado. One of my favorite Avs stories he told was about Patrick Roy, of course.
One of my less-favorite parts about McNab’s color analysis was that, after he’d interview a rival player, he’s wish them, “Good luck.” In Avs Nation we’d lose our minds. Many a time we’d shout at the screen, “No, we don’t want them to have good luck!” Man, I think I’m actually going to miss that little foible.
It’s reported that McNab’s cancer went into remission in February. You’ve got to think it was just long enough for him to be with the team — the family — that he’d been with for almost 27 years as they won the Stanley Cup.
We have to share a few fond moments from this latest Stanley Cup run. There as his call of Nazem Kadri‘s overtime goal in Game 4:
And there was that sweet moment when captain Gabriel Landeskog joined a frail McNab on the ice while everyone was celebrating:
Poor Peter looks gaunt. His shag is long gone. But that sparkle in his eye is still there, and there’s our captain joining the analyst on the ice.
The Colorado Avalanche made a touching tribute for Peter McNab with a voice-over from announcer Kyle Keefe:
He was so long a part of this team, and I just don’t know what broadcasts are going to be like without his grandpa charm. The Colorado Avalanche lost a member of their family today — here in Avs Nation, I feel like we all did.
Rest in peace, Peter McNab. I’m glad some of our last memories with your are of total victory. But know you made your stamp on Colorado Avalanche hockey.