Chris Snow, assistant GM for Calgary Flames, dead at 42
Chris Snow, a pivotal figure in the Flames organization, has passed away at 42 after battling ALS, leaving behind a legacy of hope and determination.
Chris Snow's journey with the Calgary Flames began in 2010 when he stepped into the front office as an analyst.
His commitment and exceptional skills in the realm of hockey analysis did not go unnoticed. He was promoted, first as director of statistical and video analysis for eight significant years, and then as director of hockey analysis for one year. His crowning achievement came in 2020 when he was appointed assistant general manager.
Before stepping into the world of hockey, Snow made his mark as a baseball writer. However, his analytical acumen was soon recognized by the NHL's Minnesota Wild. They brought him on board in 2006, entrusting him with the role of director of hockey operations, where he remained for four seasons.
ALS had claimed the lives of his father, two uncles, and a cousin. The disease reared its head again in June 2019, diagnosing Chris with the same. The team website shared the heartbreaking prognosis, stating he was initially given only six to 18 months to live.
Chris Snow's resilient fight against ALS
Chris's battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, resonated deeply within the hockey community. Upon receiving his diagnosis, he did not resign to fate. Snow promptly enrolled in a clinical trial. According to his wife, the treatment aimed at silencing the "effects of the mutated gene."
Chris Snow's wife, Kelsie, also revealed the heart-rending details of her husband's final moments. She shared that he suffered a "catastrophic brain injury" from a lack of oxygen, leading him to go into cardiac arrest. E
ven in these moments, Chris's spirit of giving shone brightly. Kelsie said he remained on life support while arrangements were made for organ donation, aligning with his earlier offer to donate his body to a clinical trial. She poignantly added that Chris gave four people the "gift of life" by donating his kidneys, liver, and lungs.
Messages of condolences and tribute
The Flames organization and the wider NHL community are in mourning. Craig Conroy, the Calgary general manager, extolled Chris for his positivity, resilience, and the grace with which he confronted ALS. He said, "Chris Snow confronted ALS with grace and hope."
Another message came from Toronto GM Brad Treliving, who had worked alongside Snow in Calgary. His words echoed the feelings of many, expressing sheer devastation at Snow's passing, as reported by Sportsnet
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman also joined the chorus of tributes, praising Snow for his invaluable contributions to the Flames and his indefatigable battle against ALS.
The legacy of Chris Snow
Beyond his professional contributions, Chris was a beacon of hope and determination, especially for those battling ALS. He showcased immense strength, even announcing the Norris Trophy winner at the NHL Awards in Tampa, Florida, in 2022, accompanied by his wife and children, Cohen, 10, and Willa, 7.
A graduate from Syracuse University in 2003, Chris held dual degrees in magazine journalism and policy studies. He also contributed as a sports reporter with the Daily Orange, highlighting his passion and commitment to sports journalism, Syracuse.com reported.
On that fateful Saturday night, the Flames confirmed the tragic news of Snow's passing after his relentless fight against Lou Gehrig’s disease. His demise leaves a void in the hockey community and among his family members, who have faced too much loss from this dreaded disease.
Lessons to learn from this tragedy
- The importance of early detection: In diseases like ALS, it's vital. Additionally, there is always a need for more research.
- The value of resilience and maintaining a positive outlook: Even when faced with adversities.
- The significance of community and how they rally around in times of need: Whether its family or a professional community like the NHL.
- Organ donation can be a beacon of hope: Transforming personal tragedies into life-saving moments for others.
Why this story touches many hearts
The tale of Chris Snow isn't just about a man's battle against a disease. It's about resilience in the face of adversity, about hope when times seem bleak, and about leaving a legacy that inspires. It's about family, love, and the indomitable human spirit.
ALS is a disease that affects not just the individual, but also the families who stand by them. The story of Chris Snow and his family's previous experiences with the disease underscores the urgency for medical breakthroughs and the importance of community support.
Moreover, Snow's commitment to organ donation and clinical trials, even in his final moments, serves as a testament to his character and desire to make a difference, even in death.
It reminds us all that life is transient, but legacies last forever. Chris Snow's name will undoubtedly be etched in the annals of hockey history, but more so in the hearts of those he inspired.