McNab remembered as a great broadcast partner, a caring friend

McNab remembered as a great broadcast partner, a caring friend

Some of the happiest moments of my broadcasting life came during the years I worked side by side with Peter McNab on the New Jersey Devils broadcasts, along with Gary Thorne.

No one I’ve ever worked with had a better vision of the game than Peter, that we lost on Sunday to cancer at the age of 70.

In addition to being a superior analyst, and formerly an excellent player, Peter was a funny guy who always made our day, whether it was at a Devils TV production meeting, on road trips, or just about anywhere place

Also, Peter had a big heart and he showed that side in 1993, the year my youngest son, Simon, almost died of heart disease, cardiomyopathy, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. For agonizing weeks he waited for a heart transplant as his condition worsened.

Fortunately, Simon received a new heart in August 1993 and recovered to enjoy life as he still does today, with his three sons actively playing ice hockey.

When Peter learned of Simon’s problems and recovery, he did more than just acknowledge my son’s situation, he decided to do something about it.

Unknown to our family, Peter organized, with the support of the Devils, a benefit. It started with a stand set up on the home court at the Brendan Byrne Arena during which fans were encouraged to contribute to supporting heart transplants.

In addition, McNab launched a contest in which the winning family would accompany Peter, Simon and my late wife, Shirley, to a Devils game at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens.

Peter himself arranged for us all to stay at the Royal York Hotel and enjoy the game with a few extras thrown in for good measure and enjoyment.

“You will also be staying at Don Cherry’s restaurant and will meet ‘Grapes’ himself,” McNab said. And we did that for a wonderful lunch of laughter and hockey talk.

Needless to say, it was one of the most memorable and happiest trips of my life, and the same for my family and the contest winners. But it was just one of the many good things Peter did for us and others in his wonderful life.

I had hoped to personally thank Peter for those good times again last December when Peter was inducted into the USA Hockey Hall of Fame during ceremonies in Denver.

Unfortunately, our great friend was already being treated for cancer and was unable to attend, although his brother, David McNab, read an emotional speech on Peter’s behalf.

Amazingly, Peter returned to broadcast Avalanche games and was there to enjoy Colorado’s Stanley Cup triumph last season.

Until the end, our friend fought the good fight and leaves us with a lot of pleasant memories. “You’ve always loved music,” Peter mentioned to me once when I told him about a song he admired so much.

It was “The Song is Ended but the Melody Lingers On” by Irving Berlin.

So those of us who knew Peter and revered him — as a person, player and broadcaster — will always think of him with the utmost affection. Yes, the melody lives on. RIP, good friend.

#McNab #remembered #great #broadcast #partner #caring #friend

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button