Calgary Flames vice president of hockey operations and assistant general manager Chris Snow died Saturday after a lengthy battle with ALS. He was 42.
“Today we hugged Chris for the last time and said goodbye as he went to give four people the gift of life by donating his kidneys, liver and lungs,” Snow’s wife, Kelsie, wrote on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter. “We are deeply broken and deeply proud. In life and in death, Chris never stopped giving. We walk forward with his light guiding us.”
Snow was diagnosed with ALS in 2019. His father, two uncles, and cousin also died of the disease, according to The Canadian Press.
Snow continued to work for the Flames after his diagnosis despite his health challenges.
He was a sportswriter before he became a hockey executive. He and Kelsie met while they were both working in the sports department at the Boston Globe, and the couple married in 2007. The Minnesota Wild hired him as their director of hockey operations one year earlier.
The Flames brought him in as director of hockey analysis in 2011, and promoted him to assistant GM eight years later. Snow was then elevated to vice president in May when Craig Conroy took over as GM.
“Chris was my friend,” Conroy wrote in a statement. “He taught us all so much by how he confronted ALS with grace, positivity, and hope. … He fought with courage and determination for every day he had with Kelsie, (and children) Cohen and Willa, making countless memories with them over these past five years.
“We will never replace a person like Chris; we simply pay tribute to him by moving forward with the same passion that he brought to his life each day.”
We love you Snowy ❤️ pic.twitter.com/VICIR3r6rb
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 30, 2023
Kelsie shared Wednesday that Snow went into cardiac arrest and suffered a “catastrophic” brain injury as a result.
“My chest feels cracked open and hollowed out,” she said. “Chris is the most beautiful, brilliant person I’ll ever know and doing life without him feels untenable. Hug your people.”
He remained on life support until the donation of his organs could be arranged.
Snow, who was a staunch advocate for ALS research and awareness, received a standing ovation at last year’s NHL Awards while presenting the Norris Trophy.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman hailed Snow as a “remarkable man” in a statement mourning his death.
“The Snows’ willingness to share the trials and triumphs of Chris’s lengthy ALS journey has inspired so many and profoundly increased awareness of the need to find a cure for this debilitating disease,” he wrote.
“The NHL sends its most sincere condolences to the Snow family, the Calgary Flames organization, and all who were touched by this special person.”
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a degenerative condition that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It typically worsens over time, eventually affecting control of the muscles required to move, speak, eat, and breathe. There is no cure.
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