NHL: Flames assistant GM Chris Snow dies after ALS battle

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Calgary Flames assistant general manager Chris Snow died Saturday after waging a four-year battle against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 42.

He went into cardiac arrest on Tuesday and suffered a catastrophic brain injury due to a lack of oxygen. He had been on life support since Thursday, giving doctors time to arrange for organ donation.

“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,” his widow, Kelsie Snow, tweeted. “We are deeply broken and deeply proud. In life and in death, Chris never stopped giving. We walk forward with his light guiding us.”

The Snows shared two children, Cohen and Willa.

Boston.com, in an article earlier this year about Snow, said that his father, two uncles and a cousin all died of ALS, with a specific mutation running through the family. He was diagnosed in June 2019 and given a year to live.

He continued to work for the Flames this year, despite increasing challenges with his health and time spent in the hospital.

“Chris was my friend. He taught us all so much by how he confronted ALS with grace, positivity, and hope,” Flames general manager Craig Conroy said. “Chris never complained or ever showed us that he had a bad day, and while there may have been many, he continued to perform his job to a very high standard.

“Through his journey Chris became a true inspiration for all who knew him and an incredible advocate for everyone affected by ALS. He fought with courage and determination for every day he had with Kelsie, 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.”

The Snows went public with his ALS fight in January 2020 and launched an effort to raise at least a half-million dollars for research into ALS.

The Flames said the Snowy Strong campaign has raised more than $575,000 to support ALS research and new treatments.

In a statement, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman paid tribute to Snow.

“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,” Bettman said. “The NHL sends its most sincere condolences to the Snow family, the Calgary Flames organization and all who were touched by this special person.”

A former sportswriter, Snow transitioned to the NHL years ago. He was the director of hockey operations for the Minnesota Wild from 2006-10, then joined the Flames as director of hockey analysis in 2011. He was promoted to assistant general manager in September 2019.

–Field Level Media

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