From Avs games to kids, Peter McNab went out of his way to make everybody around him better. “Just an amazing dude.”


You knew you were on the right side of Peter McNab if he called you “pal.” All good, pal? Need help, pal? I gotcha, pal. It’s over, pal. To be McNab’s pal was a badge of honor, worn close to the heart.

“When he laughed, not only did he have different pitches of laughter, he had a body laugh,” Avalanche television play-by-play man Mark Moser recalled Monday afternoon when I asked about McNab, his broadcast partner and franchise linchpin whose overtime fight with cancer ended at the age of 70.

“His whole body would move. It was real and impactful. It was 1,000% genuine.”

From Vancouver to San Diego to DU to the crow’s nest at Ball Arena, McNab made everybody around him better, a playmaker to the last. The Avs have a home division matchup with Nashville on Thursday night. Maxy’s old Altitude TV teammates have production meetings for said game on Tuesday, just a few days after McNab, who’s been with the Avs since Day 1, passed on.

“Nobody wants to talk hockey,” studio host Kyle Keefe stressed. “It’s going to be hard. I get emotional just talking about it.”

“I don’t know what I’m going to do without him, because his mind was so powerful in that regard,” Moser said. “And his friendship was so powerful …

“I really don’t know, man. I really don’t know what I’m going to do.”

As good as he was a player, first with the Pios and then for 14 seasons in the NHL, as fine as he was an analyst, Peter McNab was an even better friend. You could tell Maxy anything. Professional or otherwise. Moser often did, in good times and bad. So did Keefe, who remembers McNab acting as his rock after his wife, Dana, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Peter walked me through it,” Keefe recalled. “Anytime that I needed to call and just yell and vent, he would just listen to me. Sometimes he would laugh. Sometimes he would cry with me. He was that kind of guy.”

The kind you keep. The kind you cherish. The kind it hurts so much to lose. The kind who don’t ever want it to be about them.


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