Peter McNab, longtime NHL forward and Avalanche broadcaster, dies at 70

Obit McNab Hockey
Boston Bruins forward Peter McNab celebrates after a goal against the Quebec Nordiques during a Stanley Cup series playoff NHL hockey game in Boston, April 23, 1982.

Peter McNab, the longtime NHL forward who became a familiar voice of the Colorado Avalanche as a broadcaster, died Sunday. He was 70.

The Avalanche, in a joint statement with Altitude TV, announced h is death on social media. McNab released in late summer of 2021 that he was battling cancer, but in February he said that it was in remission. McNab was part of the broadcast team when the Avalanche captured their third Stanley Cup last June over Tampa Bay.

The charismatic McNab saw and experienced just about every step of the journey since the Avalanche arrived in Denver from Quebec before the 1995-96 season. He had a front-row seat for the exploits of Joe Sakic, Patrick Roy and Peter Forsberg, for the legendary — and contentious — clashes with the Detroit Red Wings and for the dawn of a new era that featured Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar.

“As good as a hockey man as he was, he will be most remembered for being a friend to so many,” Sakic, the Hall of Fame forward turned team executive, said in a statement. "On behalf of the Avalanche organization, we send our deepest condolences to the entire McNab family. Peter will be greatly missed.”

After a successful career at the University of Denver, McNab played in parts of 14 NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils. He finished with 363 goals and 450 assists in 995 career regular-season games. McNab helped the Sabres to the 1975 Stanley Cup final, where they were beaten in six games by Philadelphia.

Once his playing career was finished, McNab ventured into the realm of broadcasting, where he was an analyst with the Devils before joining the Avalanche. In addition, McNab served as a hockey analyst at several Winter Olympics.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, McNab grew up in San Diego. He played three seasons for the Pioneers 1970-1973, where he helped Denver to a runner-up finish in the NCAA Division I championship game in ’73. He was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021.

“The hockey world lost a good one here,” former Avalanche and current Nashville forward Matt Duchene posted on social media. “Pete absolutely loved the game and couldn't have been a nicer man and it was a pleasure to know him.”

Added owner E. Stanley Kroenke and president Josh Kroenke in a joint statement: “Peter’s passion for hockey was singular — as was his gift for celebrating what makes the sport so special. We were blessed that, for 27 years, he was an integral and indispensable part of our organization. His presence, insight and commitment to growing the sport made us all want to be greater stewards of hockey.”