Peter McNab, color analyst for the Colorado Avalanche who played 14 NHL seasons as a forward, died Sunday. He was 70.
“The Altitude and KSE family are saddened to announce the passing of our friend, Peter McNab,” Altitude TV, the regional sports network of the Avalanche, said in a tweet. “Our hearts go out to his family and friends, and the McNab family asks for privacy during this unimaginably difficult time.”
McNab was diagnosed with cancer in August but continued his analyst duties while undergoing chemotherapy treatments once every three weeks. Since he wasn’t permitted to fly, he worked Colorado’s road games from a local studio.
McNab was inducted to the US Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2021 along with retired NHL forward Paul Holmgren and journalist Stan Fischler, in Denver, Colorado, on Dec. 9. He did not attend the ceremony. David McNab, a longtime assistant general manager with the Anaheim Ducks who recently retired, gave Peter McNab’s acceptance speech on his older brother’s behalf. Peter McNab was also represented by his daughter, Robyn Mastranadi.
“I won’t kid you. It has been an unbelievably difficult time for all of the family and all of that,” McNab told NHL.com at the time. “Something like this, it’s really nice that as many people from my family can be in as possible.”
The son of former NHL player and general manager Max McNab, Peter was selected in the sixth round (No. 85) by the Buffalo Sabres in the 1972 NHL Draft. He had 813 points (363 goals, 450 assists) in 955 regular-season games with the Sabres, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils. He also scored 82 points (40 goals, 42 assists) in 107 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
McNab is 11th in Bruins history in goals (263), 13th in points (587) and 16th in assists (324) in 595 regular-season games. He scored at least 35 goals in each of his first six seasons with Boston, including at least 40 goals twice. He scored an NHL career-high 41 goals in 1977-78 and 40 in 1979-80.
He had an NHL career-high 86 points (38 goals, 48 assists) in 80 games for the Bruins in 1976-77 and was named a Wales Conference All-Star.
He also played for the United States in the 1986 IIHF World Cup. At 33 he was the oldest player on that team, contributing one point, an assist, in 10 games.
McNab retired from the NHL in 1987 and transitioned to a broadcast career, first with the Devils from 1987-95. He he joined the Avalanche in 1995, their inaugural season. He was also an analyst during the 1998 Nagano Olympics, 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and 2006 Turin Olympics.
McNab played for the University of Denver from 1970-73. The 170 points (78 goals, 92 assists) he scored in 105 games rank him 10th in school history.
“Hockey gave me the opportunity to meet people that were so important to my life, the most important people in my life, and gave me the opportunities to experience things that I never would’ve experienced,” McNab said. “The places I went, the people I met, it was absolutely phenomenal what the game of hockey gave me.”