Story blogs

Flames manager Snow is grateful to share story of ALS battle at NHL Awards

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affected his face, speech and right arm, but he was here with his wife, Kelsie, and their children – Cohen, 10, and Willa, 7 – to present the Norris Trophy and raise awareness about the progressive neuromuscular disease disease.

Snow hit his chest with his left arm in appreciation.

“ALS is an isolating disease,” Kelsie told the audience. “Thank you for always reminding us that we are not alone.”

“Now we give the trophy to the best defender,” said Chris. “I know these guys are vitally important. When building the roster, they are the bedrock of the team.”

“Here are the nominees for the James Norris Memorial Trophy,” Kelsie said.

Video: Chris Snow and his family speak at the NHL Awards

After a video montage of Romain Josi Nashville Predators, Victor Hedman Tampa Bay Lightning and Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, they opened a box containing the winner’s name.

“And the Norris Trophy goes to…” Chris said.

“Calé Makar! says Cohen.

Every presenter was special on Tuesday.

There was Thomas Hodges, who overcame blindness in one eye to play in a game for the Anaheim Ducks this season as an emergency goaltender.

There was Jake Thibeault, a player from Milton Academy (Massachusetts) who was crippled by injury in September 2021.

There was Nadia Popovici, a Seattle Kraken fan who spotted a cancerous mole on the neck of Vancouver Canucks assistant equipment manager Red Hamilton behind the glass.

And then there were the Snows, who represented more than themselves.

“It’s a huge honor,” Chris said. “Tonight is about the players and their accomplishments, and not only allowing us to participate, but sharing our story is such a great way to honor those with the disease, not just us. Hey, this disease deserves more be careful. and we’re really grateful to the League for doing that.”

Chris and Kelsie have been open and honest about their experience with ALS via social media, and Kelsie has shared their story and the stories of others via her. blog and podcast “Sorry, I’m sad”. They made awareness and money via efforts like #weaksidestrongwhich challenges people to do something they love but with their opposite hand or foot.

“It’s a disease that happens in the dark, isn’t it? Kelsie said. “It’s such an overwhelming disease to live with that most of the time people can’t defend it and can’t be a face while they’re going through it. You go home and just try to get through it. every day, and you empty it every day.

“And so for us to have the opportunity for him to be as healthy as he has been for as long as he has been, really allows us to put a public face on it. And that That’s the point, right? It’s not, like, ‘Oh, we’re inspiring. That’s not what we’re here for.’

“We’re here to just say, ‘Hey, look at us. There are a ton of other people like us, and we want you to see this disease and understand that it happens to young families. It doesn’t just happen to grandparents. happens to young dads, young moms.'”

Chris was diagnosed in June 2019, shortly after losing his father, two uncles and a cousin to ALS. At 37, he is told to do what brings him joy. But what brings him joy is living, and so he pursued experimental therapy to slow the disease. The 40-year-old continued to work for the Flames and his family savored every moment together, young and old.

Take Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round between the Flames and the Dallas Stars at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary won 3-2 in overtime.

“It was quite a moving experience, just because you don’t know, right?” Kelsie said. “You never know how to come in, like, ‘Well, is this going to be my last chance?’ And so those things are still important, they’re so much more present in our minds than others, the notion that we have to hold on to this moment and remember it.

The Snows touched down in Tampa on Monday and went straight to the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Rays general manager Peter Bendix asked for Cohen’s favorite player, then told the Snows to go to the dugout after the game for a surprise. Outfielder Brett Phillips met them with gifts — a signed Phillips jersey for Cohen, as well as hats and signed baseballs for each child.

The kids wore them to the NHL Awards rehearsal on Tuesday morning, then dressed up for the show on Tuesday night.

Cohen said he especially wanted to meet the center of the Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews, who challenged himself #weaksidestrong on Twitter, hitting tennis balls with his left hand. Matthews appeared emotional during the standing ovation for the Snows before winning the Hart Trophy, voted Most Valuable Player by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and the Ted Lindsay Award, voted Most Outstanding Player by the Hockey Players Association. the NHL.

Tweet from @AM34: Here’s my take on the #WeakSideStrong challenge. Similar to a young Rafa���I challenge @ClaytonKeller37! You are standing 👊 pic.twitter.com/amxmui5k50

The Snows will watch Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Avalanche and Lightning at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; ABC, ESPN+, CBC, SN, TVAS) before returning to Calgary, where Chris will continue his work out of season for the Flames.

“Walking out of the ballpark yesterday, Cohen said, ‘I’ll remember this forever,'” Kelsie said. “I said, ‘I wonder how many more times he’s going to say that this week.'”