Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affected his face, speech, and right arm, but here he is with his wife, Kelsie, and their children – Cohen, 10, and Willa, 7, – to present the Norris Trophy and raise the awareness of progressive neuromuscular pathology.
Snow slapped 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 distribute the trophy to the best defender,” said Chris. “I know these guys are vital. When building the roster, they are the foundation of the team.”
“Here are the candidates for the James Norris Memorial Trophy,” Kelsie said.
Video: Chris Snow and his family speak at the NHL Awards
After a video montage by Romano Josi of the predators of Nashville, Victor Hedman of Tampa Bay Lightning e Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, opened a box containing the winner’s name.
“And the Norris Trophy winner is …” Chris said.
“Cale Makar!” Cohen said.
Each 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 backup goalkeeper.
There was Jake Thibeault, a Milton Academy (Massachusetts) player paralyzed from an 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 from behind glass.
And then there were the Snows, who represented more of themselves.
“It’s a great honor,” said Chris. “Tonight is about the players and their achievements, and not just allowing us to participate, but sharing our story is a fantastic way to honor people with the disease, not just us. Hey, this disease deserves more attention. And we really are. grateful to the League for doing so. “
Chris and Kelsie were open and honest about their experience with ALS via social media and Kelsie shared their story and the stories of others via her blog and podcast “Sorry, I’m sad”. They increased awareness and money through efforts like #weaksidestrongthat challenges people to do something they love but with the opposite hand or foot.
“This is a disease that occurs in the dark, right?” Kelsie said. “It’s such an overwhelming disease just to live with that most of the time people can’t stand it and can’t be a face to it while they’re going through it. You go home and try to make it every day, and you’re just gutting it every single day.
“And so, for us to have the opportunity for him to be as healthy as he’s been for as long as he’s been, it really allows us to put a public face on him. And that’s the goal, right? It’s not like, ‘Oh , we are inspiring. ‘ That’s not what we’re here for.
“We’re just here to say, ‘Hey, look at us. There are a lot of other people like us and we want you to see this disease and understand it’s happening to young families. It’s not just happening to grandparents. It happens to young dads, young people. moms. ‘”
Chris was diagnosed in June 2019, not long after losing his father, two uncles and a cousin to ALS. At 37, he was told to do what brings him joy. But what gives him joy is living, and so he has pursued experimental therapy to slow the disease. The 40-year-old continued to work for the Flames and his family enjoyed every moment together, big and small.
Play Game 7 of the first round of the Western Conference between the Flames and the Dallas Stars at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary won 3-2 in extra time.
“It was a pretty emotional experience, just because you don’t know, right?” Kelsie said. “You never know how to walk in, like, ‘Well, is this going to be my last chance?’ And so those things are always great. They are much more in our mind than for other people, the idea that we have to keep that moment and remember it. “
The Snows landed in Tampa on Monday and went straight to see the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Rays GM Peter Bendix asked about Cohen’s favorite player, then told the Snows to go to the bench after the game for a surprise. Outside Brett Phillips greeted them with gifts: an autographed Phillips shirt for Cohen, as well as autographed hats and baseballs for each child.
The kids wore them to rehearsal for the NHL Awards on Tuesday morning, then dressed up for the show on Tuesday night.
Cohen said he absolutely wanted to meet the Toronto Maple Leafs Center Austin Matthews, who launched a #weaksidestrong challenge himself on Twitter, hitting tennis balls with his left hand. Matthews appeared excited during the standing ovation for the Snows the night he won the Hart Trophy, voted most valuable player by the Professional Hockey Writers Association, and the Ted Lindsay Award, which was voted most outstanding player by the NHL Players’ Association.
The Snows will participate in Stanley Cup Final Match 4 between Avalanche and Lightning at Amalie Arena on Wednesday (8pm ET; ABC, ESPN +, CBC, SN, TVAS) before returning to Calgary where Chris will continue his off-season work. for the Flames.
“Coming off the baseball field yesterday, Cohen said, ‘I’ll always remember that,'” Kelsie said. “I said, ‘I wonder how many more times he’s going to say it this week.'”