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In Memoriam: Chris Snow, NHL Manager and Advocate

December 4, 2023

At just 37 years old, Chris Snow ’03 B.A. (PSt) was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease. His life expectancy was six-to-18 months. He was married with two young children and had a successful career in professional hockey.

Chris Snow
Chris Snow

The 2019 diagnosis was devastating, Snow told Syracuse University writer and podcast host John Boccacino ’20 E.M.P.A. in a 2021 interview. Yet, Snow never complained or showed he had a bad day, his friends and colleagues said. He spent the next four years living life to the fullest while raising awareness and funding for ALS treatment research.

Snow passed away on Sept. 30, 2023. He was 42.

“Through his journey, Chris became a true inspiration for all who knew him and an incredible advocate for everyone affected by ALS,” colleague Craig Conroy told ESPN. “We will never replace a person like Chris. We simply pay tribute to him by moving forward with the same passion that he brought to his life each day.”

As a child, Snow had a talent for writing and love of sports. By 14, he was writing for a local newspaper, and, in high school, his father secured him a press pass at Boston University. At Syracuse University, Snow became a standout student; in addition to policy studies at the Maxwell School, he majored in magazine journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. He quickly distinguished himself as a sportswriter for The Daily Orange student newspaper. During the summer, he worked in the sports departments at the Boston Globe and the Los Angeles Times. After graduating, he became the Minnesota Wild beat writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and covered the Red Sox for the Boston Globe. He later took an executive position as director of hockey operations for the Minnesota Wild before joining the Calgary Flames in 2011; both teams are part of the National Hockey League. Since 2019, he worked as the Flames’ assistant general manager.

Drawing strength from his wife Kelsie Snow and a wide circle of family and friends, Snow publicly lobbied, fundraised and raised awareness to help find a cure for ALS. The Snows helped raise more than $575,000 for research.

Published in the Fall 2023 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

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