Vancouver Canucks, Peter McNab

Former Canucks Forward Peter McNab Passes Away

Vancouver native and former Buffalo Sabres, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks and New Jersey Devils forward turned TV analyst Peter McNab died Sunday of cancer at the age of 70.

Big picture, he may have been somewhat underappreciated, piling up 813 points in 954 career NHL games, with prolific playoff performances for the Bruins in the late 70’s, all while many of the eyeballs were on Jean Ratelle, Brad Park, Rick Middleton, or even head coach Don Cherry.

We obviously always point to hockey careers and statistics when a former NHL player passes away, and of course it’s the off-ice stuff that really matters.

I worked one Olympics with Peter for NBC in Torino in 2006 and from that point forward I had a buddy for life. McNab was one of those guys where I wouldn’t see him for a year, but when I ran into him at a morning skate, we’d pick right back up as if we’d seen each other the week before. Enthusiastic, friendly and extremely likeable.

During our little annual or semi-annual chats, he was always willing to share his honest thoughts on the Colorado Avalanche and on the NHL in general. I recall him telling me some very cool little behind-the-scenes stories about those 1970’s Cherry-led Bruins clubs. He also liked to remind me that we shared the same birthday.

Canucks Hometown

McNab was traded to the Vancouver Canucks in February of 1984 in exchange for winger Jim Nill, the current general manager of the Dallas Stars. He played a total of 88 games for the Canucks, scoring 24 goals and adding 31 assists.

Hockey was in his blood, Peter being the son of longtime NHL player, coach and executive Max McNab. Peter was inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2021, although his illness prevented him from attending the event. ran a quote from McNab on Sunday: “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 ever would’ve experienced. The places I went, the people I met, it was absolutely phenomenal what the game of hockey gave me.”

This is another poignant reminder of the ongoing fight against cancer, not the kind of item we’re wanting to see in’s daily digest during Hockey Fights Cancer month.

McNab’s passing, among other things, sadly drives home the simple unofficial slogan, “F%$? Cancer!”

Our condolences to his family and many dear friends and cohorts from his Canucks days and beyond.

Rob Simpson

Rob Simpson has covered the NHL in five different decades. He’s authored 4 books on hockey and is a veteran TV and radio play-by-play man and reporter.