Nashville Predators Assistant Head Coach Brent Peterson, who has been with the team in its entire 13-year existence, will be stepping down from his position this summer. Peterson, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2004, told the Mormon Times Monday,
"It's just catching up, so it's time to move on. I don't want to, but that's the way it's been. Everyone has adversity, and mine's been with Parkinson's. It's going to push me out of coaching, but there's nothing I can do about it. ...It's a little hard because I love coaching. I'm too young to pack it in. I've just got to accept it and move on."
If there is anyone who exemplifies the "Predator Way" in the organization, it's Peterson, who has continued to do his job at the highest level while fighting through the ultimate adversity. According to the article, when Peterson told Trotz and the coaching staff of his condition,
The coach, not wanting his assistant to feel sorry for himself, told Peterson, "Just because you have Parkinson's, don't think that I'm going to let you off the hook."
Peterson just smiled and told Trotz that was a nice thing to say.
Peterson's struggle with Parkinson's has been well-known, however it is news to everyone that he is stepping down from coaching all together. Nashville's Assistant is considered one of the best in the league, having been considered for many head-coaching jobs throughout his career. Predator fans will remember him for his entertaining and insightful interviews he gave during games and intermissions, as well as the excellent job he has done on a coaching staff that seems to bring out the best in every player that comes through the organization.
Certainly our thoughts and prayers are with the Peterson family as they continue to fight through the toughest of times. This story is much bigger than sports and puts things in perspective at a time when it can be easy to do otherwise. Peterson has set up the Peterson Foundation for Parkinsons, whose website can be found here.