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Peter Naffah: Forever a Pioneer

Dec. 22, 2017

Longtime team volunteer, Peter "Petey" Naffah recently passed after a battle with Meningitis. It is impossible to measure Petey's value to Denver hockey and the influence his legacy will have on the program. The Denver hockey community expresses it's deepest condolences to the friends & family of Peter. 

Petey didn’t have a speech prepared.

Nestled in the corner of the spirited locker room, Petey sat smiling in his sleeveless Pioneers jersey (#39 for his favorite player, Grant Arnold), black athletic shorts and Colorado Avalanche ankle socks. The longtime team volunteer had become a mainstay in post-game locker room celebrations.

The Pioneers hollered as Tariq Hammond addressed the “team win” then, as the cheers subsided, the guys clamored for a speech. On a night where the team was awarded the MVP award, the speaker could have been anybody. On that night, it was Petey.

Since joining the Pioneers in 2013, Peter Naffah (or “Petey” as he came to be known), instilled himself in the fabric of Denver hockey. His undying support and passion for the program made him an immediate fit with players and staff. He always had a smile and an ability to break the tension, such as when after a fiery moment in practice a couple years ago he asked an assuring, “you ok, coach?” His demeanor was inherently disarming. 

Petey would attend practice every Monday and Tuesday. While at the rink, Petey would fold towels, fill water bottles and fill his self-imposed role as an energy guy in a sport chock-full of emotion. He watched every home game from his perch above the Zamboni entrance, so invested in the game he served as a play-by-play voice for all within earshot. After a win, he’d shoot down to the locker room and find himself in the mix of the post-game celebration. Never short on positivity and never shy to show it.


 

 

With his contagious grin, Petey straightened himself in the stall in the corner of the locker room. Twenty-four guys turned their eyes to him, eagerly awaiting the speech that would send them into another excited roar. Petey was silent, then, with both hands raised,  he let out a resounding ‘Yeahhhhhhhh.” 

The room erupted. Then came music. Then came Petey dancing with his brothers. 

Petey was at the heart of the euphoria. Smile and jersey in tow, he’ll always be at the heart of the program. 

Thoughts About Petey:

“Petey brought an enormous amount of energy, positivity, and passion every single day he was at the rink. We all have been extremely lucky to have Petey around the past few years, his commitment and love for the Denver Hockey family is simply something you have to experience to believe, it cannot be put into words” - Jim Montgomery 

“I was extremely close with Petey and had a special relationship with him. We connected from the beginning. To see him with a smile on his face every day no matter what took the pressure off me for 5-10 minutes and I could share in his pure joy. He was a special human who brought great energy and great vibes every time he was in the locker room. He made you think about the simple joys of life and laugher” - Grant Arnold 

“In the business we’re in, things can get very stressful. Petey always found a way to make us laugh or bring a smile to our face” - Nick Meldrum 

“Petey was a huge addition to our team. He brought such positive energy at all times no matter what. He was always smiling and happy to be there. He helped in more ways than he ever could have thought” - Tariq Hammond 

“From the time I met Petey, he had the biggest smile on his face. The attitude and demeanor that he brought every day, not only to certain guys but the whole team, was special to see. He was liked by everybody and he liked everybody. It’s hard to describe in words what he did for the team” - Will Butcher

“He loved us and we loved him. I can speak for the whole team in saying how fortunate we all were to have had him around and I couldn’t be more grateful that Petey’s last full season as a Pioneer was finished off by a National Championship. Petey will always been our hearts and he will forever be a Pioneer.” - Troy Terry

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