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Parkinson's takes Preds' Peterson off ice

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12-05-2011, 10:00 AM
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Parkinson's takes Preds' Peterson off ice

For Peterson, however, those moments of the mundane have been diminishing. Parkinson's disease has begun to get the upper hand in the battle he and the incurable condition have waged for eight years. The Nashville assistant coach and former Sabres center can no longer skate with his team. He sleeps only one or two hours, the discomfort keeping him awake and making the days longer.

As he's done since the diagnosis, Peterson is fighting back and doing it publicly. The 53-year-old has begun a procedure called deep brain stimulation, which involves implanting a pacemaker-type device and electrodes into the brain to help the areas that Parkinson's attacks.
"If I can add five years to a better life and a better lifestyle that would be good. I'll never be back to coaching on the ice again, but hopefully we can get this to where I'm not locked up."
Peterson, who played for the Sabres from 1981 to '85 after coming to town with Mike Foligno in the blockbuster deal that included Danny Gare and Jim Schoenfeld heading to Detroit, went public with his ailment in 2004 and started the Peterson Foundation for Parkinson's in 2007. He's continuing to help others with the disease by teaching them about deep brain stimulation and its benefits.

Sad story - I always admired Peterson and thought he was one of the most underrated, under-appreciated Sabres back in the 80s. He was a solid face-off guy, penalty-killer and excellent in his role between Seiling and Ramsay - they formed a strong shut-down, checking line for Buffalo that very often could keep the highest scoring lines around the NHL in check.

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