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NHL.com: DBS surgery has transformed Peterson's life

Wednesday, 09.19.2012 / 12:15 AM CT / Features
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NHL.com: DBS surgery has transformed Peterson\'s life

Almost one year after having deep brain stimulation surgery to ease his Parkinson's disease, those who know Brent Peterson have seen a new man.

"He goes through it like a champ and doesn't have a bad word to say," Predators associate coach Peter Horachek told The Tennessean. "He's a champion from that standpoint."

The DBS surgery, performed in December 2011, saw doctors implant electrodes in Peterson's brain and a pacemaker near his collarbone. The pacemaker is supposed to control the electrodes, which slow the symptoms of his disease. The treatment took nearly a month.

While Peterson jumped on a treadmill at the Predators' practice facility the day after the pacemaker was turned on, amazing his colleagues, it wasn't all perfect. According to The Tennessean, the electrodes caused him to become overly emotional. He said he would cry watching a football team score a touchdown. Or he would laugh at a joke that wasn’t funny. He also went on a spending spree, including buying a $3,000 necklace for his wife, Tami.

"I was crazy," he told the newspaper. "I emptied out our checking account. It was too much energy in my head."

Once the problem was fixed, Peterson was able to resume his duties as a hockey operations adviser -- he watches games with GM David Poile and gives assessments between periods. Peterson also went on scouting trips, including visits to potential playoff opponents ahead of the start of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Peterson said the surgery "unlocked" his body, allowing him to have close to a normal life.

"If I'm unlocked, I can do anything," he said.

There are still reminders of his problem. Peterson needs to take medication daily -- though not as much as before the surgery -- and he struggles with his balance. The 12-year NHL veteran who spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach on Barry Trotz's staff also can't get on the ice and skate due to balance issues. He is able to play golf, but said when he puts a golf tee in the ground, he sometimes feels like he will fall over.

"There's times I think I can get back and play and do the job and go back," Peterson said, "but I can't [because of the balance problem]."

In total, though, Peterson said the last year has been better for him than years past. One of the biggest benefits has been the fact that he's able to sleep six-to-eight hours every night, up from about four hours prior to the surgery.

"You feel 10 times better," Peterson said.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33