NHL Broadcaster Undergoes Brain Surgery, Returns to Booth Just Days Later

NHL broadcaster Pete Weber returned to work on Jan. 14, just days after he underwent successful brain surgery. Weber, 71, is the legendary radio broadcaster for the Nashville Predators and he was back at Bridgestone Arena for the Predators' game against the Buffalo Sabres. He had the surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where Dr. Dario J. Englot and Dr. Richard A. Pierce helped him feel the best he has felt in months.

"My results post-surgery have been incredible," Weber told the Predators' website on Jan. 12 after his successful ventriculoperitoneal shunt procedure. "No pain, my balance is back, I can walk and stand straight up again. There has been no more falling – and even better than that – no feeling that I am about to fall."

Weber needed the procedure after he was diagnosed with normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH). It only took about 60 minutes for Englot and his team to complete. "Pete's surgery went extremely well without any problems," Englot explained. "When we placed the shunt into Pete's brain, there was a noticeable release of pressure."

The shunt will drain a small amount of excess cerebrospinal fluid from Weber's ventricles. The flow could be adjusted as needed, depending on his symptoms. NPH is a disorder that caused Weber to lose his balance because his brain took on too much fluid.

Weber began having balance issues in October. During the Predators' Oct. 15 trip to Dallas, he fell in their plane's aisle. He fell again before the home game against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 29. There were several inconclusive tests until he had a spinal tap at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Afterward, he was diagnosed with NPH and told he needed a one-time procedure.

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Weber has been calling Predators games since the franchise was born in 1998. Predators fans have grown to love him for his passion for hockey and sharp sense of humor. He is credited with helping turn Tennesseans into hockey fans, as the state had never had an NHL team before.

"People love him, and you see it," Predators President & CEO Sean Henry told the Predators' website earlier this month. "35-year-olds who came here as 10-year-olds for the first time are now bringing their 10-year-olds to a game. And the commonality between both of them is Pete Weber, who was the one who put them to bed calling the game on the TV or radio."