Bob Jones: Ottawa Senators assistant coach diagnosed with ALS

Ottawa Senators assistant coach Bob Jones has been diagnosed with ALS, the team announced Tuesday.

“A devoted member of our family, Bob Jones, has been diagnosed with ALS,” Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a news release. “Bob and his family’s wishes are to take the courageous step of making his condition public in an effort to drive ALS awareness as he fights this disease.”

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that progressively paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body.

Jones, 53, is in his fourth season as an assistant coach with the Senators. He coached in the American Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League for more than 20 seasons before joining the Senators in 2019.

“We have been working internally with Bob and his family as he takes on this challenge,” Dorion said. “While Bob will continue with his coaching duties, he has the full support of the organization to take any time he needs away from the club during the season to concentrate on his health and his family.”

The Jones family is asking those considering contributions to donate to the ALS Society of Canada and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Jones, his wife Paige and their two children Blake and Brianna live in Tecumseh, Ont. in the offseason.

“The Senators family stands united by Bob’s side and the organization is asking the entire hockey community for its encouragement, prayers and support,” the news release said.

In a statement, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the thoughts and well wishes of the entire league are with Jones and his family.

“We admire his courage in making his battle with ALS public and we will support him and his family in this fight.”

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