Mike “Doc” Emrick, the voice of the NHL, has decided to retire after nearly a half-century of broadcasting.
Emrick, 74, said via the New York Post that he simply realized it was time to move on.
“I hope I can handle retirement OK,” he said Sunday night from his home in Michigan, “especially since I’ve never done it before. But I’ve just been extremely lucky for 50 years. And NBC has been so good to me, especially since the pandemic, when I was allowed to work from home in a studio NBC created.
“Now, into my golden years, this just seemed to be the time that was right.
“Plus, I’ve now accumulated enough frequent-flyer miles — to not go anywhere.”
Emrick has been broadcasting professionally since the early 1970s, starting out by calling college and minor league hockey games. Born in Indiana, he spent time calling games for East Coast minor league teams like the Hershey Bears and Maine Mariners in his early years before doing play-by-play for the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers in the 1980s. He would remain the voice of the Devils for 21 years.
His national work is what made him a household name among hockey fans. He’s worked for every national sports network imaginable at one point or another. He’s called 22 Stanley Cup Finals and did play-by-play for hockey at six Olympic Games. He moved full time to NBC in 2011, becoming their main play-by-play man for NHL games.
NBC paid him farewell on Twitter Monday:
Emrick has that magic touch that all play-by-play broadcasters crave. He’s able to stay in the moment of whatever game he’s calling and make it the most fascinating and engaging thing you’ve ever watched. Whether it was Game 7 of the Stanley Cup or a standard regular season blowout, Emrick could keep you interested because he was always interested.
He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008, receiving the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to hockey broadcasting. He became the first media member to be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of fame in 2011, and has been inducted into five other Halls of Fame. According to the New York Post, Emrick and his wife Joyce have lived in Michigan for years, where they keep both dogs and horses.
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