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Breaking News: Legendary NHL broadcaster Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick has retired

Emrick, 74, rose from calling college and minor league hockey radio broadcasts to develop an enthralling style that emphasized superior, often mesmerizing play-by-play: Original on-the-fly, bull’s-eye descriptions; a great knowledge of the game; current and past anecdotal info, timed to perfection; strong, warm relationships with his color analysts; and a modest charm that radiated as real. He forced nothing. He just knew how to know.

“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.”

Born in Indiana and still a devoted Pittsburgh Pirates fan from listening to Bob Prince over KDKA Radio, Emrick is a 19-year cancer survivor. He earned his Ph.D and nickname in broadcasting while at Bowling Green. He and his wife, Joyce, plus dogs and horses, have for years lived in Michigan.

Born in Indiana and still a devoted Pittsburgh Pirates fan from listening to Bob Prince over KDKA Radio, Emrick is a 19-year cancer survivor. He earned his Ph.D and nickname in broadcasting while at Bowling Green. He and his wife, Joyce, plus dogs and horses, have for years lived in Michigan.

There is nothing Emrick hasn’t done on behalf of hockey, including becoming the founder of the NHL’s increasingly valued NHL [players’] Pronunciation Guide, and never turning down an interview request including — and especially — from high school kids who aspire to careers in broadcasting.

Emrick is in, at last count, seven halls of fame. That he’d establish himself as an East Coast voice — Hershey Bears, Maine Mariners, Flyers, Rangers’ radio, Devils — before ESPN, CBS and finally NBC — was this region’s great fortune.

Sam Flood, executive producer of NBC Sports, put it very well: “Doc is a national treasure. Simply put, he’s one of the best ever to put on a headset.”

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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