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Legendary Hockey Broadcaster Mike 'Doc' Emrick to Retire After 47-Year Career

Emrick has been the lead play-by-play voice for NBC Sports’ NHL coverage for the past 15 years

NBC Sports

Legendary sportscaster Mike “Doc” Emrick is retiring after a 47-year career calling professional hockey games. You can transpose his length-of-career for Doc’s current age of 74.

Emrick has spent the past 15 years as the lead play-by-play voice for NBC Sports’ NHL coverage.

“It was 50 years ago this fall, with pen and pad in hand at old Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, I got my first chance to cover the National Hockey League. Gordie Howe was a Red Wing, Bobby Hull was a Blackhawk, Bobby Orr was a Bruin,” Emrick said in a statement on Monday. “A time like this makes me recall that we have seen a lot together. The biggest crowd ever, 105,000 at Michigan Stadium. A gold medal game that required overtime between the two North American powers in Vancouver.”

“Things change over 50 years, but much of what I love is unchanged from then to now and into the years ahead,” he continued. “I still get chills seeing the Stanley Cup. I especially love when the horn sounds, and one team has won and another team hasn’t, all hostility can dissolve into the timeless great display of sportsmanship – the handshake line. I leave you with sincere thanks.”

“Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick is a national treasure – simply put, he’s one of the best ever to put on a headset in the history of sports broadcasting,” added Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production, NBC and NBCSN. “Doc’s love of the game and his unmatched style produced true artistry, engaged new fans and quickly became the soundtrack of hockey. He lived at the rink on game days, spending countless hours at morning skates to find one more story to seamlessly weave into his frenetic, yet lyrical, call of a game. Doc always found the right words to meet the moment. It’s impossible to put into words the impact Doc has had not only on the game of hockey, but for anyone who has had the distinct pleasure to work with him.”

“It has been a privilege and education on hockey’s biggest stage to have sat next to Doc for the last 14 years,” said NBC Sports’ lead NHL analyst Eddie Olczyk, who shared a booth with Doc for the past 14 seasons. “I will miss his stories, his preparation, his play-by-play, his friendship, and our dinners on the road. But most of all, I will miss his trust. My family and I wish him, Joyce, the pups and horses lots of love down the road.”

The “Doc” nickname is an earned one: Emrick received his Ph.D. in broadcast communications from Bowling Green State University in 1976.

Below are some cool “Doc by the Numbers” stats, as typed up by NBC Sports.

Doc ‘By the Numbers’

  • 3,750+  Professional and Olympic hockey games
  • 100+   Different verbs used to describe a shot or pass
  • 50        Seasons covering hockey
      • 1970-71: NHLWA reporter covering the Pittsburgh Penguins
      • 1971-73: Bowling Green State University (play-by-play)
      • 1974-2020: IHL, AHL, NHL
      • 47        Seasons broadcasting professional hockey
          • 1973-1977: Port Huron Flags (IHL)
          • 1977-80: Maine Mariners (AHL)
          • 1980-83, 88-93: Philadelphia Flyers
          • 1983-86, 93-2011: New Jersey Devils
          • 1986-88: New York Rangers (radio)
          • 1986-88, 2000-04: ESPN/ABC
          • 1995-99: FOX Sports
          • 2006-2020: NBC Sports (exclusive since 2011)
          • 45        Stanley Cup Playoff Game 7s
          • 22        Stanley Cup Finals
              • Most-watched NHL game on record (8.9 million viewers); Blues-Bruins Game 7 (2019)
              • Most-watched Final on record (5.753 million viewers; 6 games); Blackhawks-Bruins (2013)
              • 19        NHL Winter Classic and Stadium Series games
                  • First-ever NHL Winter Classic; Penguins-Sabres (2008)
                  • Most-watched NHL regular-season game on record (4.53 million viewers); Capitals-Penguins (2011 NHL Winter Classic)
                  • 14        NHL All-Star Games
                  • 8          Sports Emmy® Awards for Outstanding Sports Personality – Play-by-Play
                      • Most ever in the category
                      • Unprecedented seven consecutive from 2014-2020
                      • 7          Halls of Fame
                          • 1997: Port Huron, Mich., Sports Hall of Fame
                          • 2008: Foster Hewitt Award presented by the Hockey Hall of Fame
                          • 2010: Beaver County Sports Hall of Fame
                          • 2011: U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame
                          • 2019: Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame
                          • 2019: National Sports Media Hall of Fame
                          • 2020: Fort Wayne Komets Hall of Fame
                          • 6          Olympic Winter Games
                              • Most-watched hockey game in 40 years (27.6 million); Vancouver 2010 USA-Canada Gold Medal Game

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