Mike 'Doc' Emrick, legendary hockey announcer, announces retirement

Tanya Simon
October 20, 2020

Mike "Doc" Emrick announced his retirement Monday after a distinguished career that spanned almost 50 years, and the reaction was instantaneous.

The 74-old Emrick has been the preeminent voice for National Hockey League games on NBC and NBC Sports since moving to the network in a full-time role in 2011.

The NHL team Emrick is most associated with is the New Jersey Devils, working for the team on SportsChannel New York, FOX Sports Net and MSG Networks from 1983-86 and again from 1993-2011. "I guess 50 was a round number in covering the league". "I just enjoyed the fact that I was given a free seat, a good seat, and I got to work with some of the best athletes in the world and then twice a month I got something in the mail, and it was really good".

"Now, into my golden years, this just seemed to be the time that was right".

NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk, Emrick's partner the last 14 years: "We all thank you, Doc, for your passion, your love for the game, your appreciation, love for people and I thank you for trusting me 14 years ago when Sam [Flood, NBC and NBCSN executive producer and president of production] gave me the opportunity to sit next to you for the very first time on NBC".

He has called 13 Stanley Cup Finals and was inducted to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011, the first member of the media to be inducted.

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"I hope I can handle retirement OK, especially since I've never done it before". "I leave you with honest thanks".

Emrick will remain active by occasionally writing and narrating video essays for its National Hockey League coverage in the future.

Emrick, 74, said he's in good health but realized he had reached "the autumn of your years" and wants to enjoy that good health with his wife, Joyce, and their menagerie of pets.

He has won eight Sports Emmy Awards for Outstanding Sports Personality/Play-by-Play, the most by anyone in that category, including seven straight from 2014-20.

The last goal Emrick called came during Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final from Tampa Bay's Blake Coleman, who spent time playing youth hockey in MI for the Belle Tire organization. "I will miss his stories, his preparation, his play-by-play, his friendship, and our dinners on the road". He joined the Mariners' NHL parent team, the Philadelphia Flyers, as the cable TV play-by-play man in 1980. 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. "I always do because I'll miss it when it doesn't happen". "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".

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