After 47 years, Mike “Doc” Emrick, is stepping away from the broadcasting booth.
Emrick, 74, has served as the lead play-by-play voice for the NHL on NBC for the last 15 years and is considered the preeminent voice of the league. While he will no longer be calling games, he will continue to contribute to NBC sports by writing and narrating video essays, according to a news release by the NHL.
Throughout his career, Emrick has covered the Stanley Cup Final 22 times, 45 Stanley Cup Playoff game sevens, six Olympics, 14 NHL All-Star Games and 19 NHL Winter Classics and Stadium Series games.
Emrick estimates that he has called over 3,750 professional and Olympic hockey games, the release said.
“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,” Emrick said in a video released by NBC Sports.
“Gordie Howe was a Red Wing, Bobby Hull was a Blackhawk, Bobby Orr was a Bruin. … 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.”
Emrick called hockey games from 1971-73 while at Bowling Green State University where he graduated with a Ph.D., which is where his nickname “Doc” came from.
His professional career began with Port Huron of the International Hockey League and Maine of the American Hockey League before he joined the Philadelphia Flyers in 1980. He would go on to work for the Flyers and the New Jersey Devils over the next three decades before joining NBC Sports.
“Simply, incredible. Enjoy your retirement, Doc,” the NJ Devils tweeted.
“#ThankYouDoc for your contribution to hockey and being part of amazing memories and moments, like this one,” the Flyers tweeted. “Congratulations and enjoy retirement.”
Emrick was awarded the Foster Hewitt Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to hockey broadcasting in 2008.
He became the first broadcaster inducted into the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011, which is also the first year he won the Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality — Play-by-Play. He would go on to win the award seven more times, all of which came consecutively from 2014 to 2020.
“Things change over 50 years, but much of what I love is unchanged from then to now and into the years ahead,” Emrick said. “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.
“Sixty years since I saw my first game, 50 years since I first reported on the NHL, 40 years of calling NHL games. … I leave you with sincere thanks.”
Emrick called the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs for NBC Sports, and his final broadcast was game six of the Stanley Cup Final when the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars. He has a book releasing on Tuesday called, “Off Mike: How a Kid from Basketball-Crazy Indiana Became America’s NHL Voice.”