The game of hockey can stand on its own.
If you happen to be in a bar where multiple games in several sports are being shown at the same time, you may not hear any of the play-by-play. If you know the game and love it, you can follow what's going on without any play-by-play of the color announcer.
Other times, you may choose to follow the game with the sound off. You may be out of town and forced to listen to a broadcast you don't like, or you could have the NHL package that gives you the opportunity to listen to nearly all the league's broadcasters over the course of a season.
There are several that are brilliant and solid listens, like the under-appreciated Randy Hahn in San Jose and the much ballyhooed Doc Emrick. Hahn and broadcast partner Drew Remenda know they are broadcasting for Sharks fans, but they don't feel the need to slant the broacast in the home team's favor. Emrick ranks with Dan Kelly and Danny Gallivan as one of the top broadcasters in the game's history.
Here's a look at several broadcasters who deserve the mute button.