"Doc" Emrick and the 50 Best Announcers and TV Personalities in Hockey History

April WeinerCorrespondent IAugust 17, 2011

"Doc" Emrick and the 50 Best Announcers and TV Personalities in Hockey History

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    Many fans can’t go to the arena to watch their favorite hockey team night in and night out, for various reasons.

    These fans often must rely on media to follow their team. And with that, they must rely on hockey announcers and TV personalities.

    Some of these announcers are great and others, not so great. Some announcers are synonymous to the game of the hockey and thus, more commonly recognized, such as Mike "Doc" Emrick and Don Cherry.

    However, there are also many team-specific announcers that garner a lot of attention for their announcing skills.  

    Here's the top 50 of the best announcers and other personalities in hockey history.    

50. Pierre McGuire

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    Pierre McGuire has been a broadcaster for TSN and is now a broadcaster and analyst for NHL on NBC and on Versus.

    He's known best for his "Inside the Glass" segment.

    While quite prominent in the hockey community, there seems to be a lot of people who don't care for McGuire's commentary or style, which is why he ranks so low on this list.

    He also needed to be included so we could all get a laugh out of some of his ridiculous moments.

49. Don Cherry

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    Don Cherry has been a staple in Canadian hockey for his "Coach's Corner" segment on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, a segment he has been doing for 30 years.

    Cherry is known for his outspoken and highly-opinionated rants, as well as his plethora of garish suits.

    The only reason Cherry is so low on the list is because of his polarizing views and because for everyone who loves him, there's probably another person who hates him.

    In fact, most Russians and Europeans hate him because of the opinions he's voiced on their style of hockey.

48. Joe Beninati

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    Joe Beninati has been the broadcaster for the Washington Capitals since 1994. His current partner is Craig Laughlin.

    While some argue that the pair is annoying, Beninati knows his stuff.

    In fact, Beninati often broadcasts for Versus now, as well as for the Caps.

47. Jay Onrait

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    Jay Onrait first became an NHL TV personality in 2001, as one of the hosts of NHL Network's signature show, NHL on the Fly.

    Onrait has also worked on TSN's Sportscentre and Sportscentre Morning Rush.

    He also co-hosted a TSN show called "Olympic Morning" during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

46. Ken Kal

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    Ken Kal is a DJ and radio announcer for WXYT AM 1270 in Detroit. He is perhaps best-known though, as the radio play-by-play announcer for Detroit Red Wings games.

    Kal, along with co-host of "The Ticket" Paul Woods, broadcast every Wings game on the radio.

    Kal has broadcast Wings games since 1995.

45. Al Michaels

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    Al Michaels is probably one of the most recognized sportscasters. He's best-known for broadcasting NFL games, including Monday Night Football (and now Sunday), but he's broadcast his fair share of other sports as well.

    One of those other sports is hockey.

    As part of his contract with ABC Sports, Michaels broadcast ice hockey games at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, including the "Miracle on Ice."

    Michaels' coverage of that historic event in USA Hockey is iconic and I think qualifies him to make this list.

44. Mike Haynes and Peter McNab

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    Mike Haynes and Peter McNab are the color commentators for the Colorado Avalanche games, for Altitude Sports and Entertainment.

    Haynes has been the Avalanche announcer for 14 years and has broadcast other sports as well.

    McNab has been an Avalanche announcer for 13 years; prior to that, he was an announcer for the New Jersey Devils.  

43. Dick Irvin

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    Dick Irvin was the longest-tenured broadcaster for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada, until Bob Cole surpassed him.

    For many years, Irvin worked alongside other famed broadcaster, Danny Gallivan. Irvin worked on HNiC for 33 years.

    He was inducted into the HHOF in 1988 and the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2004.

42. Johnny Peirson

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    Johnny Peirson played for the Boston Bruins. After he retired, he became a color commentator for the team.

    Peirson worked with other broadcasters, including Fred Cusick and Don Earle.

41. Fred Cusick

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    Fred Cusick was a broadcaster synonymous with the Boston Bruins. He was a radio broadcaster and TV broadcaster for the team for 45 years.

    Cusick was well-known for screaming "SCORE!" whenever the Bruins scored.

    Cusick was among the first members of the media to be inducted into the HHOF in 1984, the same year he was awarded the first Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.

40. Bernie Federko

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    Bernie Federko spent his entire career, except for one year, with the St. Louis Blues organization. 

    It seemed only fitting that Federko would remain with the organization, where he now does color commentary for the team. 

39. James Duthie

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    James Duthie is the host of The NHL on TSN. Before that, Duthie was host of CFL Live, NBA in the Paint and Sportscentre. 

    He has been the recipient of three Gemini Awards so far in his career, as the Best Host or Interviewer in a Sports Program.

    Duthie also helped CTV produce their coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics and was one of the main hosts.  

38. Ron MacLean

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    Ron MacLean is best known for his role hosting CBC's Hockey Night in Canada and co-hosting Coach's Corner alongside Don Cherry

    MacLean has worked for HNiC since 1986 and has also been part of Olympic coverage since 1988.

    He has been the recipient of eight Gemini Awards for Best Sports Broadcaster and Best Host or Interviewer in a Sports Program.  

37. Rick Peckham

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    Rick Peckham can be heard as the play-by-play announcer for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    Before that, Peckham was the announcer for the Hartford Whalers for 11 years, worked on ESPN NHL and other media outlets.

    He also occasionally announces for NHL on Versus now. 

36. Steve Goldstein

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    Steve Goldstein has spent six years with the Florida Panthers organization as a play-by-play announcer. First, he spent two years on the radio, then he switched to TV for the past four.

    He has also worked as a reporter and radio announcer for two Winter Olympics: in 1994 and again in 1998. 

35. Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey

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    Paul Steigerwald and Bob Errey have been the voices of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the past two seasons.

    Steigerwald worked as the Penguins radio play-by-play announcer from 1985-2006, when he then switched over to TV announcer for FSN Pittsburgh, now ROOT Sports.

    Errey, a former player, is the other color commentator.

    While the pair are often criticized and are wont to do and say strange things, they are quite entertaining just for the sheer absurdities that spew forth from them. 

34. Jack Edwards

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    Jack Edwards was a broadcaster at ESPN for 12 years, covering hockey among other sports.

    In 2005, Edwards switched over to cover the Boston Bruins for New England Sports Network. He also broadcasts for Versus from time-to-time. 

33. Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh

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    Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh are color commentators for the Dallas Stars.

    Besides working for the Stars, Strangis has worked for ESPN, Fox Sports and NHL Radio. Before his current gig with the Stars, Reaugh broadcast for ABC, ESPN, Fox and Versus. 

    Strangis and Reaugh have cultivated an avid following among Stars fans that the Stars continue to simulcast the pair on both radio and TV, instead of using separate announcers for each. 

32. Brian Hayward

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    Brian Hayward is currently the color commentators for the Anaheim Ducks. 

    Hayward was a goaltender in the NHL and became a broadcaster when he retired. Before joining the Ducks, he worked for ABC, NBC, ESPN and ESPN2. He also occasionally contributes to CBC's HNiC.

31. Howie Rose

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    Howie Rose is currently a radio announcer for the New York Mets and the TV announcer for the New York Islanders on MSG Plus.

    Before the Islanders, Rose was an announcer for the New York Rangers. He'll always be remembered for his chant of "Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!" when Stephane Matteau scored the GWG in Game 7, double OT of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, which sent the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals.  

30. Pierre Houde

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    Pierre Houde is a play-by-play announcer for RDS, where has covered Montreal Canadiens games for 22 years. 

    Houde is known for his calls, one of which is "Le tir, ET LE BUT!" which means "A shot AND A GOAL!" 

29. Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda

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    Randy Hahn and Drew Remenda are currently the color commentators for the San Jose Sharks on Comcast Sportsnet California.

    Hahn has more than 25 years of experience in broadcasting, 17 of those with the Sharks. Remenda has been broadcasting for the Sharks for more than 10 years and is a sports radio host, in addition to his Sharks broadcasting gig.

28. Gary Thorne and Bill Clement

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    Back when ESPN broadcast NHL games, Gary Thorne and Bill Clement could typically be heard covering them. Thorne and Clement broadcast every Stanley Cup win from 1993 to 2004, except the 1995 win.  

    Since they don't broadcast NHL games anymore, Thorne now covers other sports for ESPN. Clement has broadcast for the Olympics on NBC.

27. Mike Miller

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    Mike Miller spent nine seasons broadcasting for the New Jersey Devils, including for their Stanley Cup wins. 

    Miller went on to broadcast elsewhere, including joining the Windsor Spitfires in 2008. 

26. Darren Pang

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    Darren Pang began his career covering the Olympics and spent 13 years covering hockey on ESPN and ABC.

    Then, Pang was a color commentator for the Phoenix Coyotes before moving to cover the St. Louis Blues.

    He also occasionally serves as an analyst on TSN. 

25. Sam Rosen

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    Sam Rosen has covered the New York Rangers since 1982 and was promoted to play-by-play in 1984. 

    Rosen's trademark is "It's a power play goal!" which originated as sarcastic elation after being told he needed to spice things up.

24. Sid Abel and Bruce Martyn

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    Sid Abel and Bruce Martyn were color commentators for the Detroit Red Wings throughout the 1970s and 80s. 

    Martyn spent 31 years as the Wings broadcaster, most of those years with Abel by his side. 

23. Randy Moller

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    Randy Moller spent nine years as a color analyst for the Florida Panthers and is currently the Panthers radio play-by-play announcer.

    Moller has risen to fame because of his goal calls that reference cultural moments and quotes, although he only does these when the Panthers are still in the game.

    (There are many other videos on YouTube highlighting his goal calls.) 

22. Joe Bowen

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    Joe Bowen has been the "Voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs" for almost 30 years and has broadcast more than 2,000 games for the Leafs.

    Bowen is also known for his catchphrase "Holy Mackinaw!" which he said he picked up from his father, who used that phrase instead of swearing.  

21. Ken Wilson

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    Ken Wilson was a broadcaster for the St. Louis Blues on Fox Sportsnet Midwest, spanning 20 seasons. 

    Wilson was known for his catchphrase, "Oh baby!"

    He has won many awards for his work.  

20. Bob McKenzie

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    Bob McKenzie is one of the most knowledgeable broadcasters and analysts in the game today.

    McKenzie is an analyst on TSN and has worked for TSN since the 80s. He broadcasts for international hockey tournaments in addition to his NHL work.

    Also, McKenzie can frequently be heard on sports talk radio across Canada. 

19. Ken Daniels

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    Ken Daniels gained prominence while working for CBC Sports, where he was a reporter for Hockey Night in Canada, among other roles.

    Now, Daniels is the play-by-play announcer for the Detroit Red Wings. 

    He also worked for Versus' coverage of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs. 

18. Harry Neale

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    Harry Neale was an NHL coach, who would often appear on HNiC as a guest analyst during the playoffs when his teams didn't make the playoffs.

    In 1986, Neale began to work as a broadcaster full-time for CBC.

    Now, Neale is the play-by-play announcer for the Buffalo Sabres, alongside Rick Jeanneret. 

17. Don Earle

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    Don Earle was a hockey announcer, beginning his career by calling high school hockey games. He was an announcer for the Boston Bruins from 1967-71.

    Then, Earle broadcast for the Philadelphia Flyers, along with legendary Flyers announcer Gene Hart. 

16. Gene Hart

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    Gene Hart started as the voice of the Philadelphia Flyers at the team's beginning, despite no NHL experience because the team couldn't afford a more elite broadcaster.

    Hart would remain the voice of the Flyers for 29 seasons and is a legend in Philly. 

    He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1997, as the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award. 

15. Jim Hughson

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    Jim Hughson has been a staple of Canadian sportscasting, broadcasting for CBC, CTV Sportsnet/Rogers Sportnet, the Vancouver Canucks and TSN.

    He's highly respected as a sportscaster, earning five Gemini Awards in his career thus far.

    Hughson also spent 10 years as the play-by-play announcer for EA Sports NHL video games, from 1997-2007.  

14. Pat Foley

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    For 26 years, Pat Foley was known as the "Voice of the Chicago Blackhawks" and earned multiple awards for his broadcasting.

    He was simulcast on both TV and radio as well.

    The Blackhawks didn't renew Foley in 2006 and he spent two years as the Chicago Wolves' play-by-play announcer.

    The Blackhawks brought Foley back in 2008, where he has remained ever since. 

13. Mickey Redmond

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    Mickey Redmond is a hockey analyst, known from his time with CBC's HNiC, ESPN, Fox and his present gig, for the Detroit Red Wings on Fox Sports Detroit. 

    Redmond is known and beloved for his so-called "Mickeyisms," which are detailed here.

12. Dan Kelly

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    Dan Kelly spent more than two decades providing play-by-play for the St. Louis Blues. 

    In addition to his Blues announcing, Kelly broadcast for national and international events, including 16 Stanley Cup Finals and the 1987 Canada Cup.

    Kelly might be best-known for his "ORRRRR! BOBBY SCORES!" call of the 1970 OT Stanley Cup-winning goal. 

11. Rene Lecavalier

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    Rene Lecavalier was to French-Canadians what Foster Hewitt was to English-speaking Canada. 

    Lecavalier was beloved for his coverage of the Montreal Canadiens that spanned more than three decades. 

10. Mike Lange

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    Mike Lange is a legend in Pittsburgh, having covered the Pittsburgh Penguins since 1974, when he began doing radio play-by-play.

    From 1975-2006, Lange was both the radio and television play-by-play announcer for the team. When Fox Sports Pittsburgh decided to go in another direction in 2006, Lange returned to radio coverage of the Penguins.

    He was especially known for his "Lange-isms" as his fans dubbed them. 

9. John Davidson

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    John Davidson is one of the most well-known color commentators in hockey and even sits on the HHOF selection committee.

    Davidson worked alongside Doc Emrick for a long time and has broadcast for MSG Network, CBC, ESPN, Fox, ABC, NBC and Versus.

    He's known for his catchphrase, "Oh baby!"

8. Dave Strader

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    Dave Strader is a broadcaster for Versus and NBC. He's the back-up for when Doc Emrick can't broadcast.

    Strader has also worked for ESPN and Fox and he broadcast for the 2011 Heritage Classic.

     

7. Danny Gallivan

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    Danny Gallivan was a broadcaster for CBC's Hockey Night in Canada for 32 years: from 1952 to the end of the 1983-84 season.

    Gallivan broadcast Montreal Canadiens games and then later in his career, Toronto Maple Leafs games.

    What he'll be remembered for are his descriptions. He used terms such as "cannonading drives," "scintillating" and "larcenous," as well as coining the term "spinarama."

    A professor once wrote to Gallivan to inform him that "cannonading" wasn't a word. Gallivan responded, telling the professor "There is now."

6. Bob Miller

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    Bob Miller is the play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Kings, a post he's held since 1973. For the past 17 seasons, Miller has broadcast with Jim Fox.

    Miller has been inducted into the HHOF, the Kings Hall of Fame and the press box at Staples Center is named for him.

    He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

     

5. Chris Cuthbert

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    Chris Cuthbert is a broadcaster on TSN; he used to broadcast for CBC Sports and NHL on NBC.

    Additionally, Cuthbert was one of the main broadcasters for ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, broadcasting for CTV.

    In 2006, he became the first sportscaster to broadcast a hockey game from rink level, rather than from above. He's also won multiple awards for his sportscasting.

4. Rick Jeanneret

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    Rick Jeanneret is the voice of the Buffalo Sabres, a role he has held since the 1971-72 season. He is the longest-tenured announcer in the NHL.

    He has broadcast every Sabres season except the first one and rarely has missed games in his 40 years with the team, although, he'll apparently decrease his workload for 2011-12.

3. Bob Cole

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    Bob Cole was a broacaster for Hockey Night in Canada for almost 30 years and can commonly be heard on the CBC broadcasts of the Stanley Cup Finals.

    Cole is known for his inflection while broadcasting, as well as catchphrases or "Colisms" such as "Heavens to Betsy!" and "What a dandy!"

     

2. Foster Hewitt

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    Foster Hewitt is one of the most iconic broadcasters in Canadian and hockey history.

    Hewitt broadcast hockey games for Hockey Night in Canada for forty years and he came out of retirement to broadcast the 1972 Summit Series.

    He is best-known for coining the hockey phrase "he shoots, he scores!"

    Hewitt was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1965 and the HHOF gives out an annual award named after him to outstanding radio and TV broadcasters.

     

1. Mike "Doc" Emrick

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    Mike "Doc" Emrick has been a sportscaster since 1973. His illustrious career includes broadcasting for CBS, NBC, ABC, ESPN, Versus and more.

    He was the voice of "NHL on ESPN" and is now the voice of NBC's hockey broadcasts.

    Emrick has received many awards throughout his broadcasting career, including the Lester Patrick Award, give to those who have contributed to ice hockey in the U.S., an award that only three broadcasters have ever won.