By: KDKA-TV News Staff
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – When the NHL returns in 2021, it will sound a lot different when fans tune in for national broadcasts.
Long-time play-by-play announcer for NHL on NBC, Mike ‘Doc Emrick announced his retirement on Monday morning.
“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,” Emerick said in a video essay.
The voice that has become synonymous with hockey on television got his start right here in Pittsburgh, covering the Penguins for the Beaver County Times.
“I spent a year covering the Penguins as an unpaid reporter for the Beaver County Times,” Emrick recalled in a 2011 interview with NHL.com.
His work for the Beaver County Times was at the same time he was a professor of speech and broadcasting at Geneva College.
While the man who has called Stanley Cup Finals, Winter Classics, and Olympic Gold Medal games has achieved so much as a hockey broadcaster, his Pittsburgh fandom never wavered.
However, it wasn’t for the Penguins, but their neighbors on the North Shore, the Pirates.
In that same interview from 2011 after Emrick was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, he also recalled his love for the Buccos.
He told NHL.com that he had fallen in love with the Pirates and listened to games on KDKA Radio called by the legendary Bob Prince.
“I saw Clemente play at Forbes Field. I’m glad I’m old enough to see those guys play. Those were great years,” he recalled.
As Emrick leaves the broadcast booth, he leaves quite a legacy behind.
He is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, was honored with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008, and he has racked up six Emmy Awards for sports broadcasts. He is the only hockey broadcaster to have won an Emmy.
“I leave you with sincere thanks,” Emrick said in his video essay. “Your hockey friend, Doc.”