PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It was a special hockey night in Pittsburgh because it was Mike Lange Night at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday.
The Penguins honored and celebrated the legendary broadcaster’s career and retirement as the team took on the Dallas Stars at PPG Paints Arena. The Penguins lost in a shootout, but it was a memorable game with beautiful tributes for Lange.READ MORE: Cletus Lee, North Braddock Mayor-Elect, Due In Court Today
“It’s not a Penguins game if it’s without Mike Lange,” said Rafe O’Donnell, a Penguins fan from West Sunbury.
“When you’re celebrating a goal, then you hear one of his sayings, it makes that much more special,” said Brisco O’Donnell, another fan from West Sunbury.
“When you hear that voice, you think hockey, you think Pittsburgh hockey,” said Dave Keating, a fan from Grove City.
For 46 years, Lange’s voice and his famous sayings were loved by fans. KDKA asked fans to share their favorite Lange catchphrases.
“Probably my favorite is, ‘Scratch my back with a hacksaw!’” said Quinn Mell-Cobb, a Penguins fan from Canada.
“The best was, ‘Get in the fast lane, grandma. The bingo game is ready to roll!’” Brisco O’Donnell said.
“It’s a classic, “Elvis has left the building.’ Always my favorite,” said Amanda Keating, a Penguins fan from Grove City.
Back in August, the Hall of Fame broadcaster announced he was hanging up his headset as the voice of the Penguins. Last season, Lange stepped back significantly as a precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic.READ MORE: COVID Surge At Butler Memorial Hospital Has Surgeons Prioritizing Elective Surgeries
Lange was “smiling like a butcher’s dog” because he was the Penguins’ guest of honor at Tuesday night’s game.
Fans were given posters that said, “Thank you, Mike” and had one of his catchphrases. Tributes and memories were also shared with fans throughout the night.
“His excitement for the game, his knowledge of the game, listening to whether it was (Mario) Lemieux, (Jaromir) Jagr, (Sidney) Crosby, anyone scoring a goal, his excitement and passion for the game,” Dave Keating said.
“His energy at every Penguins game just makes it all that much better if they’re losing. It makes it so much better,” said Rafe O’Donnell.
After an unforgettable career, Pens fans are saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has just left the building.”
“His phrases were just so unique in their own way. It was a fun thing to have all the time. I’m going to miss that,” said Amanda Keating.
“There’s no one like him. He really just transcends time and every era of the Penguins. He’s been there for it. There will never be another like him,” Quinn Mell-Cobb said.
The Penguins said Lange will remain part of the Penguins’ radio network and continue making appearances during various programming.MORE NEWS: MLB Owners Lock Out Players, Leading To First Work Stoppage Since 1995
Lange said back in August that the Penguins asked him to continue to add commentary and voice work on a limited basis to the current radio set-up.