Mike "Doc" Emrick, a man who has called some of the biggest hockey matches in history, is calling it a career. The voice of the NHL is retiring at the age of 74. He and NBC Sports confirmed the news with a shared announcement.
"I hope I can handle retirement OK," Emrick said on Sunday night, per the New York Post, "especially since I've never done it before. But I've just been extremely lucky for 50 years. And NBC has been so good to me, especially since the pandemic, when I was allowed to work from home in a studio NBC created. Now, into my golden years, this just seemed to be the time that was right. Plus, I've now accumulated enough frequent-flyer miles — to not go anywhere."
After 3,750+ Professional and Olympic hockey games, 100 different verbs used to describe a pass or shot, and 22 Stanley Cup Finals, the legendary Mike "Doc" Emrick has announced his retirement from broadcasting.October 19, 2020
Emrick began his broadcast career in the 1970s. He started with minor league and college games before leaping to professional sports. Emrick got his shot with the New Jersey Devils in 1982 and became the most famous voice in professional hockey.
Emrick has called 22 Stanley Cup Finals in his career, as well as 19 Winter Classic and Stadium Series games, 14 NHL All-Star Games and six Olympics. He is also a member of seven different Hall of Fames. The list includes the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, which he entered in 2011 while becoming the first media member to earn the honor. Emrick has won a record-setting seven consecutive Sports Emmy Awards for play-by-play.
As he explained in a statement, Emrick first covered the NHL "50 years ago this fall" at the old Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. This moment in history kickstarted a career in which he saw some memorable moments. The list includes witnessing the biggest crowd ever, 105,000 people at Michigan Stadium, for the 2014 Winter Classic featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings.
"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. I leave you with sincere thanks."
"Mike 'Doc' Emrick is a national treasure," said Sam Flood, Executive Producer and President, Production, NBC and NBCSN. "Simply put, he’s one of the best ever to put on a headset in the history of sports broadcasting." While he is retiring from play-by-play, Emrick will remain a member of the NBC Sports family. He will do so "by occasionally writing and narrating video essays for its NHL coverage in the future."