Mike “Doc” Emrick, a veteran broadcaster for the National Hockey League and eight-time Sports Emmy award winner, has announced his retirement after 47 years.
NBC Sports made the announcement on Monday morning, with Emrick reminiscing on the early days of his career.
“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. Gordie Howe was a Red Wing, Bobby Hull was a Blackhawk, Bobby Orr was a Bruin,” said Emrick. “A time like this makes me recall that we have seen a lot together. The biggest crowd ever, 105,000 at Michigan Stadium. A gold medal game that required overtime between the two North American powers in Vancouver.”
During his broadcasting career, Emrick won eight Sports Emmys awards for play-by-play, the most of all time in the category. He also called 22 Stanley Cup finals, including the past 15 for NBC Sports, and six Olympic Winter Games. In 2008, he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, the first broadcaster to be honored.
“Things change over 50 years, but much of what I love is unchanged from then to now and into the years ahead. 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,” Emrick said.
The prolific sportscaster began his career calling college and minor league hockey games in the 1970s before moving into the NHL, where he announced for three teams, including 20 seasons for the New Jersey Devils. He joined the NBC Sports family full-time in 2011.
“Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick is a national treasure — simply put, he’s one of the best ever to put on a headset in the history of sports broadcasting,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production at NBC and NBCSN. “Doc’s love of the game and his unmatched style produced true artistry, engaged new fans and quickly became the soundtrack of hockey. He lived at the rink on game days, spending countless hours at morning skates to find one more story to seamlessly weave into his frenetic, yet lyrical, call of a game. Doc always found the right words to meet the moment. It’s impossible to put into words the impact Doc has had not only on the game of hockey, but for anyone who has had the distinct pleasure to work with him.”