My Favorite Play By Play Announcers

Posted: August 11, 2011 by JoeyD in NHL
Tags: , , , , ,

Lately during the NHL’s summer doldrums if I happen to be in my car in the 1-4pm afternoon block, I have my Sirius Radio on the NHL Home Ice channel listening to the playoff game of the day. I have listened to quite a bit of Stanley Cup Finals games, most of which air the NHL Radio feed and have really noticed how enjoyable it is listening to Sam Rosen call a hockey game.

It got me thinking about my favorite play by play guys in the NHL. I will show my top three favorites and then following I will list my other favorites in no particular order.

1. Mike Lange – Pittsburgh Penguins – Radio – Yeah, yeah, I know, homer out. Though I pick the legendary Penguins broadcaster as my favorite, it isn’t only rooted in Lange being the broadcaster of my favorite team. Lange calls a very good and knowledgeable game with a depth now even more appreciated as he transitioned to the radio side after FSN Pittsburgh (now ROOT Sports) didn’t renew his contract in 2006. Combining his well known lines during goal calls endear himself to iconic status to Pittsburghers just the same was Bob Prince did with the Pirates and Myron Cope with the Steelers.

2. Mike (Doc) Emrick – NBC/Versus – TV – Just as players today like Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are the most polarizing players in the NHL, I also find it interesting just how polarizing Doc Emrick is for the hockey broadcaster.  Count me among those who just adore everything about his calling of a game.  The thing that I love the most is his enthusiasm. To me, it shows just a love for the game that should be infectious to all who listen. Some may feel that he gets overly excited about things but you hold a one goal lead in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals with 2:12 left in the game and a shot plunks off the crossbar and you hear Doc “HIT THE POST WITH THE SHOT” and tell me that doesnt fit the raw emotion of hockey to a T.

3. Jim Hughson – CBC – TV – I grin like a Cheshire cat and giggle like a school girl anytime I get to see a CBC feed borrowed by Versus and Jim Hughson is broadcasting the game. For someone who has NBC/Versus at his disposal to see how CBC does it is a joy and when you add Hughson’s voice to an all-around epic production you get from CBC and it complements it perfectly.

Honorable Mentions:

Randy Moller – Florida – Radio – I have such a preference more often than not for excitable and passionate calling of hockey games and Moller fits that bill well with his play by play call. But his big endearment is his use of pop culture references after Panther goals.  AND THAT MY FRIEND IS HOW YOU GET PINK EYE!

Rick Jeanneret – Buffalo – TV/Radio – Jeanneret  used to be on my top three list a few years ago and has slipped down just a bit and that isnt really a fault of his own as much as an exposure to more and more broadcasters. RJ is a bit of an acquired taste. Often times, I am fine with his game calling,then when the Penguins play the Sabres, I sense a rather high amount of homerism. Also RJ seems to speak so much that you forget there is even a color analyst in the booth. At times it can seem a bit much but it also does speak testament to how ‘on it’ RJ can be too.

John Shorthouse – Vancouver – TV/Radio – After Hughson went to CBC full time, Shorthouse does TV anytime the Canucks are on Rogers Sportsnet and otherwise has radio duties. As much as I like the excited and passionate broadcasters, Shorthouse’s rather straight arrow, even-headed approach is a great listen.

Other likeable play by play broadcasters:

Dave Strader – Formerly Phoenix, Now NBC/VS

Pat Foley – Chicago – TV

Sam Rosen  – New York Rangers – TV/ NHL Radio

Ralph Strangis – Dallas – TV

George Matthews – Columbus – Radio

Randy Hahn – San Jose – TV

  1. goaliesgetmorebetches says:

    One name missing from this list – Bob Miller.

  2. Dan MacNeal says:

    Nice job. Foley is a polarizing figure like Emrick. I like him though. But Strader does an awesome job.

  3. Dan MacNeal says:

    J brings up a good point. Miller’s my one of my favorites

  4. JoeyD says:

    Yeah I had a feeling I missed someone and Bob Miller it was.

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