After 50 years covering the NHL in one form or another, legendary broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick is retiring.
In a video published by NBC Sports on Monday, Emrick looked back on his storied career. "To the many who live this sport, 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."
He continued, "Although I've decided to put down the play-by-play headset mic at NBC, and they have graciously allowed me to do some essays like this in the future, at time like this makes me recall that we have seen a lot together."
"Doc" called the first outdoor NHL Winter Classic game in Buffalo between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres. The Penguins won that game, 2-1.
During an interview in 2018, Emrick told KDKA Radio that he became a fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates listening to another legendary broadcaster, Bob Prince on KDKA Radio.
"When I was 14, I saw the Pirates play at Wrigley Field and Bob Prince made me a fan on your station," he said. "And I have been ever since."
Emrick is a staple at Spring Training, and if you’re listening on the right day, you may get to hear him call an inning or two with Pirates broadcaster Greg Brown.
When Emrick would call a nationally televised game in Pittsburgh, he would always make at least one reference to his beloved Buccos.
He once taught broadcasting at Geneva College in Beaver Falls.
About the timing of his retirement, Emrick told the New York Post, "...this just seemed to be the time that was right."
For the past 15 seasons, Emrick was the lead voice on the NHL on NBC. He spent 47 years calling play-by-play, 22 Stanley Cup Finals, including three of the Penguins five championships, 14 All-Star games and six Olympics.
“It has been a privilege and education on hockey’s biggest stage to have sat next to Doc for the last 14 years,” said NBC Sports’ lead NHL analyst and former Penguins head coach Eddie Olczyk , who shared a booth with Doc for the past 14 seasons. “I will miss his stories, his preparation, his play-by-play, his friendship, and our dinners on the road. But most of all, I will miss his trust. My family and I wish him, Joyce, the pups and horses lots of love down the road.”
While he is retiring from play-by-play, Emrick will continue to contribute writing essays and narrating “video essays for its NHL coverage in the Future.”