After 50 years covering the NHL in one form or another, legendary broadcaster Mike "Doc" Emrick is retiring.
"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," Emrick remembered in a video posted by NBC Sports on Monday.
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, a time like this makes me recall that we have seen a lot together."
Emrick, 74, has been a lead national NHL broadcaster since 1986, and has spent the past 15 seasons as the top voice for the NHL on Versus and the NHL on NBC.
His local ties are just as well-known from his two stints as the lead play-by-play man with the Devils, from 1983-86 and again from 1993-2011, the majority of the latter stint alongside Glenn "Chico" Resch.
And yes, "Doc" is actually a doctor, as he earned a Ph. D. in communications from Bowling Green State University in 1976.
About the timing of his retirement, Emrick told the New York Post, "...this just seemed to be the time that was right."
"I hope I can handle retirement OK, especially since I've never done it before," Emrick joked. "But I've just been extremely lucky for 50 years.
Overall, Emrick drops the mic after 47 years calling play-by-play that included 22 Stanley Cup Finals, 14 All-Star games, and six Olympics - as well as two Hall of Fame inductions: one into the broadcasting wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008, and a second into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011.
“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.”
"Things change over 50 years, but much of what I love is unchanged from then to now and into the years ahead," Emrick also said in his statement to the Post. "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."