In a somewhat shocking announcement this morning, Mike 'Doc' Emrick shared that he would be hanging up his headset for the final time. Something nobody ever really thought about because although we knew Doc was getting older, he still sounded as sharp as he ever did on the mic in recent years. Even through the challenges of calling games from his living room while the action was taking place in a bubble thousands of miles away, Doc was able to add his signature flare and extensive vocabulary to these 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Ever since NBC took over the national TV contract back in the early 2000's, Penguins fans have gotten a heavy dosage of Doc because the Penguins appeared on featured broadcasts so frequently. Whether it was a preseason game at the war memorial in Johnstown, the first ever Winter Classic between the Pens and the Sabres, a game 7 overtime thriller or a Stanley Cup clincher, Doc was the one that took us through it all.
The local connection made it even more special to listen to him. Doc spent several years teaching speech and broadcasting at Geneva College in Beaver Falls between 1969 and 1971, and he got his first taste of NHL experience by covering the Penguins a a correspondent for the Beaver County Times. And if you watched him on any broadcast, he was always sure to slip in a reference of his favorite baseball team in the world - the Pittsburgh Pirates.
My hope is that we still get to see Doc do some things from time to time, but that is just me being selfish because I know I will miss hearing him on NHL broadcasts whether the Penguins are involved or not. I wish him nothing but the best in the golden years ahead with his wife and pups. Tributes have been pouring in since the announcement of his retirement, and I figured it would be best to include some of my favorite Penguins moments called by the legend himself!