Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em: Hockey Announcers That Make the Sport What It Is

Love ’em or hate ’em, there are a small core of hockey announcers that make the sport what it is today. They offer a fresh break from the monotonous broadcasting we may find in football, basketball and baseball and add so much more than what appears on the surface to the game of hockey.

Here is a short list of announcers that I have had the privilege of listening to that had me saying “this is what hockey is all about.”

Mike Lange – Pittsburgh Penguins
Mike Lange has become a staple in the NHL broadcasting world and his nonsensical “Langeisms” have listeners wondering what he’s going to spout out next. GET IN THE FAST LANE GRANDMA, THE BINGO GAME IS READY TO ROLL:

Rick Jeanneret – Buffalo Sabres
Growing up in Buffalo, I have to admit that I have been somewhat spoiled when it comes to watching hockey. It’s difficult for people outside of Buffalo to understand what kind of impact Rick Jeanneret has on the game of hockey, especially for Sabres fans, but believe me when I tell you that listening to him call a game heightens the experience tenfold:

Randy Moller – Florida Panthers
Fact: Nobody has as much fun in the press box as Randy Moller. His pop culture rhetoric for goal celebrations has got to be one of the most unique approaches to broadcasting in all of sports. You’re not human if you don’t laugh at any of these:

Peter Maher/Jim Hughson – Calgary Flames/Vancouver Canucks
I’m not calling Peter Maher or Jim Hughson the best announcers; they aren’t the flashiest announcers; they won’t wow you with funny noises or silly sayings. What I’m saying is if I want to watch a hockey game and don’t want the run around, I want Maher or Hughson calling the shots. Rock solid commentary from both guys with voices that are easy to get accustomed to.

Gary Thorne – ESPN/ABC Hockey
Here’s a throwback to one of the most exciting announcers hockey has ever seen from a major network. Those announcers from the Outdoor Life Netw…..errrr….Versus could learn a thing or two from Gary Thorne.

Dave Mishkin – Tampa Bay Lightning
Yeah, I’m going to go there. Now, in no way, shape or form am I calling Dave Mishkin the greatest thing that happened to the sport of hockey. To be frank, I find him to be a bit over the top at times, HOWEVER, nowhere else in the world can you find an announcer of this magnitude. He is truly a NHL announcer.

Honorable Mentions:
Doc Emrick, Joe Bowen, Ralph Strangis


4 thoughts on “Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em: Hockey Announcers That Make the Sport What It Is”

  1. Karl-
    That’s where I was first introduced to Mishkin. I got a pretty good chuckle from listening to him call games.

    Did you happen to catch the 2nd Youtube video about Randy Moller’s calls. He drops a “Fletch” reference. It’s awesome.

    Yes. Davidson and Rosen are solid commentators. When I used to live in New York, they were a real treat to listen to. Much better than those homers who called the Islanders games.

  2. For those of you in the NY-NJ-CT area, it was tough to beat MSG Network’s John Davidson and Sam Rosen. Those two were brilliant for so many years in the 90s. There is no comparison.

  3. People will either love or hate Randy Moller, there’s not much room for middle ground. Personally, his play by play skills are sub par, to be polite. His goal calls are humorous though, there’s no doubt about that. A little tidbit, he’s going to be going solo on the radio next season, as his color man, Billy Lindsay, will be taking Denis Potvin’s spot on the TV side. Potvin, who was the Panthers’ color guy since game 1, 1993, was given the axe by upper management… but it had nothing to do with anything financial, according to team pres…. anyways…

    I’ll never forget Mishkin’s calls during the ’04 Cup run. It was impossible not to get excited listening to him celebrate a goal.

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