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|Mike 'Doc' Emrick|
|Born|| August 1, 1946 |
La Fontaine, Indiana
|Mike 'Doc' Emrick|
|Born|| August 1, 1946 |
La Fontaine, Indiana
Michael "Doc" Emrick, (born August 1, 1946) is an American sports commentator noted mostly for his work in ice hockey. Emrick is currently the lead announcer for NHL national telecasts on both NBC and NBC Sports. Among the many awards he has received is the NHL's Lester Patrick Award in 2004, making him the first of three people to receive the award for media work, and the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008. Emrick was the first member of the media to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, on December 12, 2011.
Emrick earned a B.Sc. in speech from Manchester College in 1968, a M.A. in radio/television from Miami University in 1969. He then received a Ph.D. in Communications (radio/television/film) from Bowling Green State University in 1976, where he got his nickname "Doc".
Emrick taught speech and broadcasting at Geneva College in the Pittsburgh suburb of Beaver Falls from 1969-71 and got his first experience of the NHL covering the Pittsburgh Penguins as an unpaid correspondent for the Beaver County Times newspaper.
Emrick has been sportscasting professionally since 1973 when he was hired by Port Huron Flags' GM Morris Snider to do play-by-play and public relations for the IHL team. In 1977 he took on the same two roles with the first year AHL Maine Mariners for three seasons (broadcasting that club's Calder Cup championships in both 1978 and 1979). Emrick then served as the Devils first voice in New Jersey, arriving for the 1982–83 NHL season, and stayed there until 1986. In 1993, he returned to the team to replace Gary Thorne, and continued to be the team's voice until July 2011.  He announced the team's 1995 Stanley Cup victory, alongside color commentator John Davidson in a national United States broadcast on Fox.
Emrick has also done play-for-play for CBS, NBC (and its cable network subsidiary NBC Sports Network, formerly OLN and Versus), ABC, TNT, ESPN, Fox, CSTV, SportsChannel Philadelphia, PRISM, Fox Sports Net, and others.
Emrick was the lead play-by-play announcer for The NHL on ESPN from 1986–1988. His first national over-the-air television work came in 1992 doing ice hockey at the XVI Winter Olympic Games at Albertville, France, for CBS. Emrick became the lead play-by-play announcer for the NHL on Fox Game of the Week, calling regular-season games and Stanley Cup Finals from 1995 to 2000. After Fox relinquished the NHL broadcast rights to ABC, he became a regional announcer for The NHL on ABC from 2000–2004. He would only call select playoff games at this time, but did file reports for ABC Sports and ESPN's Stanley Cup Finals coverage.
Emrick wore several hats in the 1980s working for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was a spot announcer for Flyers home broadcasts from 1983-86, then was an in-studio analyst between 1986-88 when not covering national games. Emrick was promoted to the lead play-by-play slot for both local TV and cable for the team in 1988, remaining with the Flyers until the end of the 1992-93 season. For four of those years, Emrick was paired with former NHLer and national hockey broadcaster Bill Clement.
Since the 2005–06 NHL season, Emrick has been the lead play-by-play announcer for the NHL on Versus (formerly The NHL on OLN) and NHL on NBC, and since 2008, has served as an overall host of the telecast. He calls the top Conference Final and the entire Stanley Cup Finals for both networks. He has called games in 11 Stanley Cup Finals on TV (for ESPN, Fox, Versus/OLN, and NBC). He has also called eight NHL All-Star Games for Fox, Versus and ESPN. He called the 1996 World Cup of Hockey for the Prime Network and the 2004 World Cup of Hockey for ESPN.
Emrick has worked four Olympic Games for NBC. He has also worked during the Olympics twice for CBS and once for TNT. For NBC, he called water polo in the 2004 and 2012 Summer Olympics, and men's and women's ice hockey at the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics.
Emrick won the 1997 National CableACE Award for best play-by-play announcer.
Emrick received the 2004 Lester Patrick Trophy, presented annually for "outstanding service to hockey in the United States". In that same year, he won a New York Emmy Award for his work on New Jersey Devils' telecasts. He was one of the five nominees for the 2009 national Emmy Award for the category of "Outstanding Sports Personality - Play by Play" for his work on the "NHL on NBC" with NBC Sports. He was also nominated for the award in 2008.
On January 30, 2009, Emrick was honored at the Prudential Center during Mike "Doc" Emrick night to celebrate Emrick's broadcasting career of over two decades.
In 2011, "Doc" won the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Sports Personality - Play by Play."
The Devils' broadcasting pair of Emrick and color commentator Chico Resch, referred to as "Doc and Chico" by Devils fans, was noted for their ability to break the tension of a hockey game through various types of humor, many times improvised and unintentional. For example, in a game during the 2008–09 NHL season, Resch was discussing a rebound that came off of Devils netminder Scott Clemmensen:
Chico Resch: "...and Scotty [Clemmensen] was tellin' me this morning that he likes his new pads like that...the puck should rebound almost like a quarter off of a balloon, Doc.
Emrick: ...But you don't spend too much free time throwing quarters at balloons, Mr. Resch, do you?
Other recurring comedic bits arise during games. After Emrick or Resch analyzes the play of a goaltender, if Emrick feels that Resch is sympathizing towards the goalie due to his former play at the same position, Emrick will add a sarcastic comment which talks about the glory of goaltending and how they are "by far" the most important players in the game. Another comedic bit that is shared between the Doc and Chico is when Doc will ask Chico where a particular town or city in Canada is located when they talk about a particular player's home town. In the event of an odd play or bounce of the puck, Doc has cited "the unseen hand," as the culprit, which always gets a laugh from Chico.
Emrick's knowledge of the game of hockey has been deemed "encyclopedic", and he is known for his eloquent vocabulary. He employs an unusual vocabulary to describe play-by-play action, referring to a goaltender's equipment as "paraphernalia", for instance. Often, during line changes or zone clearings, Emrick will discuss interesting facts about a player's personal life, hockey records, or contributions to sports. In addition, sportswriter Peter King has praised Emrick by saying "Doc Emrick is one hell of a hockey announcer. If hockey were big in this country, he'd be what Jack Buck used to be."
Emrick is a founding member, and still president of, the NHL Pronunciation Guide, which is used as a guide for all NHL broadcasters for some of hockey's most difficult names. He is Vice President of the NHL Broadcaster's Association, and he is also a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Emrick also hosts a weekly podcast on iTunes called "Emrick's Angle" which offers his current thoughts on the NHL.