This is an Eagles Monday but we have to shout out the great Mike “Doc” Emrick, who is retiring as the de facto voice of North American hockey.
In an exclusive with the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick, the 74-year old Emrick says he just felt like it was the right time to walk away:
“I hope I can handle retirement OK,” he said Sunday night from his home in Michigan, “especially since I’ve never done it before. But I’ve just been extremely lucky for 50 years. And NBC has been so good to me, especially since the pandemic, when I was allowed to work from home in a studio NBC created.
“Now, into my golden years, this just seemed to be the time that was right.
“Plus, I’ve now accumulated enough frequent-flyer miles — to not go anywhere.”
My favorite thing about Doc was his VAST ARSENAL of verbs, which sometimes made me laugh out loud while watching games. He had a verb for every possible scenario on the ice, like ‘skittered’ or ‘knifed.’ Other great verbs were ‘waffleboarded’ and ‘shunted,’ when a player would push the puck further in or out of the zone. I’d add ‘sashayed’ and ‘pitchforked’ to the list as well.
Seriously though, Emrick is the best. He has that rare trait possessed by Kevin Harlan and others, that ability to make you feel invested in a game you otherwise wouldn’t care about. It could be the Florida Panthers playing the Carolina Hurricanes on the last day of the year, with both teams out of playoff contention, but if Doc was calling it, you’d feel like the game actually meant something,
Here’s a wonderful Youtube clip of his best Flyers calls: