The Chicago Blackhawks today announced that Hall of Fame play-by-play broadcaster Pat Foley will call his final season of Chicago Blackhawks hockey during the 2021-22 campaign, the last year of his contract. A titan of the National Hockey League and Chicago broadcasting community, Foley's 39th season in the booth will include a year-long celebration with details to follow in the fall.
"Listening to the great Lloyd Pettit fostered a love for the Chicago Blackhawks and broadcasting at an early age. To follow in his footsteps and broadcast for the team for nearly 40 years is a dream come true for a Chicago native," said Foley. "Any kid who eats, sleeps and breathes sports, grows up wanting to play for their hometown team. Thankfully for me, I realized early on that my playing career wouldn't last beyond intramurals and that broadcasting was the next best thing to staying around the game. I have had conversations with the Blackhawks about my future, and because I cannot guarantee that I would like to continue beyond the length of my contract that ends after next season, they must look ahead. I support and respect their plan to transition the broadcast booth and I'm thankful to the Wirtz family and the Blackhawks for this opportunity."
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The 2002 Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame inductee and multi-time Emmy-award winner will call a portion of the upcoming schedule and use the year to pass the torch to his successor. The search for the next Blackhawks' play-by-play broadcaster is currently underway and an update will be provided at the appropriate time.
"Pat Foley has been synonymous with Chicago Blackhawks hockey for well over a generation," said Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz. "We are thankful for the memories Pat has created for our fans through the years and he will continue to be a part of the Blackhawks family. We are excited to begin this search for a new television play-by-play broadcaster who will create Blackhawks memories for the next generation of fans."
Foley called Blackhawks games from 1980 to 2006 before returning to the Blackhawks booth for the 2008-09 season. Foley partners with U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer Eddie Olczyk to broadcast Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago. The organization honored Foley for his 30th season as the team's play-by-play voice in a pregame ceremony on April 19, 2013, at the United Center.
"Pat Foley is not just a legendary broadcaster and great partner in the booth, but I'm proud to say he is an even better friend," said Eddie Olczyk. "Two Chicago guys calling Blackhawks hockey for the past 15 years has been a dream come true for me and I'm so fortunate to have that experience. I'm so happy for him to be able to go out on his own terms and so proud of what he has accomplished. Pat Foley will always be the voice of Blackhawks hockey and we will be sure to entertain our fans and celebrate Pat this season."
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Foley was born and raised in the northern suburbs, where he attended Loyola Academy in Wilmette, and received a degree in telecommunications from Michigan State University. Foley called baseball and hockey games at MSU before making his professional debut with the International Hockey League's Grand Rapids Owls in 1977.
In 1991, Foley received an Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement-Sports Program Live Series," followed by a 2009 Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence On Camera: Programming" and an Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs - Sporting Event/Game - Live/Unedited Program/Special" in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Additionally, Foley was nominated for an Emmy for "Outstanding Crafts Achievement for On-Camera Talent - Sports Anchor/Reporter/Play-by-Play" in 2016.
Foley was part of his first professional league championship after broadcasting Wolves games during their run to the 2008 Calder Cup. In 2014, he was selected as the Hockey Hall of Fame Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.