His name has been synonymous with the New Jersey Devils. The first-ever 'voice' of the Devils, iconic calls that will last a lifetime.
"Henrique! It's over!" You read those words, and it needs no introduction. Much like the man who called it.
Mike 'Doc' Emrick has called his last NHL game, retiring from broadcasting at the age of 74. Like any retirement, a good party needs to be thrown, and so the New Jersey Devils tried to make that party as poignant as possible in this new virtual-meeting world.
Join the Speak of the Devils Podcast, presented by RWJ Barnabas Health, as host Matt Loughlin is joined by Doc with many surprise appearances. Old friends of Doc's, former broadcasting partners, and of course Devils greats, all share laughs in honoring the man who called Devils games for 21 seasons.
There's plenty of star power included in this podcast, with coaches like Larry Robinson, players to Ken Daneyko and Martin Brodeur stopping by as well. But the stories are really from Doc, who takes the listener along the journey of his Hall of Fame career.
So how were we ever so lucky to have Doc join not only the Devil but become part of the staple of the hockey. For Doc, hockey wasn't quite on his radar as he thought about breaking into broadcasting. He thought baseball was his route.
"The first hockey game I ever went to was a Comets game," Doc shared with Loughlin and Resch. "I had never seen ice that white, I'd never seen ice live, except for 'Holiday on Ice' which didn't strike me as anything nearly like a hockey game. And there were screens around the outside of the rink, rather than Plexiglas, we didn't have that then, and Muskegon, your old team, was wearing uniforms that were so blue I'd never seen anything like it.
"And the Comets were in, you see they were white uniforms that night with black pants and the potato chip sponsored Zamboni went back and forth. I didn't understand why it didn't scrape up the red and the blue lines too, but I hadn't fully understood a lot of that. [But] that one game hooked me on the sport, I went into the Coliseum that night wanting to be a baseball announcer and I came out, wanting to do hockey."
The stories Doc shares with the listeners, and the guests that pop up along the way, are not to be missed and will probably have you reminiscing yourselves on your favorite Doc moments and your favorite Devils memories.
Doc isn't the only broadcaster featured in this episode.
On this week's community portion of Speak of the Devils, Christine Simpson, a Hockey Night in Canada and Sportsnet Reporter, joins Community Podcast Host Catherine Bogart. Simpson is one of the most recognizable faces in Canadian hockey broadcasting and she discussed how she got her start.
"I'm a Canadian girl we all grow up around the game," said Simpson. "Professionally, I've gotten involved in marketing and I was the marketing manager at the Hockey Hall of Fame here in Toronto, back in the early 90s. From that, I got hired by the Maple Leafs as their first in-arena host, and then honestly I kind of fell into it when Sportsnet was launching this brand new sports network in Canada."
Simpson is a role model for other women looking to break into the sports industry and has been for years.
"I know I've made a difference," said Simpson. "[Young women] come up to me and say I'm doing this, I decided I wanted to do this because as a young girl I was watching you."
"[It] makes me feel very proud because I've got to admit, there really weren't women for me to watch doing hockey broadcasts as a little girl."