Mike Emrick has been the emcee for pregame festivities numerous times in his long broadcasting career. On Friday night, he was the one being honored.
"Mike Emrick is the consummate professional who is the best at what he does, and is passionate about the game of hockey. We are extremely fortunate to have Doc Emrick as our play-by-play announcer."
-- Devils' President/CEO/General Manager Lou Lamoriello
The New Jersey Devils
paid tribute to their longtime television voice prior to their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins
. Mike "Doc" Emrick Night came 3 1/2 months after he received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame on Nov. 10, 2008, for his outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
Emrick has been the television voice of the Devils since 1993 after serving in the same role from 1983-86. He is in his 21st year with MSG Networks, his 29th working NHL games and his 36th in professional hockey. Emrick, now in his fourth season as the League's lead play-by-play man on both Versus and NBC, has worked nearly 3,000 hockey games in his broadcasting career -- including the Devils-Penguins contest that followed the ceremony honoring him.
The ceremony included a video tribute and gifts that included a customized painting and a glass etching of the "canine children" who live with Emrick and his wife, Joyce Anne.
In typical Emrick fashion, his thank-you speech was short and to the point. After expressing his gratitude to the franchise whose games he's chronicled, he told the crowd at the Prudential Center, "I hope you won't think that this very sincere short thank-you is any less sincere than a real long one. But my dad said, 'If you're around anyone who really wants to work, don't get in their way. Let them work.' I'm around two teams that really want to get to work."
Minutes later, he was back behind the microphone for the start of the game.
Emrick has been on the selection committee for the Hockey Hall of Fame for seven years and was added to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee last summer. He worked his fifth Winter Olympic Games in 2006, serving as the lead announcer for both men's and women's hockey in Torino, Italy.
Emrick's night is just one of a long list of honors he's received for his work.
He was named recipient of the 2004 Lester Patrick
Award for service to hockey in the United States, has served as its emcee 16 times, and as a member of its selection committee three times. Emrick received the 1999 Cable Ace Award for best play-by-play sportscaster nationally, and has received the New York region Emmy for on-camera achievement on five occasions. He has been vice president of the NHL Broadcasters Association since 1985, and has broadcast hockey for CSTV, ESPN, and Fox. Emrick has contributed to NHL.com and has provided voice-overs for Hockey Week, NHL Power Week, the NHL's Stanley Cup video and Sony's NHL Video Game.
Entering 2008-09, Emrick worked on 20 consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs, 10 Stanley Cup Finals series, and seven NHL All-Star Games. He previously served as the television voice of the Philadelphia Flyers
, 1988-93, as well as a telecaster for PRISM-TV, 1980-83. Emrick spent time as a radio broadcaster for more than 100 hockey games on WNBC/WFAN AM, 1983-88. His other sports credits include the National Football League, NCAA men’s basketball, Olympic water polo, track, and luge.
Before doing NHL games, he served as radio/TV broadcaster and public relations director of the AHL's Maine Mariners, 1977-80, and the IHL’s Port Huron Flags, 1973-77. Emrick earned his PhD in radio-television-film from Bowling Green State University in 1976.