Pittsburgh Penguins Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Lange announced that he will not start the 2020-21 season in the radio booth, out of an abundance of caution during the pandemic.
'I've decided to opt out of the start of the season after huddling with doctors about the course of Covid-19," said Lange, who will turn 73 in March. "They've suggested it probably is best to receive the vaccinations before going back in the booth."
Josh Getzoff will take over all radio play-by-play duties in Lange's absence, teaming with veteran analyst Phil Bourque on 105.9 The X and the Penguins Radio Network. Paul Steigerwald will host the pre- and post-game shows.
Getzoff has called Penguins road games over the past two seasons, with Lange handling home games.
"I'm very much appreciative that the Penguins hierarchy gave me this chance to get everything in order," Lange said in a statement.
"We all know the broadcasts will be in more-than-capable hands. Josh Getzoff has proven he is an NHL broadcaster in his own right and Phil Bourque is a rock in the booth. They are, without a doubt, knowledgeable, entertaining and just fun to hear on the airwaves.
"And I'm sure you all join in me in thanking the NHL and the Penguins players, coaches and staff for working so hard to bring hockey back this year. It has been a challenging effort and we all should salute them for their dedication in making it possible.
"Meanwhile … Keep Smilin' Like a Butcher's Dog! See ya soon."
Lange looks forward to entering his 46th season with the team when he returns. A year ago, the Penguins honored him by renaming the press box at PPG Paints Arena as the "Mike Lange Media Level."
Lange is expected to make occasional phone-in appearances during intermissions and other Penguins radio programming.