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Mike Lange To Cut Back on Travel Schedule in 2017-18

by Pittsburgh Penguins @penguins / Media Release

Pittsburgh Penguins Hall of Fame radio announcer Mike Lange has decided to cut back on his travel schedule for the 2017-18 season.

The 69-year-old Lange will handle radio play-by-play for all 41 regular season home games and approximately 15 of the 41 road games.

Josh Getzoff of the Penguins Radio Network will do play-by-play for the other road games.

Lange will call all Penguins playoff games on radio.

"I decided that in my 43rd season of NHL broadcasting it was time to really take a look at the road schedule, to start reducing my travel a bit," Lange said. "The Penguins have been very accommodating, and I really appreciate their willingness to work with me on this. I still plan to do 50-plus games. As part of this transition, we're all very fortunate to have a talented young broadcaster like Josh Getzoff here to step in and do play-by-play when I'm not in the booth. Penguins fans know Josh well from the past two seasons, and he has a very bright future."

Both Lange and Getzoff will work alongside veteran analyst Phil Bourque, who returns for his 15th season. All Penguins game broadcasts air on flagship station WXDX-FM (105.9 The X) and the Penguins Radio Network.

"I've talked to Mike about all of this and I know he believes it is the right time in his career to cut back on his travel schedule," Bourque said. "He'll still be our lead radio play-by-play announcer. He'll always be the 'Voice of the Penguins.' And I think this might prolong his career. I also share his opinion about Josh as an outstanding young broadcast talent. Josh and I have called a number of preseason games together and we'll look to build on that in the regular season."

Getzoff has spent the past two years as host of the Penguins' pre- and post-game radio shows, as well as doing play-by-play for most preseason games.

When Getzoff is calling play-by-play action during the 2017-18 season, Paul Steigerwald will take over as pre- and post-game radio host.

Lange will call the Penguins' regular season opener against the St. Louis Blues on October 4 at PPG Paints Arena, when the 2017 Stanley Cup banner will be raised to the rafters. By Lange's choice, Getzoff will make his debut the next night, handling play-by-play duties when the Penguins travel to Chicago to play the Blackhawks (October 5).

"The opportunity to meet, watch and learn from the great Mike Lange over the past two years has been a dream come true," said Getzoff, who turns 29 in October. "We call him 'the Hall of Famer' around the office, and he is one of the greatest hockey announcers - one of the greatest sports announcers - of all-time. To have this chance to fill in and do play-by-play on Penguins road games when Mike is off on occasion is both exciting and humbling. No one can be another Mike Lange. He is one of a kind. But it's an honor to have his guidance and support, and I'll just do the best I can for Penguins fans."

The Penguins played 213 regular season and playoff games over the past two seasons - the most ever played by an NHL team in a two-year span - and Lange called all of them. Last season alone, from the regular season opener on October 13, 2016 to the Stanley Cup-clinching game on June 11, 2017, he called 107 games.

His relationship with the Penguins began in 1974-75, when he broke into the NHL as a radio play-by-play broadcaster. He left for one season but returned in 1976-77 and has been a fixture on the Penguins' scene ever since.

Lange did radio exclusively until 1979, when games started to be simulcast on radio and TV. He served as the television voice of the Penguins through 2005-06 before returning to the radio booth in 2006-07.

Known for his creative and colorful style, including trademark phrases such as "Buy Sam A Drink And Get His Dog One, Too," Lange received the prestigious Foster Hewitt Award for broadcasting excellence from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.

Getzoff joined the Penguins' staff in October 2015 as a radio host and PensTV reporter. He also has done intermission updates on the video board at home games the past two seasons.

He previously worked as a sports anchor/reporter and sports director of WICD/WCCU TV in Champaign, IL and a sports anchor/reporter at WENY-TV in Horesheads, NY. He also was a production assistant/runner at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Getzoff attended the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College, graduating in 2011 with a bachelor's degree in Television-Radio and a minor in Sports Studies.

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