Harry Neale, Buffalo Sabres broadcaster and longtime hockey analyst, has been selected to receive the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, the most prestigious award given to hockey broadcasters, and will be formally recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame in a ceremony this fall. The award, given by the NHL Broadcasters' Association, recognizes members of the radio and television industry who made outstanding contributions to their profession and the game during their career in hockey broadcasting.
“There has never been a hockey broadcaster quite like Harry,” said Sabres President Ted Black. “He blends his vast knowledge of the game with his own brand of humor and it has obviously resonated with hockey fans for years. We congratulate Harry on this honor and we are very proud to have him as a member of the Sabres family.”
A longtime veteran of both hockey and broadcasting, Neale joined the Sabres broadcast team as color analyst for the 2007-08 season and has been a staple of Sabres broadcasts for the past six seasons. He is well known for his work on CBC’s legendary program Hockey Night in Canada, which he joined in 1986, and for serving as an analyst for regional coverage of Toronto Maple Leafs games for more than 20 seasons. Neale has also been a part of broadcast teams for three Olympic Games and two World Cups of Hockey.
Before his broadcast career, Neale served as head coach and general manager of the Vancouver Canucks (1978-82) and head coach of the Detroit Red Wings (1985-86). He began his coaching career as head coach of the Ohio State men’s ice hockey team (NCAA) in 1966 and went on to coach the New England Whalers and Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association, and the Toronto Marlboros of the Ontario Hockey Association.
Neale, a native of Sarnia, Ontario, joins fellow Sabres broadcasters Rick Jeanneret (2012) and Ted Darling (1994) as winners of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award.