On Monday, Mike “Doc” Emrick announced his retirement following a 47-year professional hockey broadcasting career.
Emrick served as the lead announcer for the NHL broadcasts on NBC from 2006 to 2020. He was also the New Jersey Devils’ play-by-play commentator in two different stints, the second one lasting from 1993 to 2011. Emrick completed the final decade of his broadcasting career exclusively with NBC.
With Emrick now retired, NBC will have to choose a new lead play-by-play voice for their NHL broadcasts.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that “Kenny Albert is a strong candidate to replace” Emrick. Albert also calls MLB and NFL games for FOX.
Marchand also reported that NBC Sunday Night Football commentator Mike Tirico “cannot be ruled out” as a potential replacement for Emrick. Right now, Albert and Tirico appear to be the leading candidates.
Tirico was the play-by-play voice on ESPN’s Monday Night Football program from 2006 to 2015, before leaving for NBC Sports. The network has reduced Al Michaels’ Sunday Night Football work schedule in 2020, so Tirico will be calling more games in 2020.
Tirico began calling NHL games during the 2018-19 regular season. Albert has been part of the NBC’s NHL broadcast team since 2012. He previously called hockey games on ESPN, FOX and Versus.
John Forslund, the longtime play-by-play voice of the Carolina Hurricanes, didn’t have his contract renewed after the 2019-20 season. He also works for NBC’s NHL broadcasts, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he saw a bigger workload there in 2020-21.
Gord Miller, a longtime play-by-play hockey announcer on TSN, also calls games for NBC. Chris Cuthbert could have been another option to replace Emrick, but he left TSN and NBC to work full time at Sportsnet again. Sportsnet hired Cuthbert prior to the start of the 2020 playoffs.
The 2020-21 season won’t begin until some point in the new year, so NBC has plenty of time to decide on Emrick’s replacement.
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