We’ll be checking into the Stanley Cup Finals via NBC. So, we’ll get to enjoy Doc Emrick, Ed Olczyk and Pierre McGuire. North of the border it will be Hockey Night in Canada on CBC via Sportsnet (the end of year one of their new deal) and TVA in French.
These days the Finals are all over TV. Way back when radio was the primary vehicle. It got us to thinking of voices from the past – not Hewitt, Gallivan and Kelly, but rather voices that have meant something to fans in Tampa Bay and Chicago.
Dave Mishkin has broadcast lightning games for almost 15 years. He known for an energetic style and his tendency to shriek when the Lightning score “You never wonder which team scores,” said one official.
Rick Peckham has been the television voice of the Lightning since 1995. Before that he was with the Hartford Whalers.
One long gone voice but still infamous voice was that of Larry Hirsch. Hirsch called games for the short-lived Cleveland Barons (along with Harry Howell), then made a name as the first radio vice of the New Jersey Devils. His analyst was Fred Shero and the two made quite a pair.
One commentator on a bulletin board recalled, ” The Devils were on WMCA in NY which was an old New York Metsstation. Their first announcer was Larry Hirsh who I think broadcasts for the Panthers today. Fred Shero was the game analyst. Hirsh would welcome fans by saying “welcome to Newwwwwww JerseyyyyyyyyyDevilssssssss hockeyyyyyyy”
Hirsch would walk the aisles as he broadcast the games and greet fans when the Devs scored . Legend has it, that this technique did not always go over well with other announcers. For example, the late and legendary Blues broadcaster, Dan Kelly, after a Devils’ goal vs. the Blues in the Meadowlands, once muted his mike then told Hirsch to sit down and shut up.
With a change of management regimes in New Jersey came a change in announcers. Larry Hirsch was then off to Tampa where he was became first voice of the Lightning.
From 1992 to 2000, Larry Hirsch called Lightning games on radio, coming up with famous catchphrases such as “Yessir!” and “the stinkin’ Panthers.” Along with Phil Esposito they made a colorful broadcasting team.
In 2009, Hirsch came back to the area to do some call in sports programs.
His voice is not heard today, but his unique style is still remembered.
In Chicago, Pat Foley is considered a modern-day fixture to fans. Before that it was Jim West and the to many legendary Lloyd Pettit, who was best recalled for his call of Bobby Hull’s 51st goal (then a record breaker) in 1965.