Whenever I watch a hockey game on TV, I want to listen to announcers that are easy to listen to, and can capture the moment. This is a list that I’ve been thinking about for some time, and it was hard to narrow it down to just five. There are a lot more than 5 great hockey play-by-play talents… but this group stands out the most. Note: this does include radio announcers.
1. Gary Thorne
I think Thorne will always be favorite hockey play-by-play man, even if ESPN doesn’t get the league back. Growing up, he was the voice of the NHL to me. He and Bill Clement made a great combo in the booth. The emotion he displayed in big games was great, and he said everything with such authority in the big moment. You could always count on a “SCOOOOORE” on almost every goal. I really do miss Thorne in the booth for NHL games… his work on NHL10 just isn’t the same.
2. Mike Lange
I had to include Lange on this list. He’ll go down as one of the best broadcasters in hockey history. The Penguins’ radio play-by-play announcer has many different lines, but my favorite is “Get in the fast lane grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll.” They took him off the FSN Pittsburgh TV feed a few years ago, and the Pens got a lot of heat for it. Lange is getting up there in age, but I still love going back and listening to old and new highlights with him behind the mic.
3. Jim Hughson
It’s about time CBC made Hughson their top play-by-play man for Hockey Night in Canada. On Saturday nights, I trend to always land on the game he’s announcing on CBC. He’s so easy to listen to, and has some flair for big plays. My favorite line of his is “Great save __!” Here’s a video to prove it:
Hockey fans in Canada are lucky to have Hughson as their voice of hockey.
4. Dave Strader
I’ve always enjoyed listening to Strader, going back to his ESPN days. He and Darren Pang made such a great announcing team the last couple years for the Coyotes. ‘Strades’ also has a quality that most announcers don’t have… he’s unbiased. Whenever you listen to a game with him on Versus, he doesn’t have a team he’s rooting for. And when he’s on air for Phoenix game, you can’t tell he’s the Coyotes’ broadcaster.
5. Chris Cuthbert
Cuthbert is great for playoff games. He’s moved over to TSN from CBC, so he doesn’t get to announce as many great games as the past. But I love it when Versus shows bonus coverage of playoff games on TSN with Cuthbert on the call. I think it’s funny how when he yells “SCORES” his voice cracks half the time. Whenever I think of Cuthbert, this goal comes to mind:
These are five of my favorite announcers in the NHL… what is your list?? My least favorite is Colorado’s Michael Haynes. He goes overboard when the Avalanche score a goal, and he’s 100% biased during the broadcast. Sometimes it’s painful to listen to him…
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