Although his days of broadcasting Devils games on a daily basis are long gone, play-by-play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick is still highly regarded by Devils fans everywhere. The current voice of the NHL on NBC and former voice of the Devils on MSG Network will be receiving the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting this coming November from Fordham University and their noncommercial, member-supported public media service, WFUV, according to a press release on the Devils official website.
The LaFontaine, Indiana native had two stints as a Devils broadcaster, working on Devils telecasts from 1983 to 1986 and from 1993 to 2011. He also worked for the Flyers on television from 1988-1993 and Rangers radio broadcasts on WNBC/WFAN from 1983 to 1988. Affectionately known as “Doc,” he earned his PhD in Radio-TV-Film in 1976 from Bowling Green State University, while working for the old International Hockey League’s Port Huron Flags. He also worked as the TV/radio and public relations director of the American Hockey League’s Maine Mariners (a Devils affiliate later in the ‘80s) from 1977 to 1980.
He has called games for Fox, ABC, ESPN, Sports Channel America, NBCSN and NBC nationally. He left the Devils in 2011 to work exclusively for NBC, for which he is in the middle of calling this year’s Stanley Cup Finals.
According to the Devils’ news article, he has called an amazing 25 consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs, 14 Stanley Cup Finals and ten NHL All-Star Games. Emrick has called over 3,000 hockey games in his career.
A big baseball fan (he is well known for his love of the Pittsburgh Pirates), there is no doubt that “Doc” is thrilled to be presented with an award that pays tribute to one of the all-time great sportscasters in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Vin Scully (an alumnus of Fordham University [class of 1949]). Scully himself was the inaugural recipient of the award, in 2008. Since then, the list of honorees has read like a who’s who of great American sports broadcasters: Dick Enberg in 2009, Ernie Harwell in 2010, Pat Summerall in 2011, Al Michaels in 2012, Bob Costas in 2013 and Verne Lundquist in 2014. This is the first time that a hockey-exclusive broadcaster will be receiving the award.
“Doc” will be presented with the award at a benefit for WFUV on November 2, 2015 called “On the Record: A Celebration of Achievement in News and Sports Broadcasting” at Fordham Law School.
Although now known as a national icon amongst US hockey fans, Emrick is also known for his years of service to the Devils and for calling the team’s first Stanley Cup championship in 1995 (for Fox). He was elected to the US Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011 and was given the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award by the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 2008. He has also been awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy by the NHL for “contribution to hockey in the United States.” That honor came in 2004.
Mike “Doc” Emrick’s work now belongs to all hockey fans across the United States, but he will forever be known as a Devil in the hearts and minds of the team’s fans. This makes his honoring by WFUV of all the more significance to the New Jersey Devils.