Mike “Doc” Emrick has been a staple in the Devils announcing booth for 21 years. You knew this day, the one where he had to change his workload, was going to come. The fact is, Mike Emrick is 65 years old and with the Devils and the Versus / NBC contracts, Emrick had been doing 110 to 120 games per season. Honestly, that is a lot of traveling and a lot of stress on one’s voice. I certainly understand why he chose to cut his workload down and I certainly understand why it was the Devils contract that he decided to not renew.
Mike Emrick is a class act, everyone knows that. In an interview with Devils reporter Tom Gulitti, he had nothing but wonderful things to say about the Devils organization and the fans. Did you know that Devils fans sent him letters and cards after his parents and his dogs passed away? I don’t know a lot about fans of other teams but I can’t picture many doing that for their announcers.
Throughout the day on Thursday, many fans shared their favorite Doc Emrick moments on Twitter. Of course the moment most of us will remember is the call at the end of the 1995 Stanley Cup when he proudly announced “The Championship to New Jersey! The Devils win the Stanley Cup!” He, like the rest of us were just as proud of this team because he watched this team struggle and then grow into Champions. Mike Emrick has a passion for this game and it oozes over the microphone when he announces the game. He can’t help it, he just loves the game and as a Devils fan, I feel privileged that we got to hear him call our games for the past 18 years, 21 in total. I will certainly miss him and I can guarantee when the Devils get to play on NBC/Versus this season, I will certainly be tuning in just to hear Mike Emrick announce a Devils game again.
In an interview with Tom Gulitti, Emrick noted that before the last four games of the 2010-11 season, he had not done a meaningless Devils’ game since returning to announce for the Devils in 1993 because the only other time the Devils had missed the playoffs in the last 18 years, they weren’t eliminated from playoff contention until the last day of the 1995-96 season. That is a crazy statistic in my mind.
I close this out by saying Thank You Doc for all you’ve done over the last 18 years. It has been quite a ride and this organization and its fan will certainly miss you. You are one of a kind!!