PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
After the Devils acquired Marek Zidlicky yesterday in a deal that saw them give up three players to do it, Zach Parise says chemistry won’t be a problem for the team. (Star-Ledger)
It’s looking like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will be back in the lineup for the Oilers this afternoon. A fun team that gets to be even more fun? We’ll take it. (Edmonton Journal)
Remember when Flames GM Jay Feaster was threatening to trade everyone before the deadline if they didn’t shape up? Yeah, he’s backing off that now. (Calgary Sun)
Could the Caps possibly trade both Roman Hamrlik and Mike Knuble? Who needs veteran leadership anyhow. (CSNWashington.com)
Finally, watch NBC’s Doc Emrick get honored by the New Jersey Devils for his many years of work broadcasting for the team. (NHL)
Earlier today, the NBC Sports Group and NHL held a press event at 30 Rockefeller Plaza to celebrate the fifth year of the NHL Winter Classic. Those in attendance included host Liam McHugh, former New York Ranger Adam Graves, Winter Classic host Bob Costas and of course, NHL lead play-by-play commentator Mike “Doc” Emrick.
And we’ve got the video!
Here’s Doc talking about the longstanding rivalry between the Flyers and Rangers and how he expects it to play out on Jan. 2:
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This will be Emrick’s third straight Winter Classic — all told, he’ll have worked four of the five in league history. The only one he missed was the 2009 edition between Detroit and Chicago, because he’d come down with laryngitis. Versus’ Dave Strader filled in (of note, Strader also called the 2011 Heritage Classic from Calgary.)
Mike “Doc” Emrick didn’t grow up dreaming of calling some of the biggest moments in hockey. He was a baseball “fanatic” until Dec. 10, 1960, when he fell in love with the sport. Fans of his ecstatic style and verbose descriptions should be thankful for that transformation, as Emrick earned an induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame on Dec. 12.
NHL.com’s Mike Morreale points out that Emrick is the first media member to receive that honor, as he is part of a class that includes Chris Chelios, Gary Suter, Keith Tkachuk and Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider.
Emrick won a 2004 Lester Patrick Award, a 2008 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award and a 2011 Emmy for play-by-play work. Morreale points out that Emrick has broadcasted games for every major American broadcast network, 13 Stanley Cup finals and 23 playoff Game 7 matches in nearly 40 years of announcing.
This excerpt from Morreale’s story captures Emrick’s undeniable passion for the sport.
“I marvel at guys who can use unnatural extensions — their stick off their arm and skates off their feet,” he said. “And to be able to do it at 30 mph, shoot at 100 mph and collide with people inside a walled-in area. The fact there are occasional outbreaks of temper proves that morality still works every once in a while.
“All of these things thrown together just make it a fascinating human experience in watching the sport. I’ve been married to Joyce for 33 years and [a love for hockey is] almost like trying to explain why you love your wife so much. It’s one of those things that’s not terribly cerebral; it’s really a part of the heart. That’s probably the best way to explain why I love the sport so much.”