Mike “Doc” Emrick has been a part of the history of the New York Rangers, ranging from calling over 100 games for them on the radio to being part of some of the Blueshirts great moments as a broadcaster for NBC sports.
As most now know, Emrick announced his retirement last Monday, ending a career where he spent the past four decades as a beloved part of the hockey community. Emrick has been described as a rapid-fire storyteller known to viewers for his countless words to describe the puck moving around a rink and to friends and colleagues for his warmth and personal attention to the sport and the people in it.
Sportsnet of Canada recently released a video that ranks Emrick’s ten best calls of all-time. Three Rangers games made this list, but unfortunately, two of them are not exactly fond memories.
#10 Derek Stepan’s overtime winner
In one of the most memorable moments of recent Blueshirt history, Derek Stepan scored this winner 11:24 into overtime, a rebound from a Dan Girardi shot from the point. The goal sent MSG into pandamonium and the Rangers to their second conference final in as many years.
— #ThankYouDoc (@NHLonNBCSports) October 19, 2020
#9 – Henrique scores overtime winner against the Rangers
A great call by Emrick but a tough one to swallow as this loss came against their rivals, the New Jersey Devils. Adam Henrique sealed the game 6 overtime victory by putting in a loose puck that Ilya Kovalchuk jammed through Henrik Lundqvist and got away from Brad Richards. This allowed the Devils to proceed to the Stanley Cup finals.
— Adam Henrique (@AdamHenrique) October 19, 2020
#2 Martinez goal gives the L.A. Kings the Stanley Cup over the Rangers
It may have been ranked number two but maybe one of the more difficult ones for Rangers fans to watch.
Alec Martinez scored 14:43 into the second overtime, leading the Los Angeles Kings to the 2014 Stanley Cup for the second time in three years with a 3-2 victory over the Rangers in Game 5.
What truly makes this difficult, is seeing Blueshirt legendary goalie lying face down on the ice for a prolonged period of time. Although not many knew this at the time, this was the last best chance for the King to win a Stanley Cup as a member of the Ranger’s organization.
— Jonathan (Temporary Dodgers Fan) (@jmahathey8) October 23, 2020
For many, this stings even more now that Henrik is a member of the Washington Capitals.
Another legend is hanging it up. Hearing him call both of the King’s Stanley Cups will stay with me forever. Well done Doc. The best of the best… Alec Martinez wins the 2014 Stanley Cup for Los Angeles Kings in 2OT https://t.co/0wJRUdQeiQ via @YouTube
— Thom Fuhrmann (@6633north) October 20, 2020
Regardless of some of the less than wonderful Rangers memories in his top ten calls, the gentleman referred to as “Doc” for his doctorate in communications, spent the past 15 years as the voice of the NHL for NBC Sports. The 74-year- old called 22 Stanley Cup Finals and six Olympics since working his way up from the minors in the 1970s.
His class was probably best summed up in an interview that appeared on Sportsnet in which he stated:
“As time passed, I became more comfortable with myself and the fact that I was flawed and there was no way I was ever going to do a perfect game, and probably the mistake was to try to do it that way,” Emrick said. “I just enjoyed the fact that I was given a free seat, a good seat, and I got to work with some of the best athletes in the world, and then twice a month I got something in the mail, and it was really good.”