The Best National Hockey League Announcers of All-Time

Number Five. Ralph Strangis, Dallas Stars. Even if you are a hockey fan, Strangis might be the best announcer you have never heard of. There is not a lot of schtick coming from Strangis, rather just solid play-by-play and a dry, sneaky sense of humor. The chemistry between Strangis and color commentator Darryl Reaugh is second to none.

Number Four. Mike Lange, Pittsburgh Penguins. Now Lange is all about schtick. He somewhat monotone, gravelly voice is not one that makes you think, “hey, this guy is a hockey announcer!” But when Lange winds up after a Pens goal with “Ohhhh, and the empty netter by Crosby, and Elvis has left the building…” or “heeee shoots, heee scores, buy Sam a drink and get his dog one too,” you know you are hearing one of the most beloved legends of hockey play-by-play. Lange’s lines more often than not make no sense, but that might just be the beauty of what he does.

Number Three. Pat Foley, Chicago Blackhawks. If you are looking for a consistent, solid play-by-play guy, Pat Foley is your man. No one keeps track of the puck and keeps up with the play better than Foley and his use of nicknames and quick phrases to describe the action is second to none.

Number Two. Joe Bowen, Toronto Maple Leafs. To diehard hockey fans, Joe Bowen IS hockey. Having broadcast over 1500 games for the legendary Toronto Maple Leafs, Bowen makes every second of every game seem like the most exciting hockey ever played. Bowen is probably the loudest announcer in the league as well. He is measured also. While Bowen can be a homer, he always takes some subtle shots at the Leafs when their play is subpar.

Number One. Rick Jeanneret, Buffalo Sabres. Although I produced many of Jeanneret’s broadcasts back in the early 90s, I just discovered that he was born in Sweden before moving to Canada. When it comes to classic calls that just seem to pop up every single day on Sports Radio and TV, Jeanneret’s voice is most often heard. Sabres’ fans of old would relish in hearing, “La, La, La, La, La, La, La, LaFontaine” whenever former star Pat LaFontaine scored a goal. And who could forget the call of “MAY DAY, MAY DAY, MAY DAY, MAY DAY,” when Brad May scored a big postseason game-winning-goal in 1993. And of course, any mention of RJ is not complete without giving him credit for the often stolen line of “top shelf where Mama hides the cookies!”

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