Hockey Fanatics Tribute to Bob Cole

There has been a lot of discussion as to whether Hockey Night in Canada’s Bob Cole will be calling his last game this Spring in the NHL Playoffs.  Since 1952, Bob Cole who was born in 1933 in St. John’s, Newfoundland as Robert Cole has been a part of Hockey Night in Canada.  Bob Cole is a play-by-play legend.  

This past December, in what we feel is a terrible move for hockey fans in Canada, Rogers acquired the television rights for NHL hockey in Canada with a $5.7 billion dollar deal which will mark the end of the NHL on TSN as we know and marks the end Hockey Night in Canada (what is CBC thinking anyway?).  Yes HNIC will be on for four more years but Rogers has complete control over the programming and the advertising revenues.  When the deal was announced, Bob Cole was left wondering what the future would hold.  Even at this stage, details have been sketchy.

I’m a little young to remember the great Danny Gallivan and I grew up with the as great Jim Robson calling a lot of the great Oilers games of the early to mid-eighties.  Hockey Night in Canada has had the best of the best when it comes to announcing NHL hockey games.  Bob Cole is another of the greats from HNIC.  Bob Cole’s voice is a masterpiece as this article from the illustrates.  When it comes to the smooth skating game of hockey there is no bigger master of the mic than Mr. Cole.

5 Reasons Why Bob Cole is One of the Best in the Biz

  1. The Simplistic Delivery of Hockey’s Most Exciting Moments – Mr. Cole has an amazing ability to make the simplest of hockey terms lift the hockey fan out of their seat.  His announcement of “Scores” as the puck enters the net or the “Oh Baby” or three syllable drag out of a players name is classic and trademarks of Bob Cole’s tremendous broadcasting skills.
  2. His Knowledge/Interpretation of the Game – it is pretty easy to see that Mr. Cole is a fan of the game of hockey.  He still loves doing what he does and as he nears 81 would like to continue doing play-by-play until he is no longer able to do so.  It feels like he knows the players intimately and this comes across in the broadcast.
  3. Classic Statements – Mr. Cole has the great ability to make the classic statement that hockey fans will remember forever.  “They’re going home…” when the Russians left the ice in a game in 1976 vs. the Philadelphia Flyers.  “The Edmonton Oilers have won the Stanley Cup!”  His matter of fact commentary makes hockey fans take note and listen.
  4. His speaking as if he is in the living room with hockey fans – Mr. Cole has that “old-school” (and I mean that in a good way” of speaking that converses directly to the hockey fan as if we are old friends.
  5. His Ability to Read the Game and Tell a Story – many say that this is when Mr. Cole is at his best as the tale unfolds of an epic battle between two heated rivals, or when a great play is made, he’s able to add a single term or ask a question to describe the moment.  “Wow, just wow” or “Can you believe it?”

Here is a look at his best over the years at Hockey Night in Canada

Calls in Chronological Order:
Gretzky Breakaway goal vs NYI 1984
Mario Lemieux vs. North Starts “Oh Baby!” 1991
Russ Courtnall Game 7 OT winner Montreal vs. Hartford 1992
Doug Gilmour behind the net goal vs. St. Louis 1993
Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup Final vs. LA Kings 1993
Steve Yzerman vs St. Louis 1996
Oilers shock Starts – Cujo and Marchant 1997
Steve Thomas vs. Senators 2000
Joe Sakic Golden Goal 2002 (Audio Only)
Fernando Pisani Short Handed OT Goal vs. Carolina 2006

Awesome stuff!  Here is a little more of Bob’s great calls.  All videos courtesy of YouTube.

And who can forget this?

Bob Cole: “They’re Going Home!” The Soviet Red Army leaves the bench after the Flyers’ Ed Van Impe hits a Russian player in the first period.

A broadcasting legend all the way. He Scores!!!!  Tonights’ three stars as chosen by hockey fans everywhere:

Tonight’s first star from St. John’s:  Bob Cole.

Tonight’s second star: Bob Cole

and tonight’s third star from announcing all of those great Leafs games:  Bob Cole.