Hall Of Famer Mike Lange Announces Retirement From Play-By-Play Duties
ByJason Hall Aug 9, 2021
The legendary voice of the Pittsburgh Penguinshas announced his plan to retire from play-by-play duties.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Lange will be stepping down from the play-by-play role, but will remain a part of the Penguins Radio Network, intending to make radio appearances and contribute to "various Penguins programming," the Penguins announced in a news release on Monday (August 9).
Lange, 73, missed the majority of the pandemic-delayed 2021 NHL season out of abundance of caution while waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The Hall of Fame broadcaster returned to the booth alongside color analyst Phil Bourque to call the Penguins' final two home games of the regular season, as well as Pittsburgh's first and fifth game of its Round One series against the New York Islanders.
“Mike is a broadcasting legend, not just in Pittsburgh, but in all of sports,” said Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse. “He is respected and admired by all, including our ownership, players and management and executive team. Mike’s clever phrases and goal calls are synonymous with the most iconic moments in Penguins history. Although he is stepping away from the booth, he remains a huge part of the Penguins’ family and we look forward to hearing his voice for years to come.”
The Penguins honored Lange during his 45th year as the team's play-by-play man in a pre-game ceremony in 2019, which included renaming the press box at PPG Paints Arena the "Mike Lange Media Level."
Lange, known for his unique and creative style, received the Foster Hewitt award for broadcasting from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
The 73-year-old confirmed Josh Getzoff-- who handled road games during each of the past three seasons, as well as home games in Lange's absence during the past two years -- will be taking over as the team's full-time radio play-by-play man.
“As many of you know, I have been cutting back on game broadcasts the last few seasons. This year was difficult with the pandemic, but I was still able to broadcast a limited few, which was important to me. That marked 50 years of broadcasting professional hockey - four in the Western Hockey League and 46 with the Pittsburgh Penguins. That was pretty special for me,” Lange said. “I didn’t get cheated in my quest to do what I have always loved. The Penguins have asked me to continue to add commentary and voice work on a limited basis to the current radio set-up and I look forward to staying involved. In the meantime, the best consolation to stepping away is knowing that the broadcast couldn’t be in better hands with the very talented Josh Getzoff, and the Ole ’29-er, Phil Bourque.”
Lange joined the Penguins organization in 1974-75 during his first NHL season as a play-by-play broadcaster and -- after leaving for one season and returning in 1976 -- has been a fixture for decades.
Lange initially did radio exclusively until 1979, when games were simulcast on radio and TV and served as the Pens' television voice through 2005-06, before returning to the radio booth in 2006-07.