Penguins Broadcaster Mike Lange Announces Retirement from Play-by-Play Duties
Lange’s trademark expressions while calling a game are legendary, even earning Top 10 treatment on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
Pittsburgh sports legend Mike Lange announced on Monday that he’ll be stepping away from the broadcaster’s booth and retiring from play-by-play duties. He spent 46 years calling games in the Steel City and will still remain a part of the Penguins Radio Network.
“Mike is a broadcasting legend, not just in Pittsburgh, but in all of sports,” Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse said in a press release. “He is respected and admired by all, including our ownership, players and management and executive team … 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.”
Lange, 73, began working with the Penguins during the 1974-75 season, when he broke into the NHL as a radio play-by-play man. He left for one season but returned the following year and has been there ever since. He has been the voice of many historic moments for the team, including three Stanley Cup wins in 2009, 2016 and 2017.
In 2019, he was honored in a pre-game ceremony celebrating 45 years as the voice of the Penguins when the team named the press box at PPG Paints Arena the “Mike Lange Media Level.”
His catchphrases are legendary, even prompting Top 10 treatment on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” His goal calls and clever turns of phrase (“Buy Sam A Drink And Get His Dog One, Too,”) have been a fixture to the Penguins scene, and his trademark creative style earned him the Foster Hewitt award for broadcasting from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
After missing the majority of last season awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine, Lange returned to the booth to call two home games at the end of the regular season as well as Games 1 and 5 of the Penguins’ Round One series against the New York Islanders.
“As many of you know, I have been cutting back on game broadcasts the last few seasons,” Lange said in a press release. “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. 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.”
Josh Getzoff will step in to take over play-by-play duties, along with longtime color analyst Phil Bourque. Getzoff has called the Penguins road games for the past three seasons in addition to home games in Lange’s absence over the past two years.