His voice sounds like childhood, like staying up past bedtime, like wearing out the front edge of the family couch.
And we’ll get to hear it one more time, at least.
Since the legendary Foster Hewitt passed away in 1985, hockey’s most recognizable play-by-play voice has belonged to Robert Cecil Cole, who broadcasted at least one game of the Stanley Cup Final from 1980 through 2008.
Cole will turn 81 next month. With age and accuracy heading in opposite directions, he has slipped to Hockey Night in Canada‘s second line, behind the razor-sharp Jim Hughson, 57. And now his future in the booth is in doubt.
After breaking into the business via CBC Radio in 1969 and moving to television in 1973, the Western Conference final might well be Cole’s last hurrah. So the Chicago Blackhawks did everyone not dressed in an Los Angeles Kings sweater a favour Wednesday night, by extending the series to six games and giving us at least 60 more minutes of unadulterated Cole. I think it’s gonna be a helluva night.
If Game 5 is to be Cole’s final overtime call, well, the hockey gods gave us a dandy — a double-OT gem that featured an eight-and-a-half-minute stretch of uninterrupted play (i.e., uninterrupted Cole) in Period 4.
Chicago coach Joel Quenneville calls it maybe the best overtime he’s ever watched; it might be one of the best we’ve ever heard.
“Bob Cole” was trending on Twitter.
Last round, the St. John’s native called his 39th Game 7 for Hockey Night in Canada. Here’s hoping we get a 40th.
Oh, baby: Bob Cole calls Michal Handzus’s Game 5 double-OT winner
Bonus: Best of Bob Cole