Saturday was an unusually busy night in the hockey world. It marked the one-year anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy and the conclusion of the NHL’s regular season with several playoff matchups still to be determined.
It was also the final time hockey fans had the pleasure of hearing Bob Cole call a game during a Hockey Night in Canada broadcast.
There have been some iconic HNIC play-by-play announcers over the years – Foster Hewitt, Danny Gallivan, Dick Irvin Jr., Don Wittman, to name a few – but no name carries with it the clout that Cole’s does.
“I met Bob when I was coaching the Boston Bruins,” Don Cherry, who has known and worked with Cole for decades, explained Saturday during his Coach’s Corner segment. “They’re all good, don’t get me wrong. Foster was good, Danny was good, but the best of all – and I’ve seen them all – is Bob Cole. That’s it. Can’t say it any better than that can I?”
Not really, Don.
Cole, 85, made his HNIC television debut in 1973 and he ended up calling 1,733 games, including 152 playoff overtime goals, during his illustrious career.