Remembering Bob Cole

Remembering Bob Cole

Patrick Hoffman |

As an American, I grew up with Mike "Doc" Emrick being the voice of hockey. 

Not only was he the New Jersey Devils' broadcaster, but he also did national and Olympic games for the likes of CBS Fox, TNT, ESPN, SportsChannel America ABC, NBC, NBC Sports Network, OLN, Versus, and a few others. When it comes to hockey being broadcast in America, Emrick was ubiquitous. 

While I certainly admired Emrick and enjoyed listening to him call a hockey game, there was one that I looked up to even more. That gentleman would be Hockey Night in Canada's Bob Cole, the true "voice" of hockey. 

I was gutted, like Canada and the rest of the hockey world, when I found out Cole died back on April 24th. I felt like I had lost a friend and someone who loved the game the same way I did, which is a whole lot. 

I first came to learn about Cole in a hockey video called "Greatest Moments in Hockey" that was hosted by another member of Hockey Night in Canada, Ron MacLean. I watched this video back in 1991 when I was 8 years old.  

One of the moments shown was the 1976 game that featured the Philadelphia Flyers and the Soviet Red Army. The Flyers won the game handily by a score of 4-1 as they implemented an aggressive style of play while also playing their well-known brand of physical and in-your-face hockey. 

One such physical play occurred when Flyers' defenseman Ed Van Impe crushed the Soviet's best player, Valeri Kharlamov. When the game's officials did not call a penalty, the Soviet's head coach Konstantin Loktev, pulled his team off the ice. 

When this happened, Bob Cole delivered a great description. It has gone down in hockey lore. 

"They're going home! Ya, they're going home!" 

I would hear a lot more of his voice in other hockey videos I received as a kid including "NHL Overtime". One game that was highlighted was Game 2 of the 1993 Stanley Cup Final between the Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings. 

It was then that I fell in love with Cole's voice. His call of Montreal Canadiens' defenseman Eric Desjardin's overtime goal is iconic and one that I could watch over and over again. 

Another one of my favorite calls delivered by Cole took place in 1997 in the first round of the playoffs between the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers. The Stars were heavily favored to win the series, but the Oilers shocked the hockey world by winning the series in seven games. 

Game 7 was won on an overtime goal by Todd Marchant. Cole's call of it captured the moment perfectly. 

When he died, I took time to read all the touching tributes. Whether it came from a player, fan, coach, broadcaster, etc., there was one major theme and that was his love and passion for hockey. 

Bob Cole loved hockey. You could always hear it during his broadcasts and read it whenever he gave an interview with a member of the media. 

I would like to take this time to thank Bob Cole for introducing me to some of the game's greatest moments when I was a youngster. Had it not been for him and my dad, maybe my enthusiasm for the sport would not be what it is today.  

Patrick has been an online hockey writer for close to 20 years. Currently, he covers the NHL for Inside The Rink. He has also previously covered the league for The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave,, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, NHL Network Radio blog,,, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.
Find and Follow Patrick Hoffman on Twitter & LinkedIn 


Leave a comment