Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Checking In With Bruce Martyn, The Former Voice Of The Detroit Red Wngs

04/14/2021 at 6:19am EDT

from Bill Dow at the Detroit Free Press,

For 31 years as the play-by-play voice of Red Wings hockey — from 1964-65 through the 1994-95 Stanley Cup Final —Bruce Martyn called the shots. He started in Olympia Stadium in the Original Six era, lasted through the dreadful “Darkness with Harkness” and “Dead Wings” years, all the way to the eve of Detroit’s Stanley Cup championship teams at Joe Louis Arena. Along the way, rabid Wings fans became loyal followers of the beloved broadcaster who called goals — from Gordie Howe to Steve Yzerman —with his famous “He shoots………(in a higher pitch) HE SCORES” call.

After attending what would become Lake Superior State University, then dropping out of the University of Michigan, the Sault Ste. Marie native pursued his dream of radio broadcasting when he broke into the business in 1950 at hometown WSOO-AM, hosting a music show, providing news and sports reports, and announcing minor league hockey games. In 1953, he left for WCAR-AM in Pontiac — where he stayed until 1962 — doing sportscasts and hosting a weekday music show. For a short time in the early 1960s, he also announced games for Michigan State football, the Pistons, and Lions before becoming, in 1964, the first sports director of WKBD-TV (Channel 50) television. That was also when he began his Wings play-by-play work, splitting the duties on television and radio with Budd Lynch. Following the ’72-’73 season, Martyn did all of the play-by-play on radio until he retired. He dropped doing telecasts in 1985. From 1976-86, Red Wing legend Sid Abel provided color commentary. For the final seven years of Martyn’s career, former Wing Paul Woods provided the color, a role he still has with current play-by-play broadcaster Ken Kal.


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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977. No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y. Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation. There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature. Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that.

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