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What A Career For Bob Cole

from Scott Morrison of CBC,

Think of the great Canadian hockey play-by-play announcers and Cole is at the top with the late Foster Hewitt and Danny Gallivan. It would pain the humble Cole to hear it, but he has become a Canadian hockey icon in his own right and he is the broadcast wing of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Part of what makes him so special, of course, on and off the air, is that Bob doesn’t realize he is an icon and would never think he was the show, that he was bigger than the game. Cole has never forgotten, and likes to remind you that people tune in to watch the game, and he is just glad to be able to call it.

Sometimes, sadly, we tend to take for granted the good things in our lives, or not realize how special they are until they’re gone. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case on Wednesday in Toronto, when the native of St. John’s, Nfld., was honoured by Sport Media Canada with a career achievement award.


Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+cole



Pittsburgh vs. Montreal last weekend, he called a player by a name that wasn’t on the ice at the time, four times that I counted in the first period. I do not go into a game planning on counting how many times Cole makes a mistake. These mistakes are un-ignorable.

He does not know the players anymore in the first place, the ones he does he calls the wrong name, and he’s way too far behind the game to be calling it properly. He’s still okay at times, but it’s not even close to making up for his faults.

Please retire Bob Cole, as my family has been asking for the past four or five seasons. The CBC will not fire you, obviously.

Posted by NathanBC on 10/13/10 at 08:28 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I’m with Nathan.  All he’s known for is the fact that he no longer knows what he’s doing.  It became a running joke on the NHL 2k series when the game would get a player’s name wrong that it was actually accurate because Bob Cole was doing the PBP for the video game.

People wonder why we have no good young announcers.  How would we know?  The really ancient guys won’t ever leave so we can find them or find out…

Posted by Primis on 10/13/10 at 10:07 PM ET


Growing up a Wings fan in Canada I didn’t like Bob Cole.  I thought he was too much of a Leafs homer.  Now that I have access to all the other teams’ play-by-play guys via GameCenter I realize how great he is.  Some of those guys think they’re calling a baseball game with long, irrelevant stories or no emotion in their voice.

I would take Cole and his gravitas over most other guys calling games even with his habit of calling the wrong name occasionally.  I don’t mind that sort of mistake that much - I can see who’s out there. I don’t need Cole to tell me.  What I do want from a play-by-play guy is a good voice, the proper pacing, and the appropriate level of excitement in their voice.  Cole does all those things very well.  IMO Chris Cuthbert is the best at it.

Posted by loojay on 10/14/10 at 12:40 AM ET


There’s probably not very many regulars here that remember Danny Gallivan, but he was the best hockey play-by-play announcer of all time.  I am not a Habs fan, but Danny called the game right down the middle and got as excited for the visiting team scoring as he did for his beloved Canadiens.  Danny walked away from the broadcast booth in the early 80’s voluntarily as well, he basically stated that “he didn’t want to become an embarrassment” and he felt that his play-by-play work was starting to slip.

Bob Cole has enjoyed a great career as a hockey play-by-play announcer and is deservedly in the Hockey Hall of Fame as a broadcaster.  Unfortunately, he has stayed too long in his profession, and as a result, his job performance has fallen quite drastically in the last several years.  Bob, there comes a point and time when everyone has to pack it in, and I’m afraid that time has arrived.

Posted by dash_pinched on 10/14/10 at 05:06 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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