Remembering Bob Cole: A tribute to hockey’s legendary voice

Photo credit:Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press
Jagraj Lalli
1 day ago
On Wednesday night, legendary hockey broadcaster Bob Cole passed away in St. John’s at the age of 90, surrounded by his family.
As the iconic voice of Hockey Night in Canada, Cole became a staple in Canadian households, bringing excitement and passion to countless hockey games watched by families across the nation.
For half a century, Cole’s unforgettable calls became synonymous with Saturday night hockey. His trademark  “Oh, baby!” became a beloved catchphrase, immortalizing him in the hearts of fans and players alike. Even after retiring in 2019, Cole’s influence on the sport and its broadcasting continued to be felt.
Cole’s final broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada took place on April 6, 2019, featuring a matchup between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. Fittingly, the game went into overtime and a shootout, the dramatic and unpredictable nature of the sport that Cole so passionately described.
Beyond his impact on the game itself, Bob Cole inspired a generation of broadcasters to pursue their dreams and find joy in their work. His enthusiasm and dedication served as a beam of inspiration for aspiring broadcasters, including myself, who admired his unparalleled storytelling ability and love for hockey.

Reflecting on some of Cole’s most memorable calls:

Joe Sakic’s Goal in the 2002 Olympic Gold Medal Game:
“Here’s Sakic… SCORES! Joe Sakic scores! And that makes it 5-2 Canada!”
1991 Stanley Cup Final, Penguins vs. North Stars, Game 2:
“Here’s Lemieux. To centre. Penalty coming up. LOOK AT LEMIEUX! OH MY HEAVENS! WHAT A GOAL! WHAT A MOVE! LEMIEUX! OH, BABY!”
Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby Hat Tricks, 2009 Eastern Conference 1st round:
Back and forth went both of these superstars, and the way it finished off with Cole’s iconic “Oh Baby!” call on Ovechkin’s 3rd goal, makes it the most memorable for me

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Steve Yzerman’s Game 7 Series Winning Goal in Overtime vs St Louis:
“Scores! Yzerman Scores! Detroit wins the game! Detroit wins the series! And they go on, this is over!”
Erik Karlsson sets up Derrick Brassard for game tying goal in 2017 Game 2 vs Bruins:
“Keeps it onside, good work by Karlsson — look at him skate — passes, scores! Wow. What a play! What a play by the captain. What. A. Play.”

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Bob Cole’s legacy goes far beyond his incredible career behind the mic. His love for the game, infectious enthusiasm, and unmatched talent brought joy to hockey fans for generations. His legacy truly will forever live on in the hearts and minds of hockey fans everywhere.

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