“He will be missed” – NBC Chicago
Pat Foley signs as Blackhawks voice originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
For 39 years, Pat Foley was the soundtrack of the Chicago Blackhawks. This legendary race officially ended on Thursday, and in a bittersweet way.
The Blackhawks, winless in their last eight games, squandered a lead late in regulation that forced overtime and the game ultimately ended in a shootout. Because no one was ready for this night to end, right?
Alex DeBrincat, who had three assists, scored the shootout’s only goal and Kevin Lankinen stopped all three shots as the Blackhawks beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4. It was their first home win since March 8.
“I just put on a better performance than we’ve had recently,” said Patrick Kane, who finished with a goal and two assists. “We played well for most of the game. … Amazing crowd, and we felt like a game that meant something tonight, so it was special.”
Aside from a two-year gap, Foley has called Blackhawks games since 1980. He’s been tied to so many memorable moments in franchise history, including the era of the three-time Stanley Cup dynasty.
“He’s the voice of the Blackhawks,” Jonathan Toews said. “There are so many good calls and just who he is as a person. He’s a great storyteller. He just adds that entertainment and that depth to the value of people watching on TV. He doesn’t take knocks “He’s not afraid to go after a guy if he hasn’t scored in 15 games or whatever the situation. We will definitely miss him.”
“He’s the voice of the Blackhawks,” Kane repeated. “You look at certain highlights or different things that have happened with our team, he’s had some amazing calls. He wasn’t there for a lot of times in the Championship because of the national broadcasts, but he’s had some amazing calls in regular season..
“Even thinking back to the hat-trick goal I had there against Vancouver in 2009, to hear his call and how excited he was about that moment, it brings more. And he’s been doing that since I’ve been here .”
Throughout the night, Foley was inundated with video messages from current and former Blackhawks players — such as Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Steve Larmer, Denis Savard and Toews — and Hall of Fame broadcasters like Joe Buck and Doc Emrick. The NBC Sports Chicago cameras isolated Foley during these posts, and you could see how much they meant to him.
Prior to the game, Foley shared a special moment with his family as he was honored in a ceremony that included a four-minute video highlighting the best calls of his career. It also included a heartwarming speech, and Foley left the town of Chicago with a Warren Zevon quote: “If I leave you, it doesn’t mean I love you less.”
The feeling is mutual, and the icing on the cake came hours later when the Blackhawks ended their eight-game winless streak and Foley was named the No. 1 star of the game. Longtime partner Eddie Olczyk toasted Foley’s 39-year run and the Blackhawks saluted him from center ice.
Foley finished by taking a big sip of the cold drink he had in hand, then shouted, “My two favorite words: Hawks win! Hawks win!” “
Blackhawks fans enjoyed the broadcast and we know they enjoyed the outcome.
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