Long-time Penguins radio announcer Mike Lange retires

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PITTSBURGH, PA – OCTOBER 08: Pittsburgh Penguins broadcaster Mike Lange speaks during a pregame ceremony honoring his 45 years with the team before the game against the Winnipeg Jets at PPG PAINTS Arena on October 8, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Penguins radio play-by-play announcer Mike Lange is stepping away from the booth.

Lange announced his retirement from radio play-by-play duties on Monday, but the 73-year-old Hall of Famer will remain a part of the team’s radio network, adding commentary and voice work on a limited basis.

Lange missed the majority of the past season because of the pandemic while awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine. He returned to the booth to call two regular-season and two home playoff games.

“This year was difficult with the pandemic, but I was still able to broadcast a limited few, which was important to me,” Lange said. “That marked 50 years of broadcasting professional hockey. That was pretty special for me.”

Josh Getzoff will take over radio play-by-play duties. Getzoff has called Penguins’ road games for the past three seasons, in addition to home games in Lange’s absence in the last two years. Former Penguins player Phil Bourque remains the color commentator on radio.

Lange earned the Foster Hewitt award for broadcasting from the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001 for his unique and creative style, which includes colorful goal catch phrases such as: “Buy Sam a drink and get his dog one, too!” The team also named the press box at PPG Paints Arena the “Mike Lange Media Level.”

Lange did radio for the Penguins in 1974-75, left for a season, then returned. Lange announced radio exclusively until 1979, then announced games simulcast on radio and TV through 2005-06, before returning to the radio booth in 2006-07.

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Lange, a native of Sacramento, California, worked four seasons in the Western Hockey League before joining the Penguins in the 1970s. He also did play-by-play for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986-87.

“Mike is a broadcasting legend, not just in Pittsburgh, but in all of sports,” said Penguins president and CEO David Morehouse. “Mike’s clever phrases and goal calls are synonymous with the most iconic moments in Penguins history.”

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