Legendary hockey broadcaster Bob Cole passes away at 90 years old
Legendary hockey broadcaster Bob Cole passes away at 90 years old

The most iconic voice in hockey is gone but won’t soon be forgotten.

Bob Cole, a revered voice in hockey broadcasting, has died at the age of 90. The Canadian play-by-play announcer, known for his iconic phrase “Oh, baby!”, was a staple on Hockey Night in Canada for five decades. 

His family confirmed that he passed away on Wednesday in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, surrounded by his loved ones.

Megan Cole, his daughter, told CBC News, “Thank you for decades of love for his work, love of Newfoundland, and love of hockey.” 

She shared that her father had been healthy “up until the very end.”

Cole’s career began in radio before he transitioned to television in 1973. He quickly became synonymous with Hockey Night in Canada, delivering memorable calls in Stanley Cup finals, Olympic games, and other major hockey events. 

He was awarded the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for broadcasting excellence and inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. He was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada at Rideau Hall in 2016.

Cole’s final broadcast was the regular-season finale in Montreal between the Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs in April 2019. Players, coaches, and fans stood in appreciation, with chants of Cole’s name echoing through the arena at times during the game.

After Charlie Lindgren stopped Kasperi Kapanen’s shot, ending the shootout, Cole signed off in signature fashion.

“That is all she wrote,” he said.

Following the game, Cole said, “Thank you so much, Montreal and Canada. It’s been a pleasure. I’m going to miss this.”

But now it’s Cole who is missed. Fans of different stripes shared their favourite memories of Cole after hearing of his passing on Thursday. 

Former Montreal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban shared in a post to X that he was sad to see the best in the business pass away, adding that Cole was one of the nicest people he’d ever met.

“He will be missed but never forgotten!” said Subban.

Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre shared the same favourite moment of Cole in a post to X

“[Oh my heavens!] What a goal! What a move, Lemieux! Ohhh baby,” said Poilievre, reminiscing on Cole’s call of Mario Lemieux’s goal. 

Numerous hockey players have given tribute to Cole throughout their careers, saying that he was the voice that helped them fall in love with hockey.

Sports commentator John Shannon said that his heart was broken upon hearing the news of his good friend passing away.

“He was one of the soundtracks of our game. He had a passion that every hockey fan felt every time he announced a game. There will only be one Bob Cole. And now he’s gone,” said Shannon.

Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe shared in a press conference on Thursday that he never had the pleasure of meeting Cole but appreciates the lasting impact he had on the sport of hockey.

“I think millions of Canadians wouldn’t have had the pleasure of meeting him but felt that they knew him because of the passion that he had,” said Keefe.

“Growing up, I think every memory I would have of hockey would be with his voice echoing,” Keefe added.

As players and fans reminisce and celebrate the legendary career of Cole, his voice will live on in the heart and memories of the game. He won’t soon be forgotten.

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