Royal families of NHL voices; Fathers and Sons grew it generationally, starting it on radio in the 1920s

Albert family

Marv Albert (Rangers radio, various national arms on TV)

Al Albert (Original radio voice of the Islanders, later a TV announcer for the Devils)

Steve Albert (television announcer for the Islanders in the late 1970s and early 1980s)

Kenny Albert (son of Marv, Rangers radio play-by-play and lead commentator for TNT)


Kelly family

Hal (a couple of NHL broadcasting stops, most notably Minnesota and Washington)

Dan (longtime announcer for the Blues and national networks on both sides of the border)

John (son of Dan, TV announcer for the Blues, has been calling NHL games since the 1980s)

Dan Jr. (son of Dan, previous NHL stops in St. Louis, Columbus, and Chicago, now calling college hockey for Big Ten Network)


Hewitt family Foster Hewitt carried the first NHL flag on national radio in the 1920s.

Foster Hewitt (pioneer of hockey broadcasting, Hockey Hall of Fame’s annual award is named for him)

Bill Hewitt (longtime Toronto-based play-by-play for Hockey Night in Canada)


Olczyk Family

Eddie Olczyk (16-year NHL playing career, now the color commentator for the Kraken and the lead analyst for TNT)

Nick Olczyk (former player at Colorado College, now a studio analyst for the Kraken and an analyst on radio for Sports USA)


Chelios Family

Chris Chelios (Hall of Fame defenseman, now working for TNT as a studio analyst)

Caley Chelios (color commentator on both radio and television for the Blackhawks)


Irvin Family

Legendary Hockey Night in Canada color commentator and play-by-play man Dick Irvin Jr. is the son of Hall of Fame coach Dick Irvin.

Many Hockey Hall of Fame play-by-play announcers had children who followed in their footsteps in the minor leagues, Junior ranks, or college hockey. These include Wally Shaver (son of Al) and Wally’s son Jason, Mark Jeanneret (son of Rick), Matt Rosen (son of Sam), and Patrick Kelly (son of John and grandson of Dan).

Another name to watch for the future is Jake Maurice, who works in the ECHL. Maurice’s father is Paul Maurice, the head coach of the Florida Panthers.


When the NHL doubled in size, from six to twelve teams in 1967, it sprung all the way out to California. Until then it didn’t go further West than Chicago. The early Original-Six voices were:

Montreal – Danny Galivan 

Toronto – Foster Hewitt

Boston – Fred Cusick

New York – Win Elliot and Marv Albert

Detroit – Budd Lynch and Bruce Martyn

Chicago – Lloyd Pettit

With the expansion into Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Oakland in 1967, spirited new voices filled the NHL microphones almost immediately and in the short years to follow.

Oakland – Tim Ryan – later a popular network voice on CBS and NBC, a versatile Canadian 

Los Angeles -Jiggs McDonald, rhythmic, reliable and prepared

St. Louis – Year two, Dan Kelly. Unfortunately he passed young. Driving voice. Staccato  

Philadelphia – Gene Hart, built an association with the local rabid community

Minneapolis – Al Shaver, From game #1 ever in 1967 through 1993, he was the lead play-by-player 

Pittsburgh – It took five earlier voices in an economy of time, before the inimitable Mike Lange became a decades-long laureate with incongruent phrases

Jake Baskin

Jake Baskin is a graduate of Dean College who majored in sports broadcasting. He does play-by-play for Northeast Sports Network and previously wrote about hockey for various SB Nation blogs. He loves the history and evolution of sports broadcasting and dreams of being a national-level announcer.

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Michael Green
2 months ago

GREAT stuff, especially with today’s announcement in baseball about the royal broadcasting family continuing. And the first year in St. Louis, the voice of the Blues was Jack Buck! He probably had something to do with Kelly’s hiring.