St. John's, Newfoundland
Bob Cole was the lead play-by-play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada 'HNIC' on CBC, usually for Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senator games, from 1980 (when he took over from Bill Hewitt) until 2008 (when Jim Hughson took over). Aside from Leafs games, he is also a staple for the CBC during the Stanley Cup playoffs. He had broadcast every Stanley Cup Finals since 1989-2008, when he was replaced by Jim Hughson. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996 as the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for broadcasting excellence.
Cole received an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John's in 2002.
Cole began broadcasting hockey on CBC Radio in 1969 and moved to television in 1973 when HNIC expanded its coverage.
Catch phrases Edit
Some of his more famous phrases include "Oh baby!" and "Scores!"/"Holy cow" He is known particularly for 'Colisms' (such as "Heavens to Betsy!", "Oh Nelly!", and the trademark "What a dandy!" used to describe a great game) as well as for slowly emphasizing each word when an exciting play has happened ("Can he do it again? Scores! Pec–a– does– it– a–gain!"). Other common phrases made by Cole are: "He's a goalie, yes sir, and a good one at that!" after a great save and "He was nailed" after a great hit.
Some notable stylistic traits of Cole's calls include both a trademark cadence that trots and gallops independent of the pace of play, as well as a general ambiguity towards puck location and its possessors: "They. are. doing it folks. they. are. doing it now!" "He. tried to. GO IN THERE!" "There's a drive. ANOTHER ONE!" Bob also has a proclivity for referring to the game itself as "this baby." "Pittsburgh better get a quick one here. or this baby's gonna be Over!" or "Scores! And this baby is tied."
Cole's work during CBC's broadcasts of the Olympic games have also become memorable among legions of Canadians. His call on the final shot of the shootout in the semi-final game of the 1998 Winter Olympics at Nagano between Canada and the Czech Republic represented Canada's failure at the games and haunted fans for years. With Canada scoreless in the shootout and Brendan Shanahan representing their last chance, Cole said in a panicked voice as Shanahan skated in towards Czech goalie Dominik Hasek, "He's gotta score, that's all!" But Shanahan was stopped by Hasek, prompting Cole to dejectedly say "No, he can't do it."
At the gold medal game of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City between Canada and the United States, Cole's animated call of Joe Sakic's second goal of the game is also one of his more memorable moments. Also, on the fourth Canada goal of the game, with four minutes remaining in the third period, Cole was so excited when the goal was scored he yelled out "GORE!" (a hybrid of "goal" and "score"), and then proceeded to call out "Goal, Canada! Goal! Wow! [...] The place goes crazy here in Salt Lake City, and I guess coast to coast in Canada, and all around the world!" When Sakic scored Canada's fifth goal with one minute and twenty seconds remaining, Cole yelled out "SCORES! JOE-SAKIC-SCORES! And that makes it 5-2 Canada! Surely, that's gotta be it!" As the final seconds of the game ticked away, Cole said "Now after 50 years, it's time for Canada to stand up and cheer. Stand up and cheer everybody! The Olympics Salt Lake City, 2002, men's ice hockey, gold medal: Canada!"
Colour commentators Edit
Cole's long time colour commentator on HNIC was Harry Neale. They were first teamed up in the 1986–87 season. From 1987 to 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, they broadcast 20 Stanley Cup Finals together. Prior to that, his usual partners included Gary Dornhoefer, Mickey Redmond, or John Davidson. Dick Irvin, Jr. also often joined his broadcast team as a third man in the booth for big games. Cole is now usually paired with Greg Millen.
At the beginning of the 2008–09 season, Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson replaced Cole and Millen as the primary HNIC broadcast team. Cole and Millen continue to call regional telecasts and work through the third round of the playoffs.
In 2007 Cole captured his first Gemini Award in the area of Sports Play-by Play