Penguins radio broadcaster Mike Lange to cut back on schedule |

Penguins radio broadcaster Mike Lange to cut back on schedule

Jonathan Bombulie
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Mike Lange play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Penguins and partner Phil Bourque watch practice Friday, May 12, 2017 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Mike Lange play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Penguins watches practice Friday, May 12, 2017 at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.

Hockey fans will have fewer chances to buy Sam and his dog a drink this season.

Hall of Fame broadcaster Mike Lange will scale back his travel schedule, the Penguins announced Thursday.

Lange, 69, will call all 41 home games in the regular season and all playoff games for the team’s radio network, but he will skip about 26 of the team’s 41 regular-season road games. When Lange is off, Josh Getzoff will handle radio play-by-play duties with analyst Phil Bourque.

“I decided that in my 43rd season of NHL broadcasting it was time to really take a look at the road schedule, to start reducing my travel a bit,” Lange said in a release. “The Penguins have been very accommodating, and I really appreciate their willingness to work with me on this.”

Lange has been a Penguins institution since the mid-70s. He was the team’s lead television announcer from 1979-2006 before returning to radio. He received the Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for excellence in broadcasting in 2001.

“I’ve talked to Mike about all of this, and I know he believes it is the right time in his career to cut back on his travel schedule,” Bourque said. “He’ll still be our lead radio play-by-play announcer. He’ll always be the ‘Voice of the Penguins.’ And I think this might prolong his career.”

The announcement continues an offseason of evolutionary change in the team’s broadcast booths.

In May, 37-year-old Murrysville native Steve Mears left the NHL Network to replace 62-year-old Paul Steigerwald as the team’s television play-by-play voice. Steigerwald has been part of the team’s broadcast team since 1985.

Getzoff, 28, has been with the Penguins since 2015, acting as the host of radio pregame and postgame shows and a reporter for the team website.

“(Lange) is one of the greatest hockey announcers — one of the greatest sports announcers — of all-time,” Getzoff said. “To have this chance to fill in and do play-by-play on Penguins road games when Mike is off on occasion is both exciting and humbling.”

When Getzoff is calling games, Steigerwald will handle pregame and postgame shows on the radio.

Note: The Penguins have bumped the start time of a Saturday, Sept. 30 exhibition game against Columbus at PPG Paints Arena from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. to accommodate an AT&T SportsNet broadcast of a Pitt football game against Rice that starts at noon.

Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter at @BombulieTrib.

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