Mike Lange, the longtime radio play-by-play announcer for the Pittsburgh Penguins, will not start the 2020-21 season calling games because of concerns about COVID-19.
“I’ve decided to opt out of the start of the season after huddling with doctors about the course of COVID-19,” Lange said Friday. “They’ve suggested it probably is best to receive the vaccinations before going back in the booth.”
The 72-year-old was the 2011 winner of the Foster Hewitt Award, presented by the Hockey Hall of Fame to members of the broadcast industry who make outstanding contributions to their profession and the game of ice hockey during their broadcasting career.
For the past two seasons, Lange has worked a limited schedule, calling home games, but not going on the road. Josh Getzoff, who calls the road games, will call all games in Lange’s absence.
“I’m very much appreciative that the Penguins hierarchy gave me this chance to get everything in order,” said Lange, who has been with the Penguins for 45 years. “We all know the broadcasts will be in more-than-capable hands. Josh Getzoff has proven he is an NHL broadcaster in his own right and Phil Bourque is a rock in the booth. They are, without a doubt, knowledgeable, entertaining and just fun to hear on the airwaves.”
The Penguins are scheduled to open the season against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday (NBCSN, 5:30 p.m. ET).