As expected, the Hawks’ Patrick Kane took the award for Rookie of the Year. Things are looking up for the franchise, and even though they missed the playoffs this season, I’ll go on the record real early here in saying that they WILL make the playoffs next season. Mind you, I’ll still root for the Red Wings over them, but if the Wings can’t make it, I’d be happy to see the Hawks continue their renaissance far into the post-season.
In another move that was widely expected, the Hawks have re-hired Pat Foley as their TV play-by-play man for next season. For the uninitiated, Foley was the voice of the Hawks for about 25 years before being shockingly dumped a few years ago. Though he reportedly received offers from other NHL teams, Foley chose to stay in town and spent the last 2 seasons broadcasting for the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. This announcement would have been made sooner, except that the Wolves stayed in the playoffs all the way to the end and won the AHL championship last week.
This is very pleasing news to me. Pat Foley has one of the best hockey voices you could ever hope to hear. Its timber reminds me of long-ago Red Wings announcer Bruce Martyn. It’s a sort of brassy drone that somehow lends itself to hockey’s non-stop movement and wears well on the ears game after game, year after year. If the roster of all sports broadcasters were a wine list, a voice like Foley’s would be the retsina – no one would ever accuse it of being high-class; its flavor might seem a little harsh upon first tasting; but once you’ve had a glass or two, it moves near the front of the wine rack. Welcome back to the NHL, Pat Foley!