Legendary sports commentator Jim Hughson has announced his retirement

Jim Hughson retires

After spending 42-years in broadcast booths across the NHL, Hall of Fame play-by-play commentator Jim Hughson has announced his retirement.

Like me, you may have grown up playing EA Sports NHL video games with the iconic voice of Jim Hughson at the helm of the broadcast, or, like many other Canadians, you likely cranked up the volume for Hockey Night in Canada when Hughson would have the call. Either way, his memorable voice in hockey is one that will be fondly remembered in this country.

“It’s been a fantastic run and I’d like to thank Sportsnet, Hockey Night in Canada and all my friends and colleagues over the years for the tremendous support and countless memories,” said Hughson. “This is a decision I made in consultation with my family and I’m very much at peace with it. My only goal in this industry was to work at the highest level and on the last day of the season. I’ve had that opportunity a number of times and will always be grateful for it.”

Hughson began his play-by-play career on the radio back in 1979, and has continued to be one of the most notable voices in Canadian sports broadcasting for six decades. Hughson has covered the NHL, OHL and CHL games and has been the voice of the Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs and Hockey Night in Canada. He’s also called a dozen Stanley Cup Finals and the men’s hockey tournament at both the 2006 and 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

Rob Corte, VP of Sportsnet and NHL Production gave Hughson big praise for his work ethic. “Jim is one of the best this business has ever seen. Whether on TV, radio or in video games, for many he has been their soundtrack of hockey. He’s set the gold standard for broadcasting in this country and has accomplished pretty much everything any broadcaster would set out to do in their career,” said Corte.

Hughson also called Major League Baseball at times during his career – notably being part of the Blue Jays broadcast crew during their championship runs in 1992 and 1993.

“Jim ranks amongst the greatest play-by-play announcers of all-time,” said Bart Yabsley, President of Sportsnet. “His contributions to the sport of hockey in this country have been immense. He has brought tremendous passion, knowledge, grace and care to every single game he’s called, which is a testament to his longevity in this business. He is leaving behind incredibly big shoes to fill after a legendary career.”

The Hockey Hall of Fame awarded Hughson the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2019 to honour his outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster. He is also a four-time Canadian Screen Awards winner for Best Sports Play-by-Play Announcer.

“It’s been an honour, privilege and pleasure to join Canadian hockey fans in watching so many fantastic games over the years,” added Hughson. “I look forward to continue watching together, but from the same side of the television.” Hughson’s long-time colour analyst, Craig Simpson, posted a message on twitter, thanking Hughson for all the years spent together in the booth.

Sportsnet will announce their full NHL broadcast team shortly before the season begins.

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