Sam Rosen will finally be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The legendary TV voice of the Rangers for over 30 years on MSG won the Foster Hewitt Award. He will be inducted into the broadcast wing after the NHL Broadcasters Association revealed that he and Bob Verdi were the winners today.
The 68-year old German grew up in Brooklyn after his family moved when he was two-years old. Of Polish and German roots, Rosen has been a fixture on MSG for four decades. After starting as a pregame host from 1982-84, he took over the microphone from legendary mentor Jim Gordon in 1985.
Originally, Rosen teamed with former Hall of Famer Phil Esposito, who took over as Rangers general manager in 1986-87. His next partner was the one and only John Davidson. The former goalie who backstopped the club to the Stanley Cup Final in 1979, was a natural as a color analyst. Forming a 20-year partnership, they became known as Sam and JD.
The most memorable run for Rosen and Davidson was during 1994 when the Rangers finally erased a 54-year drought to win the Stanley Cup. The best part was that this was before network TV got exclusive rights. So, that meant we got to hear Sam and JD for the memorable Game 7’s against the Devils and Canucks. They had such great chemistry that it made enjoying the run that much more.
Davidson’s signature was “Oh Baby!” whenever a Ranger player did something significant. Whether it be a big goal or huge save from Mike Richter, Davidson was the perfect complement to Rosen. Of course, Rosen had his own. Whenever the team scored on a power play, he’d scream:
“He scores! It’s a power play goal!” Something that’s not as common these days with our team’s ineptitude on the man advantage.
Most memorable was Rosen’s final call when Craig MacTavish won the last faceoff from Pavel Bure to preserve an emotional Rangers’ 3-2 Game 7 win on home ice to finally win the Cup.
“The waiting over! The New York Rangers are the Stanley Cup Champions! And this one will last a lifetime!”
A call we still must cherish. For many older generation fans who never thought they’d see the franchise win a championship, it really registered. I’ll never forget my Dad’s reaction. How he couldn’t believe they really won. We’ve been lucky to have Rosen in our living rooms. A nice man who wears his emotions on his sleeves. Someone we’ve met a few times. He couldn’t be classier.
Rosen has also worked NFL games on Fox for two decades. He’s been superb at that too. Of course, it flies under the radar to his dedication as the Rangers’ official voice. Don’t forget his contributions to NHL Radio working the Stanley Cup Finals. This is a very deserving man who waited a long time.
It’s nice to see that he’ll finally be honored, taking his place among hockey’s great voices. Indeed, this one will last a lifetime!