Six years after rejoining the Chicago Blackhawks and watching them awaken a city and a franchise with a pair of Stanley Cup championships, veteran broadcaster Pat Foley will receive the highest honor bestowed in his profession.
The Hockey Hall of Fame and National Hockey League Broadcasters' Association have selected Foley, the voice of the Blackhawks for 31 seasons, as the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award winner for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
Foley will receive his award at the Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Awards luncheon presentation in Toronto on Nov. 17. His award plaque will be displayed in the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame alongside the 90 past award recipients.
"It is very humbling to be recognized for such a prestigious honor and I am overly thankful," said Foley in a statement released by the Blackhawks. "Lloyd Pettit and Dan Kelly are longtime heroes of mine and I don't feel as though I belong in the same category as them, but to hear my name anywhere close to theirs is almost unfathomable. The list of people who have helped me immeasurably throughout my 31 years behind the Blackhawks mic is endless, most notably my parents, my family, broadcast partners and countless production crews, and I hope all those folks take great pride in this recognition as well. Being brought back to the world-class Chicago Blackhawks organization by Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough has been nothing short of a thrill and I am forever grateful."
Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz, who brought back Foley after he was let go after 25 years with the team, expressed his pride with the announcement.
"There is not a more deserving person for this honor than Pat Foley. We are proud that he is a member of our team," said Wirtz.
Foley, a Glenview native, called Blackhawks games from 1981 to 2006 before returning to the Blackhawks booth for the 2008-09 season. Foley's partner in the TV booth, Eddie Olczyk, is a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame.
Named in honor of the late "Voice of Hockey" in Canada, the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award was first presented in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters' Association in recognition of members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey.