Eddie Olcyzk at his 2012 induction into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 15: U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Class of 2012 recipient, Eddie Olczyk speaks during the 40th annual U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Dinner at Plaza of the Americas on October 15, 2012 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

The sports broadcasting world has seen a lot of figures battling cancer recently, from Craig Sager to Erin Andrews to Dave Strader to Holly Rowe, and NBC and Chicago Blackhawks’ hockey broadcaster Eddie Olczyk is now in that crowd. The Blackhawks (Olczyk is their primary TV analyst on CSN Chicago and WGN) announced that news on Twitter Tuesday with a statement from Olczyk that he’s been diagnosed with colon cancer:

The Blackhawks’ team doctor also added that Olczyk’s surgery went well, but that he’ll need chemotherapy:

Mike “Doc” Emrick, Olczyk’s long-time play-by-play partner with NBC, spoke to Mark Lazerus of The Chicago Sun-Times to encourage readers to offer prayers for Olczyk. The team also said that they want to do what they can to support Olczyk through this:

“I read in the [Washington] Post that 75 percent of Americans of all faiths pray at least once a week,” Olczyk’s NBC partner, Mike “Doc” Emrick told the Sun-Times. “So there is something I/we can do. I think it makes a difference. Eddie loves ice cream. So each time I pass an ice cream parlor (or a race track), he will come to mind. I will look forward to our next game even more than the previous 12 years worth. Cause I have a great original brother in Indiana, but a second ‘brother’ in Chicago.”

The Hawks did not announce a replacement, but Steve Konroyd has been Olczyk’s fill-in when national games prevented Olczyk from calling Hawks games.

“Eddie Olczyk is a treasured member of the Chicago Blackhawks family, and we will be supportive of him as he fights this disease,” Hawks president John McDonough said. “We encourage our fans to keep him in their thoughts as we all look forward to having him back in good health as soon as possible.”

NBC Sports executive producer and president of production Sam Flood put out a statement, too, saying that they wish Olczyk the best through this recovery, and that while they’ll announce early-season replacements for him soon, they’re eager to have him back:

“On behalf of everyone at NBC Sports, we wish Eddie and his family all the best as they cope with this health issue. Our top priority is for Edzo to get healthy, so he won’t be joining us at the beginning of the season. We’ll have information on how we’ll staff those games soon. But most of all, we’re looking forward to the day when Edzo comes off IR, and rejoins Doc and Pierre to call the great game of hockey.”

And much of the hockey media world sent their thoughts to Olcyzk as well:


The 50-year-old Olczyk played in the NHL from 1984 to 2000 with the Blackhawks, Leafs, Jets, Rangers, Kings and Penguins. Since then, he’s served as a color analyst for Penguins’ broadcasts, as the Penguins’ head coach from 2003-2005, as the Blackhawks’ primary color analyst since 2006-07, and as a national NHL analyst for Versus, NBC and NBCSN. He was also inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012 (his induction speech is shown above). He’s been a key hockey voice in the U.S., both nationally and locally. Here’s wishing him all the best with his recovery.

[Chicago Sun-Times]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.