NESN announcer Jack Edwards. NESN announcer Jack Edwards after a Bruins’ Stanley Cup Final loss in 2019. (

For anyone who remotely follows the NHL, Jack Edwards is one of the most well-known local announcers in the league.

The Bruins NESN play-by-play voice, who has been calling games since 2005, feels challenged by the sport’s ever-increasing pace while acknowledging his own aging. He summarized his unfortunate predicament in a recent interview with the Boston Globe’s Chad Finn: “The game is speeding up, and I’m slowing down.”

The 66-year-old Edwards has raised concerns among fans with a noticeable change in his on-air presence over the past couple of years. His signature energy has been replaced by a slower pace and occasional speech hesitations.

Understandably hesitant to discuss his personal health publicly, Edwards has waited until now to address the changes in his commentary due in part to the ongoing medical mystery surrounding them.

No clear explanation, medical or otherwise, has yet been identified for Edwards’s condition. In fact, he’s doing just fine. The noticeable shift in Edwards’s on-air presence remains unexplained, completely shrouded in mystery, leaving both him and his doctors searching for answers. In the meantime, he finds some solace in humor.

“I did not have some kind of accident,” he told The Globe. “I do not have cancer. I don’t have dementia. I haven’t had a stroke. All of that’s been confirmed by Mass. General neurology.

“They’ve done tests that seem like I’m going through some sort of science-fiction scene, but it’s really true. The images of my brain literally reveal nothing. That’s my joke with them.”

Despite his doctors running various tests, including cognitive assessments where he scored in the “superior” range, Edwards remains undiagnosed for the changes in his speech and on-air presence. He emphasizes in his conversation with Finn that he feels physically healthy and “robust.”

“It doesn’t fit in any slot,” he said.”There have been a couple of guesses, but they haven’t made a definitive diagnosis and they’ve been working on me for a year and a half. It’s very frustrating, as you can imagine, for me to have this slowdown in my speech.”

The lack of clarity only adds to the frustration and uncertainty he faces.

On top of that. Edwards undergoes rigorous speech therapy sessions, lasting 40-60 minutes on non-game days and 10 minutes on game days. He had just finished a session before his interview with The Boston Globe on Wednesday.

“I thank all the people who are working on this problem and helping me, and they seem to feel, and I anecdotally feel, that I’m making incremental progress,” Edwards added. “The brain is a funny thing, especially mine. It is still possible to train a 66½-year-old brain to do the same things you used to do in a different way. And that’s what we’re working on through speech therapy.”

While Edwards pointed out that retirement isn’t far off, we certainly hope that he’s able to regain his footing as he nears two decades in the broadcast booth. There are only a few people in sports who can eloquently compare a Game 7 loss to the Hindenburg disaster, and he’s one of them.

[The Boston Globe]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.