- Associated Press - Thursday, July 21, 2011

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Mike “Doc” Emrick is stepping down as the voice of the New Jersey Devils after 21 years.

The soon-to-be 65-year-old Emrick announced on Thursday that he is leaving MSG Network and the Devils, but will work a reduced schedule with his national contract for NBC and Versus.

“I’ve been extremely fortunate to have been able to spend 23 incredible years with the MSG Network channels and 21 equally enjoyable years _ including three Stanley Cup championships _ with the New Jersey Devils,” Emrick said in a statement. “But that assurance of less travel and fewer games has regrettably led me to end my association with the MSG Network channels and the Devils.”

The NHL and USA Hockey gave Emrick the Lester Patrick Trophy in 2004 for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. The Hockey Hall of Fame honored him in 2008 with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to hockey broadcasting.

Devils fans, including myself, have had the great privilege to watch and listen to the talents of Mike Emrick for more than two decades,” team president Lou Lamoriello said. “Doc is a unique individual and the ultimate professional, both in and out of the broadcast booth. He is always well-prepared, entertaining, insightful, and focused, not just for each and every game, but each and every player.”

Emrick’s run with the Devils saw them rise from the depths of mediocrity to one of the most successful organizations in the NHL. During his tenure, they won the Stanley Cup in 1995, 2000 and 2003, and also lost the final in seven games to Colorado in 2001.

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