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Never at a Loss for Words: Bob Errey

Mix in passion for hockey, a lively personality and you have the framework for a person born for broadcasting. Add in being a fan favourite of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the ability to respond with wit, you are left with Bob Errey.

Bob Errey dawned the maroon and white, the colours of his hometown from 1980-1983. It was here he crossed paths with some of the organization’s most legendary members including: Dave Morrison, John Beukeboom, Terry Bovair, and Steve Yzerman.

“I think being a hometown player here, when all the players were from other cities allowed me to show them  the landscape. It left me quite an advantage to be able to stay in the same school, when all the players were from other cities and had to be billeted.”

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Errey was drafted fifteenth overall in the 1983, NHL Entry Draft to Pittsburgh. He dressed for the Penguins for nine seasons, earning two Stanley Cups in the process. He would go on to reunite with, Yzerman and be coached under another Petes alumnus, Scotty Bowman with the Detroit Redwings from 1995-1997. After playing 895 games in the NHL, Errey spent his final year in the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack.

The left winger’s leadership skills while with San Jose in 1993-95 and 1996-97 were revisited this playoff season when Randy Hahn, Television Play by Play broadcaster of the Sharks shared “16 Points for Playoff Success,” that Errey posted on the dressing room wall before the 1994 NHL playoffs. The document shared concise recommendations, that walked the line of tangible steps and  meaningful advice.

Following retirement as a professional hockey player, Errey’s sights were set on entering the real estate market in Dallas. These plans were indefinitely halted when Tom McMillan -Vice President of Communications with the Pittsburgh Penguins- offered the former left winger a position in radio.

Errey explained that his decision in agreeing to McMillan’s offer, was driven out of a passion to remain in hockey, “I didn’t know if I was natural or if I even wanted to but I wanted to stay in the game.”

The unique ability to command an audience may be woven into the Errey’s gene code, as Bob’s father Don announced goals and assists at the Memorial Centre for five years.

“My dad was in the broadcast business as well, they say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, he worked at CHEX and CKBT in Peterborough in the radio business.”

Errey has spent 14 seasons broadcasting for Penguins television. Throughout his career in media Bob has been featured on the NHL Network’s NHL on the Fly-now NHL tonight- and appears on TSN as an analyst during the IIHF World Hockey Championships.

Bob developed a serious fan base during his nine seasons with the Penguins, however that community evolved into a cult following after stepping into the position of colour commentator. So much so, that there is a Twitter account -not affiliated with the real one named “Bob Errey,” with a bio that reads, “Commentator/Former Player for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Share your favorite Bob Errey quotes here!! Lets Go Pens!!” The location of the account is suitably, the “Commentary Booth.” The thread reads entirely of the fans’ best-loved Errey quotes.

Its a common theme for Errey fans, to share their favourite comments from the enthusiastic Petes/Penguin alumnus, on social media, in fact there are seventeen accounts parodying moments involving Errey or covering his commentary. 

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“I think I’ve always been a personable guy. I’ve never been afraid to voice my opinion, its something I feel comfortable with,” explained Errey.

Some of the classic quotes that have been documented by Errey fans include, “Sometimes [Hornqvist’s stick] is a shovel and sometimes its a javelin. Heck, you could probably even garden with one of his twigs,” “”Lindberg or hamburger? Either way it was a Subway sandwich of the game,” and “If Rust’s hat-trick goal is overturned what are they gonna do? Throw the hats back into the stands?”

The hockey rhetoric, featured in his commentating, was admittedly developed while playing junior hockey. 

“I think that certainly even more so when I played. There is banter that goes on the ice whether its with your own team or with the opponents. I never was at a loss of words, I always felt like I had a quick one liner or a comeback and response.”

The latter remains true as Errey continues to be the voice of Penguins hockey. His metaphors and direct descriptions of players and their on ice skills or mistakes has enlarged his fan base, and cemented himself as a disruptor in the colour commentating status quo. 

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