If you’re a Penguins fan of any age, then most of, if not all, of your time as a fan has been graced by the local cords of the legendary Mike Lange. For 45 years, Lange has been the most recognizable voice of Penguins hockey, both on television and now on radio as the lead play-by-play announcer.
Over the course of his Hall of Fame career behind the mic, Lange has been on the call for five Stanley Cup championships and seen some of the greatest players in hockey history don the black and gold. He has called Penguins games featuring Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr, to Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. He was even around for the less glamorous years before Mario arrived, so it’s safe to say he has seen it all in Pittsburgh.
Prior to their game against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night, the Penguins held a special pregame ceremony to honor Lange and his 45 years of service to the team.
On this Mike Lange Night, we honor the voice of the Penguins.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 8, 2019
Thank you for 45 tremendous years, Mike Lange.
You are truly best in class.
Read more: https://t.co/8pBJhTDUIF pic.twitter.com/XrWTNX8h5O
Following the tribute video, the ceremony went to ice level where team owner Mario Lemieux presented Lange with a special plaque that featured a few of Lange’s iconic sayings. Captain Sidney Crosby then joined the ceremony, skating over from the bench to present Lange with a custom Penguins jersey.
Here are the two gifts Mike Lange just received on the ice: a jersey signed by the whole team and a framed picture from @WendellAugust featuring his famous Lange-isms. pic.twitter.com/15R2L7vimQ— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 8, 2019
Following the gifts, Lange stepped to the mic to briefly address the crowd and everyone watching at home.
Simply the best. pic.twitter.com/33tYSoMtIZ— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 8, 2019
The celebration of Lange’s career did not stop with puck drop as the Penguins honored their legendary broadcast with several tributes throughout the evening. If you’re familiar with the game day experience inside PPG Paints Arena, you’ll understand the reference in the video below.
GAME ON! #LetsGoPens pic.twitter.com/hcbfBz6HTp— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 8, 2019
Fans who attended the game went home with a Mike Lange bobblehead figurine to commemorate the evening.
You'll be smilin' like a butcher's dog when you pick up tonight's Mike Lange bobblehead giveaway.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 8, 2019
Thanks @UPMC! pic.twitter.com/wjT7AGG5YT
One honor many fans will not get to see, sits up high above the crowd at PPG Paints Arena. The media level at the arena has been renamed as the Mike Lange Media Level to honor the broadcast legend.
Congratulations on YOUR media level, Mike Lange! pic.twitter.com/9wViJaWGkH— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 8, 2019
Throughout the evening, several video tributes were shown to honor Lange, from various individuals praising his career with the Penguins. His crosstown broadcasting friends Greg Brown and Steve Blass were in attendance on Tuesday night and sent their congratulation to Lange.
Steve Blass and @gbrowniepoints don’t just know Mike Lange from hockey — they know him from broadcasting some Pirates games at Three Rivers Stadium! The stories these three could tell about Pittsburgh sports would fill volumes of books. pic.twitter.com/FUV18s96z6— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 9, 2019
Fellow hockey broadcasting legend Mike “Doc” Emrick sent along a video congratulating Lange on his 45 years in the booth and even slipped in a Pirates reference like he is known to do.
From one of the greats, to another. Congrats on 45 incredible years of broadcasting, Mike Lange! pic.twitter.com/V6U5o74o91— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 9, 2019
It takes a special player to get his own custom goal call from Lange and Sidney Crosby is one of those players as Lange pulls out “Slap me silly, Sidney” when No. 87 finds the back of the net.
A match made in hockey heaven.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 9, 2019
Sidney Crosby goals + Mike Lange goal calls.
Congratulations, Mike Lange! pic.twitter.com/51zuu6AbNP
General manager and former Penguins goaltender Jim Rutherford wrapped up the tributes with his own congratulatory message.
Cheers to 45 more! pic.twitter.com/orCMzlBaRh— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 9, 2019
One of things that makes Lange so unique in terms of broadcasting style are his famous “Langeisms” that he uses for goal calls. The list of “Langeisms” is long and you can probably pull many right off the top of your head without much thought. Most fans have their favorites and that includes the players.
HHOF broadcaster Mike Lange is a Pittsburgh legend.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 7, 2019
Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Creek and tell him to read this (seriously, you'll want to read this): https://t.co/8pBJhTDUIF pic.twitter.com/Zqi9ad7mSO
All around, it was a special night honoring one of the most important individuals in franchise history. For a guy who never laced up skates for the team, Mike Lange has made an indelible impact on the Penguins franchise that will never be forgotten. His signature broadcast style had endeared him to Penguins fans a million times over and landed him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Here’s to hoping he still has a few years left in the tank.
What is your favorite "Langeism" from Mike Lange?
This poll is closed
"It’s a hockey night in Pittsburgh!"
"Get in the fast lane grandma! The bingo game is ready to roll!"
"Slap me silly, Sidney!"
"Elvis has just left the building!"
"Buy Sam a drink, and get his dog one too!"
Other (Let us know in the comments)