Detroit Red Wings: Budd Lynch – the Voice of the Red Wings Dies
DETROIT – NOVEMBER 05: Budd Lynch closes the pre-game presentation with a ceremonial puck drop with Dan Boyle #22 of the San Jose Sharks and Nicklas Lidstrom #5 of the Detroit Red Wings during a NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on November 5, 2009 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Rhys Richards (@RREsq)
Detroit Red Wings fans will miss the voice that they have associated with Red Wings hockey since 1949.
Budd Lynch, 95, died this morning in Wyandotte, Michigan. Lynch served as the team’s public-address announcer and was synonymous with Detroit hockey.
Born in Windsor, Lynch served for the Essex Scottish Regiment of the Canadian Forces in World War II and ultimately lost his right arm and shoulder a month after being hit by a German shell on D Day in Normandy.
In 1949, Detroit General Manager Jack Adams hired Lynch away from the Windsor Spitfires to call Red Wings games.
Former player and current Detroit broadcaster Mickey Redmond told the Detroit Free Press, “Budd Lynch didn’t just work for the Red Wings, he was part of the brand. To me, he was a walking encyclopedia of not only life, but especially the hockey world. We’re all better off for having the opportunity to work with him for so many years.”
Redmond added, “He made a lot of people’s lives better because of the way he was and the way he carried on. He had a great demeanor, a great, proud Irishman, and wore it on his sleeve. A real gentleman.”
Lynch began his career on the radio, then did television work from 1949 to 1975. From 1975 to 1985, he served as the team’s public relations director before taking his job as the public address announcer in 1985.
Lynch earned five Stanley Cup Championship rings beginning in the 1953-54 season and was on the microphone for eight of Detroit’s 11 Stanley Cups.
Lynch was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985 as the winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award given for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster. Lynch was inducted to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. In 2005, he received the Ty Tyson Award for Excellence in Sports Broadcasting issued by the Detroit Broadcasters Association.
In 2007, Lynch released his autobiography My Life: From Normandy to Hockey Town.
On November 5, 2009, Lynch was honored at Joe Louis Arena for the 60th anniversary of his first play-by-play television broadcast for the Red Wings. Fans received bobbleheads of the great Detroit announcer.
Detroit Vice President of Communications summed Lynch up best when he told the Detroit news, “[Lynch]’s as much a part of this team as the ice on the floor.
Wings radio play-by-play announcer Ken Kal told the Detroit Free Press, “One of the nicest men that I ever met. He was a history book, really, when it came to the Red Wings. He could recall it just like it was yesterday.
“He was kind of like a fatherly figure, in a lot of ways, to me,” Kal added. “If you had a question about announcing or hockey, you could go to him. In a lot of ways, he was like Ernie Harwell. Well-liked, a great ambassador for the Red Wings.”
Today is a sad day in Hockeytown.
Information obtained from www.freep.com, www.detroitnews.com, and http://www.michigansportshof.org.
Share your thoughts about the NHL, the Detroit Red Wings, and hockey in general with Rhys at Twitter: @RREsq. He can be reached via email at RhysJRichards@gmail.com. Join the many fans of The Hockey Guys on Facebook and Twitter @TheHockeyGuys