The Chicago Blackhawks have extended the contracts of TV play-by-play broadcaster Pat Foley and analyst Eddie Olczyk for three more years.
The 2009 Emmy Award winners will remain on the Blackhawks broadcasts through the 2013-14 season. The Glenview (Foley) and Palos Heights (Olczyk) natives have a combined 38 years of Blackhawks experience both on the ice and broadcast booth.
“Today is a proud moment for us as an organization to extend Pat and Eddie through the 2013-14 season,” said Blackhawks Executive Vice President Jay Blunk. “Blackhawks fans connect in a very special way with each and every broadcast, helping to advance our brand throughout the Midwest. We are fortunate to have one of the premiere broadcast tandems in all of professional sports.”
The household ratings have increased significantly since Foley and Olczyk have been paired together in the 2008-09 season. Ratings were up 130 percent for Blackhawks games on Comcast Sports Net and 85 percent on WGN-TV. Comcast Sports Net’s top five all-time rated broadcasts was during the Blackhawks run for the 2010 Stanley Cup with Foley and Olczyk broadcasting.
Currently in his 28th season with the organization, Foley called Blackhawks games from 1981 to 2006, and returned to the booth for the 2008-09 season to partner with Olczyk on all games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN Channel 9. He attended Loyola Academy in Wilmette and received a degree in telecommunications from Michigan State University. Foley received an Emmy for “Outstanding Achievement – Sports Program Live Series” in 1991 and was inducted into the Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
Olczyk is now in his fifth season as the television analyst for Blackhawks hockey on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN Channel 9. A veteran of 16 National Hockey League seasons, he began his career as an 18-year old with his hometown Blackhawks in 1984-85 after being chosen with the third overall selection of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. Olczyk recorded 77 goals and 209 points in 322 regular-season tilts over five seasons with Chicago (1984-87, 1998-00) and tallied 13 points (7G, 6A) in 21 Stanley Cup Playoff tilts with the Blackhawks. In his career, he scored 342 goals and recorded 794 points in 1,031 regular-season games with Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto, Winnipeg, the New York Rangers and Los Angeles, winning a Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1994, and was also a member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic team. Olczyk also serves as the lead television analyst for NHL national broadcasts on NBC and Versus.
A Blackhawks press release contributed to this report.