Iconic Flames play-by-play man Peter Maher announces retirement
CALGARY, AB -- Iconic Flames play-by-play man Peter Maher announced today his retirement from broadcasting following a career spanning five decades. The announcement was delivered by Maher in a press conference hosted by the Calgary Flames and Sportsnet 960 The FAN at the Scotiabank Saddldome.
“Peter has been a professional broadcaster since day one,” said Sportsnet 960 The FAN Program Director Kelly Kirch. “Nobody prepares for a hockey broadcast like Peter. His class and humility are second to none. His call of Flames hockey has been the soundtrack for Flames fans all over world for over three decades. The highs and lows of Flames hockey were captured in Flames fans’ minds by the amazing play-by-play call of Peter Maher. It has been an honour to work with a man who has been so dedicated to his craft.”
Maher and his trademark 'Yeah, baby!' cry have been an integral part of Flames lore since the club moved to Calgary from Atlanta in the fall of 1980 and the voice of the Flames since the 1981-82 season. In 34 seasons he hasn't missed a Flames broadcast, plus another three seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the late 1970s, that's a string of 3,162 straight regular-season and playoff games, not counting pre-season and international exhibition games. His success as a play-by-play includes many Flames highlights including three Stanley Cup Finals (1986, 1989 and 2004).
"Peter has been synonymous with the Flames since the club’s arrival to Calgary," said Flames President & CEO Ken King. "He has established himself as an iconic figure, not only in the history of the Flames franchise, but also in the sports culture of our city. Peter’s passionate and brilliant calls of Flames action over the past 34 years, has documented milestones of every important event in the team’s storied past. We have been truly blessed to have Peter as a play-by-play man, a supporter, a community ambassador and as a friend. While we are disappointed to witness the conclusion of an amazing career, today we also celebrate and thank him for all of his accomplishments. We welcome and look forward to seeing Peter for many years to come at the Scotiabank Saddledome.”
A native of Campbellton, New Brunswick, Maher began acting on his passion for the sports radio business as a high school student in the mid 1960’s. He made his play by play debut on CKNB in 1970 for the Campbellton Tigers of the New Brunswick Senior League. However, he received his big opportunity and start in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, broadcasting games during the 1977-78 campaign and continuing in that role for three seasons before answering the call and moving west to Calgary. While he played an important role in the introduction of the NHL to Calgary, his popularity in Toronto provided him with the position of play-by-play man for the Leafs mid week games on CHCH-TV from 1984-1987. Maher would make the journey to Toronto every Wednesday when the Leafs schedule did not interfere with his Flames broadcasts.
His record and reputation has led to several opportunities including being asked to call the 2005 World Hockey Championship; six NHL All-Star games; four Stanley Cup Finals - 1979 (NYR/MTL), 1986 (CGY/MTL), 1989 (CGY/MTL) and 2004 (CGY/TBL); and the entire Canadian men's slate of games at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Two of his most proud achievements are his induction into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and being named to the Hockey Hall of Fame after receiving the 2006 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding work as an NHL broadcaster. The Foster Hewitt Memorial Award is named in honour of the late "Voice of Hockey" in Canada.