For those that follow hockey, you’ll know it’s been a tough couple of decades for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Hockey’s answer to the Chicago Cubs, years of futility have plagued the franchise that clings to every win as an opportunity to plan their eventual Stanley Cup parade. Their primary radio broadcaster is Joe Bowen who has been with the team for over 2000 games in a tenure spanning back to 1982.
Bowen is perhaps most famous for his catch phrase “Holy Mackinaw”, although the legendary voice has a long list of accomplishments on his resume. Recently, The Athletic sat down with Bowen to discuss his career, the Leafs, some more of his famous moments and “that catchphrase”.
Joe Bowen was in a gliding chair in the middle of his cozy suburban basement, and he was telling a story. It was from the fall of 1993, when the Toronto Maple Leafs traveled to London, England, for a preseason series with the New York Rangers, playing to win the “prestigious French’s Mustard Cup.”
The local technician did not know much about hockey, Bowen said, so the play-by-play booth was installed directly behind the Toronto bench. The announcers jokingly passed notes to Leafs coach Pat Burns, filled with suggestions about line combinations. At intermission, Bowen stretched his legs.
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