Ed Olczyk

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Ed Olczyk
Ed Olczyk 2010-04-08.JPG
Olczyk in Pittsburgh for the final regular season game at Mellon Arena, April 2010.
Born (1966-08-16) August 16, 1966 (age 47)
Chicago, IL, USA
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Center
Shot Left
Played for Chicago Blackhawks
Toronto Maple Leafs
Winnipeg Jets
New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
Pittsburgh Penguins
National team  United States
NHL Draft 3rd overall, 1984
Chicago Blackhawks
Playing career 1984–2000

Edward Walter "Eddie" Olczyk, Jr. (/ˈlɨk/; born August 16, 1966) is a former professional hockey player and head coach from the United States. He was a center in the National Hockey League for 16 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Chicago Blackhawks, and Pittsburgh Penguins. Olczyk was also the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins from June 2003 to December 2005.

He currently serves as a television color commentator for NHL on NBC, NHL on NBC Sports Network and Chicago Blackhawks games on Comcast SportsNet Chicago and WGN-TV. He played 1,031 NHL games and produced 342 goals and 452 assists for a total of 794 points between 1984 and 2000. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame on February 22, 2013.

Playing career[edit]

Amateur career[edit]

Olczyk grew up in Palos Heights, Illinois and went to Brother Rice Catholic High School. He was a star on the Illinois midget AAA team (Team Illinois) that won the 1982 national title against a Detroit Compuware squad that featured future NHL stars Pat LaFontaine and Al Iafrate. He then moved to Canada to play for the Stratford Cullitons junior team before joining the 1984 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Professional career[edit]

Olczyk was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of 1984 NHL Entry Draft, the third overall pick. He scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game on October 11, 1984 vs the Detroit Red Wings in Chicago Stadium against Greg Stefan. From 1984 thru 1987, #16 Olczyk was a member of Chicago's infamous "Clydesdale Line" with #19 Troy Murray and #8 Curt Fraser, the nickname coined by Blackhawks broadcaster Pat Foley, as each player weighed in at or around 200 pounds. He was traded a number of times during his career. In 1987, Olczyk was traded to Toronto with Al Secord for Rick Vaive, Steve Thomas, and Bob McGill. He was traded again in 1990 to Winnipeg, with Mark Osborne for Dave Ellett and Paul Fenton. In 1992 he was traded for the third time in his career, this time to the New York Rangers for Kris King and Tie Domi. Olczyk missed most of 1993–94 season recovering from a thumb injury suffered in a game vs. Florida on January 3, 1994; he would, however, recover to play in one playoff game and win the Stanley Cup with the Rangers that season (although he and Mike Hartman's names were initially, and controversially, not engraved on the Cup for having not met the league's minimum playing time requirements for eligibility). In 1995 he was traded back to Winnipeg for their 5th round choice (who ended up being Alexei Vasiliev) in the 1995 Entry Draft. After signing as a free agent with Los Angeles in 1996, he wouldn't even finish the season with them before being traded to Pittsburgh for Glen Murray. He finished his career in Chicago.

Post-playing career[edit]

He returned to Pittsburgh to become the color analyst for the Penguins on FSN Pittsburgh, where he was given the nickname "Edzo" by current radio announcer and then co-announcer Mike Lange. In 2003, he moved from the booth to the bench and served as head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins from June 11, 2003 until December 15, 2005. Despite adding marquee free-agents, the Penguins started the season with a disappointing 8–17–6 record, leading to Olczyk's dismissal on December 15.

Beginning with the 2006–07 NHL season, Olczyk is the game analyst for the Chicago Blackhawks television broadcasts, partnering play-by-play announcer Pat Foley. Olczyk is also the lead game analyst for NHL on NBC and the NHL on NBC Sports Network. Olczyk was also the lead game analyst for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Men's Ice Hockey where he partners with Mike "Doc" Emrick. Perhaps his most notable moment as color commentator came at the end of the 5–3 U.S. win over Canada at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, when he described the game as being "tremendously tremendous" after U.S. forward Ryan Kesler scored an empty-netter. The audio of Olczyk saying "This has been tremendously tremendous" was an instant hit among hockey enthusiasts and was the subject of many spoofs online. He was selected to repeat his duties alongside Emerick for the 2014 Socchi Winter Olympics.[1]

On April 8, 2010, Olczyk returned to Pittsburgh to join more than 50 former Penguins being honored in a pre-game ceremony before the final regular season game at Mellon Arena.

On December 30, 2010, it was announced that Foley and Olczyk signed a three-year extension to stay with the Blackhawks.

On October 15, 2012, Olczyk was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame along with Mike Modano and Lou Lamoriello.[2] In 2004, Ed Olczyk was inducted into the National Polish American Sports Hall of Fame.[3]

On May 5, 2014, EA Sports announced that Olczyk will provide color commentary for NHL 15 along play-by-play commentator Mike "Doc" Emrick and ice level analyst Ray Ferraro.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Olczyk has four children, three currently playing hockey: Eddie plays for the Bloomington Thunder of the Southern Professional Hockey League, Nick plays for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL, and Tom, who plays for the Penn State Nittany Lions. His younger brother Rick Olczyk is a former hockey player for Brown University and is currently an assistant general manager for the Carolina Hurricanes. Olczyk also has a daughter, Zandra, who is a student at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa studying Journalism. She is an active member of her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta.

Career statistics[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1984–85 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 70 20 30 50 67 15 6 5 11 11
1985–86 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 79 29 50 79 47 3 0 0 0 0
1986–87 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 79 16 35 51 119 4 1 1 2 4
1987–88 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 42 33 75 55 6 5 4 9 2
1988–89 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 80 38 52 90 75
1989–90 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 79 32 56 88 78 5 1 2 3 14
1990–91 Toronto Maple Leafs NHL 18 4 10 14 13
1990–91 Winnipeg Jets NHL 61 26 31 57 69
1991–92 Winnipeg Jets NHL 64 32 33 65 67 6 2 1 3 4
1992–93 Winnipeg Jets NHL 25 8 12 20 26
1992–93 New York Rangers NHL 46 13 16 29 26
1993–94 New York Rangers NHL 37 3 5 8 28 1 0 0 0 0
1994–95 New York Rangers NHL 20 2 1 3 4
1994–95 Winnipeg Jets NHL 13 2 8 10 8
1995–96 Winnipeg Jets NHL 51 27 22 49 65 6 1 2 3 6
1996–97 Los Angeles Kings NHL 67 21 23 44 45
1996–97 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 12 4 7 11 6 5 1 0 1 12
1997–98 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 56 11 11 22 35 6 2 0 2 4
1998–99 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 61 10 15 25 29
1998–99 Chicago Wolves IHL 7 2 2 4 6
1999–00 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 33 2 2 4 12
NHL totals 1031 342 452 794 874 57 19 15 34 57

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • Stanley Cup Champions 1993-94 New York Rangers
  • US Hockey Hall of Fame 2012

Coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular season Post season
G W L T OTL Pts Finish Result
PIT 2003–04 82 23 47 8 4 58 5th in Atlantic Missed playoffs
PIT 2005–06 31 8 17 - 6 (58) 5th in Atlantic (fired)
Total 113 31 64 8 10

International Record for Team USA[edit]

1987 (seventh place), 1989 (sixth place), 1993 (sixth place)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Bruce Cassidy
Chicago Black Hawks first round draft pick
1984
Succeeded by
Dave Manson
Preceded by
Rick Kehoe
Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
2003–05
Succeeded by
Michel Therrien