Dick Irvin Jr.

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Dick Irvin Jr.
James Dickinson Irvin

(1932-03-04) March 4, 1932 (age 90)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
OccupationSports broadcaster and author

Dick Irvin Jr. (or III), CM (born March 4, 1932 in Calgary, Alberta) is a Canadian retired sports broadcaster and author. In 1988, the Hockey Hall of Fame presented him with the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, for his contributions to hockey broadcasting.[1] In 2004, he was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.[2]

Broadcasting career[edit]

Dick Irvin is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, where he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from what is now the Desautels Faculty of Management. While attending university from 1951 to 1953, Irvin played for the varsity hockey team and worked part-time as an assistant to the equipment manager of the Montreal Canadiens, the team his father coached at the time.

After several years in commerce, he turned to sports broadcasting, first as a media liaison for the Canadiens and then, starting in 1966, a colour commentator on their radio and television broadcasts, alongside play-by-play announcer Danny Gallivan. From the late 1970s through the early 1980s, he acted as both the colour commentator and studio host for Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) telecasts from Montréal. This meant that he missed the beginnings and ends of periods as he moved from ice level to the broadcast booth and back.

Gallivan often playfully addressed him as "Richard", even though his used name is a diminutive of Dickinson. After Gallivan's retirement in 1984, Irvin worked as the play-by-play broadcaster for regional games from Montréal, and as a secondary colour commentator (or "third man" in the broadcast booth) for national games. He also provided radio play-by-play commentary for Canadiens' games that were not on HNIC from 1976 until 1997.

At his retirement, he was the longest-serving member of CBC Television's Hockey Night in Canada, with a broadcasting career spanning from 1966 to 1999. Though retired, Irvin still contributes yearly to the annual "Hockey Day in Canada" broadcast, along with other occasional appearances. For example, he was part of CBC's broadcast crew of the first Heritage Classic game from Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on November 22, 2003, as the festivities included a game between Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers alumni teams. Then on December 4, 2009, he returned to co-host the Montreal Canadiens centennial pre-game ceremony along with long-time French-language broadcaster Richard Garneau, introducing many of the former Canadiens participating in the event as they arrived onto the ice.

Irvin is a fount of hockey knowledge, having spent a lifetime in the game. His record for longevity with Hockey Night in Canada has since been surpassed by Bob Cole. Irvin was also the sports director of CFCF radio and CFCF-TV, a CTV affiliate in Montréal.[2]


In 2013, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada "for his contributions to hockey as a beloved broadcaster and author, as well as for his charitable activities."[3]


Irvin wrote six books during his broadcasting career and one after his retirement. These books are Now Back to You, Dick (1988), The Habs (1991), Behind the Bench (1993), In the Crease (1995), Tough Calls (1997) and My 26 Stanley Cups (2001).[2]

Personal life[edit]

Although known as Dick Irvin Jr., he is the third generation to be named James Dickinson Irvin, after his father and grandfather.[4] Irvin's father, known as Dick Irvin Sr., was a noted NHL player and coach. During his broadcasting career (which only started in earnest long after his father had died) his naming suffix was usually omitted.

Irvin has two children named Doug and Nancy. His wife, Wilma, died in 2003.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Foster Hewitt Memorial Award Winners". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c McCreath, Ross (November 2004). "James Dickinson "Dick" Irvin (1932-)". History of Canadian Broadcasting–Personalities. Canadian Communications Foundation. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
  3. ^ "Governor General Announces 90 New Appointments to the Order of Canada". December 30, 2013. Retrieved April 13, 2021.
  4. ^ Smith, Maurice (May 17, 1957). "Player Senior Hockey in Winnipeg at 12, Might Have Been Sprint Ace". Montreal Gazette. p. 26. Retrieved February 6, 2018.