Olczyk in Pittsburgh for the final regular season game at Mellon Arena, April 2010.
August 16, 1966|
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
Toronto Maple Leafs
New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
|National team||United States|
3rd overall, 1984|
Edward Walter "Eddie" Olczyk Jr. (//; born August 16, 1966) is an American 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 and Chicago Blackhawks games on NBC Sports 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.
Olczyk was tied with Phil Kessel for the second longest point streak by an American-born player in NHL history, at 18 games. He achieved this in 1989-90, while with Toronto. That record was broken by Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2015–16 season.
Olczyk grew up in Niles, Illinois and 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.
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 through 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 much of the 1993–94 season recovering from a thumb injury suffered in a game vs. Florida on January 3, 1994; he took part in one playoff game (conference final game 6) and on June 14, 1994 became Stanley Cup champion with the Rangers that season.
During the next season 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.
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 was 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 previously for the NHL on Versus; the latter later rebranded as NBCSN in 2012. 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 Emrick for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
In February 2016, it was announced that Olczyk would be the recipient of the Ring Lardner Award, which was founded in 2002 by the Chicago Athletic Association and honors broadcasters and writers who "exemplify the wit and warmth of Ring Lardner’s writing." On July 11, 2012, Olczyk became the 16th Blackhawk elected into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. The Blackhawks honored "Edzo" for his induction in a pregame ceremony on Feb. 22, 2013, at the United Center.
In 2009, Olczyk received an Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence On Camera: Programming," followed by a 2012 Emmy for "Outstanding Achievement for Sports Programs - Sporting Event/Game - Live/Unedited Program/Special." He was also inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
On December 30, 2010, it was announced that Foley and Olczyk signed a three-year extension to stay with the Blackhawks.
Olczyk also has an interest in Thoroughbred horse racing, appearing in advertisements for Xpressbet and serving as a guest commentator and handicapper for major horse racing events such as the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks and the Belmont Stakes on the NBC Sports cable network.
Olczyk and his wife, Diana have five children, two of whom are currently playing hockey: Nick plays for the South Shore Kings of the USPHL, and Tom plays for the Indianapolis Fuel. Eddie III. spent a season with the Bloomington Thunder of the SPHL and is currently an assistant coach with the Niagara Purple Eagles. 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.
On August 8, 2017, Olczyk issued a statement through the Blackhawks to announce that he had been diagnosed with a form of colon cancer. He underwent a surgical procedure to remove the tumor. In March 2018 Olczyk announced he was officially "cancer-free".
Regular season and playoffs
|1984–85||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||70||20||30||50||67||15||6||5||11||11|
|1985–86||Chicago Black Hawks||NHL||79||29||50||79||47||3||0||0||0||0|
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
|1996–97||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||67||21||23||44||45||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and achievements
|Regular season||Post season|
|PIT||2003–04||82||23||47||8||4||58||5th in Atlantic||Did not qualify|
|PIT||2005–06||31||8||17||—||6||24||5th in Atlantic[†]||(fired)|
- † – Replaced midseason
International record for Team USA
- 1984 Winter Olympics (seventh place)
- 1984 Canada Cup (fourth place)
- 1987 Canada Cup (fifth place)
- 1991 Canada Cup (second place)
- Ice Hockey World Championships: 1985 (fourth place), 1986 (sixth place), 1987 (seventh place), 1989 (sixth place), 1993 (sixth place)
- NBC Sports press release
- Andracki, Tony. "Amazing news: Eddie Olczyk is cancer-free". NBC Sports. NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
- Ed Olczyk's bio at Legendsofhockey.net
- Ed Olczyk's profile at hockeydraftcentral.com
- Eddie Olczyk career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
| Chicago Black Hawks first round draft pick
| Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins