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Gene Hart (June 28, 1931 - July 14, 1999) was an American sports announcer for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League and the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League.

Contents

Biography

Hart was born in New York and soon moved to Southern New Jersey, where he graduated from Pleasantville High School. He then graduated Trenton State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education. After serving time in the military, Hart began officiating high school football, baseball, and basketball in South Jersey. After one game at Atlantic City High School, the school’s athletic broadcaster Ralph Glenn was walking around frantically to find a person to go with him to Trenton to announce a game. He explained his situation to Hart, and Hart agreed to go with him, which began his announcing career in hockey.

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Professional career

Hart continued to announce with Glenn on a regular basis in Southern New Jersey, and kept several side jobs as well. One of which was teaching high school history classes at Lenape High School in Medford, New Jersey. When Philadelphia was granted an NHL expansion team in 1966, Hart submitted his tapes to the team, which would be called the Flyers. Since the Flyers could not afford one of the more experienced Canadian announcers, Hart got the job. Although he only expected to be on the staff for a few years until the Flyers could afford a better broadcaster Hart stayed on as the voice of the Philadelphia Flyers for 29 years, from the team’s inception until the end of the 1994–1995 season. Hart announced more than 2,000 NHL games, 6 separate Stanley Cups, 5 NHL all-star games, and the NHL Soviet Union all-star series. He is most famous for his particular announcing of Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup Finals, where he said the famous line:

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers win the Stanley Cup! The Flyers have won the Stanley Cup!

In the early 1980s, he was also one of the voices of the NHL on USA Network. His signature phrase, which he used at the end of games, was "Good night and good hockey!" Hart succeeded Hall of Famer Roy Shudt at the Brandywine Racetrack in Wilmington, DE in 1984. He called the races until the track closed in 1989.

Post broadcasting career

Hart was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in November 1997, receiving the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award. He came out of retirement in 1997 to announce for the Philadelphia Phantoms, the Flyers’ minor league affiliate. He announced the team’s Calder Cup championship series before retiring at the end of the 1999 season. Hart also was the host of a little known local radio talk show on WBCB 1490 AM in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It featured former and current Flyers players and coaches as well as players from the minor league Philadelphia Phantoms.

Death and family

The 68-year-old Gene Hart died from a variety of illnesses on July 14, 1999. He had been a resident of Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey.[1]

Hart's daughter, Lauren Hart, is a professional recording artist, and regular performer of The Star Spangled Banner and O Canada before many Flyers home games. She also performs a duet of God Bless America with a taped version of Kate Smith.

References

  1. ^ Panaccio, Tim (July 15, 1999). "Gene Hart, Longtime Voice of Flyers, Dies". The Philadelphia Inquirer.  

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