Eddie Olczyk

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Eddie 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 52)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
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. (/ˈlɪk/; 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.

Playing career

Amateur career

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.

Professional career

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)[1] 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.

Post-playing career

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 Emerick for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.[2]

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 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 May 5, 2014, EA Sports announced that "Eddie O" will provide color commentary for NHL 15 alongside play-by-play commentator Mike "Doc" Emrick and ice level analyst Ray Ferraro.

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.

Personal life

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, who 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.[3]

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.[4] In March 2018 Olczyk announced he was officially "cancer-free".[5]

Career statistics

    Regular Season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1982–83 Stratford Cullitons MWJHL 42 50 92 142 54
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 Wolves IHL 7 2 2 4 6
1998–99 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 61 10 15 25 29
1999–00 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 33 2 2 4 12
NHL Totals 1,031 342 452 794 874 57 19 15 34 57

Awards and achievements

Coaching record

Regular season Post season
Team Year G W L T OTL Pts Finish G W L Result
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)
Total 113 31 64 8 10
  • – Replaced midseason

International record for Team USA

See also


  1. ^ https://www.hockey-reference.com/boxscores/199405250NJD.html
  2. ^ NBC Sports press release
  3. ^ https://alolczyk.wordpress.com/about/
  4. ^ https://www.nhl.com/blackhawks/news/medical-update-on-eddie-olczyk/c-290621840
  5. ^ Andracki, Tony. "Amazing news: Eddie Olczyk is cancer-free". NBC Sports. NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved 16 April 2018. 

External links

  • Ed Olczyk's bio at Legendsofhockey.net
  • Ed Olczyk's profile at hockeydraftcentral.com
  • Eddie Olczyk career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
Preceded by
Bruce Cassidy
Chicago Black Hawks first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Dave Manson
Preceded by
Rick Kehoe
Head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins
Succeeded by
Michel Therrien

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