Per USA Today, Mike Milbury will step into Eddie Olczyk’s role as co-commentator right next to Doc Emerick starting this season. The first game Milbury will be behind the mic will be on opening night when the Pittsburgh Penguins raise their second consecutive Stanley Cup Championship banner when they host the St. Louis Blues.
It was announced this summer that Eddie Olczyk, who is also the co-commentator for the Chicago Blackhawks, was diagnosed with colon cancer. “I’m only here because Edzo has a battle, a fight on his hands,” Milbury said. “Our thoughts go out to him to get back to health as quickly as possible. He’s a guy who is pretty good at this analyst stuff and we need him back in the saddle.”
“When you have a problem, someone has to fill in,” Milbury told USA TODAY Sports. “I’m a little nervous about it. It’s not something I’ve done a lot of. But the good news is when you are sitting next to someone as polished and celebrated as Doc Emrick you can just ride shotgun and not worry much. I hope.”
The first game Milbury will be behind the mic in Washington will be on October 11 when the Capitals host the Penguins on Wednesday Night Rivalry. Previously, Milbury was inside the NBC studio with Liam McHugh and Keith Jones.
Milbury has only been behind the mic in eight other NHL games. It’s unknown when Olczyk will return to the booth, but Milbury said he has received a schedule through New Year’s Day when the Buffalo Sabres visit the New York Rangers in the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field, home of the MLB’s New York Mets.
In the booth, Milbury will have less time to think about his commentary compared to when he was in the NBC Sports studios. “You do have time to tee the ball up (in studio),” Milbury said. “(In the booth) you have to hit the pitch when it’s thrown and where it’s thrown.”
“I guess my approach will be to shut up until I have something to say,” Milbury said. “Being patient and waiting for the right moment will be an interesting challenge.”
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By Harrison Brown