NORFOLK — Hockey is a fast sport, and it’s been up to one man to cover the action as the Norfolk Admirals’ eyes and ears for almost two decades.
The Admirals inducted its long-time broadcaster, Pete Michaud, in its hall of fame Friday for his dedication to the team, calling more than 1,700 hockey games.
“I almost feel a little uncomfortable, because I’m not sure I deserve to be there,” Michaud said. “I didn’t score any goals, I didn’t coach anybody, so to be included in a group with Rod Taylor, John Brophy, Victor Gervais and Dennis McEwen is humbling.”
Michaud just wrapped his 23rd season as the Admirals’ voice and has only missed two games during his time with the team, according to a Norfolk Admirals news release.
“Pete is synonymous with Admirals hockey,” said Walt Ruff, Admirals media manager. “He’s a pro’s pro… He goes from our 72-game season to the Norfolk Tides baseball season, so he has off this Sunday, then it’s baseball season.”
Before sports, Michaud said his career in communications began in a classroom at the Chesapeake Technical Center where he studied broadcasting. After spinning top 40 music and fronting a morning radio show, he eventually got a part-time job working at a news-talk radio station.
“I remember when George [H.W.] Bush was still vice president and he came to town, so all the Norfolk police officers were working security,” Michaud said. “We had a Norfolk cop who went up in the air and did traffic for us. One day we didn’t have anyone, so I went up.”
Michaud covered weather, traffic and press conferences, but said sports was his true passion. Since then, he’s covered high school football, Old Dominion University basketball and professional baseball affiliates for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dodgers.
“Sports is the candy store of broadcasting,” Michaud said. “I’d probably be at these games anyways, so why not get paid to do it?”
Michaud started with the Admirals during the team’s inaugural 1989-1990 season and joined as its full-time broadcaster in 1999.
He covered the team’s journey from the ECHL to the American Hockey League and back to the ECHL, two Riley Cup Championships and the AHL Calder Cup in 2012, according to the release.
Next season, Michaud can be heard broadcasting Admirals games on 102.1 FM “The Tide” and ECHL.TV. People who watch games in person can see him in a green suit in his booth, telling the game’s story in a glow the ice gives at the Norfolk Scope Arena.
“I’ve never sat and calculated how many days I’ve been on the road, or how many hundreds of thousands of miles I’ve traveled, and there are times it grows tiring,” Michaud said. “But when someone tells you they listened or how much they enjoyed a dramatic finish, that makes it worth while.”
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