By Michael Caples -
The hockey world lost an iconic voice today, as the Red Wings’ legendary radio, TV, and public-address announcer Budd Lynch passed away at age 95.
Lynch was the longest-tenured employee in Red Wings history, having worked for the team in various capacities for 63 years. He is best known for being the radio and TV play-by-play voice of the Wings for 25 years, and the public-address announcer since 1985.
“Budd Lynch was a dear member of the Detroit Red Wings family and legendary icon of our community,” said Red Wings’ owner Mike Ilitch in a statement released by the Red Wings. “Hearing Budd’s voice on the radio and over the public address at Joe Louis Arena was something that every Red Wings fan looked forward to and loved. His calm, friendly and distinguished voice was symbolic of who Budd was as a person. He always had a smile on his face, an upbeat spark in his voice and a kind and encouraging word for everyone he met. The Red Wings, our fans and the entire hockey world will miss Budd’s renowned voice, but most of all we will miss a dear friend. Marian and I, and our entire organization, extend our deepest sympathies to Budd’s daughters, loved ones and the entire Lynch family.”
Born in Windsor, Ont., on Aug. 7, 1917, Lynch volunteered for the Canadian Army during World War II, where he lost his right arm and shoulder from enemy fire shortly after the D-Day invasion at Normandy. Until the conclusion of the war, he worked for BBC radio, utilizing the skills he developed after working for local stations in Hamilton, Ont., after high school.
His skills behind the broadcast mic eventually landed him the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award at the Hockey Hall of Fame, given to people with outstanding careers in broadcasting hockey.
Over his 63 years with the Red Wings, Lynch became one of the faces of the Hockeytown.
“Budd Lynch will forever be synonymous with the Detroit Red Wings,” said Red Wings GM Ken Holland. “He experienced it all in his 63 years with the organization – from the glory days of Howe, Lindsay, Abel and Delvecchio all the way to the championship runs of Yzerman and Lidstrom. He had a vast knowledge of the game and the stories he could tell would have anyone who loves the sport mesmerized for hours. Budd was one-of-a-kind, not only in his talents as a broadcaster, but in the way he lived his life and the upbeat attitude he always carried. He will be sorely missed by everyone in the Red Wings family.”
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released the following statement on Lynch’s passing:
“Budd Lynch had seen so much Red Wings history, had become so much a part of their heritage, that no visit to Joe Louis Arena for a Red Wings home game felt truly ‘official’ without hearing his voice. The National Hockey League mourns the passing of a war hero, a Hall of Famer and an outstanding ambassador for the game. We send heartfelt condolences to his family, the Red Wings and their fans.”