Penguins removing Bob Errey, Steve Mears from TV booth

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Longtime Penguins player and broadcaster Bob Errey was on vacation in Europe last week and returned to Pittsburgh to some unpleasant news.

Errey was informed on Wednesday evening that he will no longer be the color commentator during Penguins TV broadcasts —a position he has held for the entire Sidney Crosby era before starting his broadcasting career as the Penguins’ radio color commentator during the 1999-2000 season.

Errey told The Athletic that his broadcast partner since 2017, Steve Mears, will also not return.

Team sources believe that radio play-by-play broadcaster Josh Getzoff will replace Mears in the TV booth. Phil Bourque will remain as an analyst, though it remains to be seen if he will work in his customary radio slot or move to television.

The sources expect Colby Armstrong to play a bigger role in Penguins broadcasts moving forward.

Errey was the Penguins’ first-round pick in 1983 and won the Stanley Cup twice, in 1991 and 1992. He was also the first captain in San Jose Sharks history.

The Montreal native worked alongside Mike Lange, Paul Steigerwald and Mears during his broadcast career.

The Penguins’ ownership group, Fenway Sports Group, now owns the Penguins TV rights and is beginning its own network, SportsNet Pittsburgh. This network will replace the financially troubled AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh for regional Pittsburgh broadcasts. Fenway Sports Group also owns 80 percent of the New England Sports Network (NESN) and is expected to use a similar format with the new Pittsburgh venture.

Errey provided The Athletic with a letter he wrote to Pittsburgh fans:

Dear Pittsburgh Penguin Fans,

It is with a heavy heart that I share this with you. I received an unexpected call yesterday informing me that I would not be returning as Pittsburgh Penguins TV analyst this coming season.

My journey began in 1983 as a wide-eyed teenager with no idea of what to expect on the ice or in the City of Pittsburgh. It took time but with determined players and passionate fans we achieved the dream of bringing the Cup to Pittsburgh.

After my playing days, as luck would have it, I took the radio analyst position. My family dug our roots into the community and into youth hockey. We loved the ‘Burgh and me my job.

I was fortunate to work with Paul Steigerwald, who lives and breathes hockey, and who helped me get better every day. I was willing to learn. With the arrival of Sidney Crosby I moved to the TV booth with Hall of Famer Mike Lange. I was as excited and nervous probably as you guys were. Both to work with Mike and to watch Sid do his thing. Wow! Very fortunate.

My last six years in the booth with Steve Mears have been equally as rewarding. What a pro. Tremendous talent. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our friend Dan Potash for our laughs and his connection with the players. Truly one of a kind.

I have nothing but the utmost respect and love for my former colleagues and friends that I have worked with for the past 22 years! You the fans have consistently tuned in and made us the No. 1 local broadcast in the league every year. Incredible, really.

I loved my nights in Pittsburgh and in the booth. I will cherish the many incredible moments this seat has given me. It has brought me a special joy and excitement and I hope it did for you as well.

I am not sure where my travels will take me next but I look forward to the next chapter and will put as much energy and effort into it as I have here. And if you see me in this great city, make sure to stop me and say hello!

Thank you again.

It’s been my pleasure.

— Bob Errey

(Photo of Bob Errey, left, and Steve Mears: Steph Chambers / Getty Images)

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