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Citing travel, Emrick leaves Devils, joins NBC

Play-by-play Mike "Doc" Emrick has left the New Jersey Devils and MSG to join NBC and Versus on an exclusive basis.

Emrick, considered one of the sports best play-by-play men, has spent more than two decades with both MSG and the New Jersey Devils.

He cited a lightened workload in announcing his decision Thursdsay.

"I've been extremely fortunate to have been able to spend 23 incredible years with the MSG Network channels and 21 equally enjoyable years--including 3 Stanley Cup championships--with the New Jersey Devils," Emric k said in an open letter to Devils fans. "However, considering the long-term significance of this decision, I was able to construct a lighter regular season-schedule and the usual complement of Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final games for NBC and VERSUS."

For an entire generation, Emrick has been the voice of the Devils, narrating the club's rise from a tough start in the Garden State to its heyday of the aforementioned three championships in an eight-year period to their recent move to Newark.

"Devils' fans, including myself, have had the great privilege to watch and listen to the talents of Mike Emrick for more than two decades," general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a statement. " ‘Doc' is a unique individual and the ultimate professional, both in and out of the broadcast booth. He is always well-prepared, entertaining, insightful, and focused, not just for each and every game, but each and every player. Joining NBC/VERSUS will allow the entire hockey world to experience what we have all enjoyed as Devils fans.

"I would like to thank Mike for what he brought to our organization. He and his lovely wife, Joyce, will always be part of the Devils' family. I look forward to continue watching him on a national level."

Emrick has been the lead play-by-play man for the hockey coverage on both Versus and NBC. Among his assignments for NBC, he has covered three Olympics.

Emrick won the Lester Patrick Award is 2004, an annual presented for "outstanding service to hockey in the United States." In 2008, he received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his contributions to hockey broadcasting. He has also won several regional Emmy awards and been nominated for national Emmy awards on several occasions.