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The legacy of Foster Hewitt

"He shoots, he scores!" With those words, legendary hockey broadcaster Foster Hewitt united Canada each Saturday night. From his inauspicious first broadcast (shouting into a telephone from a foggy glass booth in 1923) to the momentous Summit Series of 1972 and beyond, Hewitt was Canada's voice of hockey for half a century.

It's a memory so common it's almost a part of the fabric of Canada: Saturday nights with Foster Hewitt. Sports columnist Trent Frayne's most vivid hockey recollection is hearing Hewitt's voice over many radios in his Winnipeg boarding house as he was shaving before a big date. In this clip, Frayne says Foster Hewitt was a true national treasure, uniting the country from coast to coast, one game at a time. 
. Though a hockey booster, Hewitt was always critical of the rate of NHL expansion, saying that in the days of the original six NHL teams only "top-notch" players made the league. As the league expanded in the late 1960s, it had to take on less talented players and import players from overseas. He felt that 10 teams was the optimum size. Hewitt also criticized the frequent line changes in modern hockey, since more players were required on each team.

. In retirement, Hewitt continued to attend hockey games, but said he didn't enjoy it as much as when he was calling the play-by-play because "you sit back too much" and are not really participating.
. The press box at the Air Canada Centre, new home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was named the Foster Hewitt Gondola.
Medium: Television
Program: Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: Oct. 3, 1991
Guest(s): Trent Frayne
Host: Alison Smith
Duration: 2:03

Last updated: March 22, 2012

Page consulted on November 7, 2014

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