The Detroit Red Wings and the rest of the hockey community lost one of its most beloved personalities as Budd Lynch passed away early this morning at the age of 95. Lynch is survived by his six daughters, Janis, Valerie, Mary, Francey, Patricia and Lori.
Born in Windsor, Ontario, Lynch joined the Essex Scottish Regiment of the Canadian Army during World War II and while during combat, he lost his right arm. When he returned home from WWII, he was asked by Red Wings’ general manager Jack Adams to call the play-by-play for the Windsor Spitfires of the then-Ontario Hockey Association.
He began his Red Wing career in 1949 as a radio announcer and then moved on to do TV work for the team until 1975. From then until 1985, he served as the team’s public relations director and then was the team’s public address announcer.
Lynch spent a remarkable 63 years in the Red Wings organization. During his iconic career, he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1985 as the winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
From ‘The Production Line’ to Steve Yzerman to the Russian Five to Pavel Datsyuk, Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg, Lynch as been around for almost three-quarters of the franchise’s existence, which is an incredible accomplishment.
As a hockey fan, I grew up listening to Bruce Martyn and Paul Woods call the play-by-play for the Red Wings, but Lynch was at the top of my list of public address announcers that I always looked forward to hearing. I knew I was at the Joe Louis Arena when I heard his voice on the public address system, especially his signature “Last minute of play in this period,” which is embedded in my head.
Lynch has been synonymous with not only the Detroit Red Wings’ franchise, but also the Joe Louis Arena and the state of Michigan. I know for as long as I follow the sport, watching a Red Wings’ home game or going to the Joe will never be the same since Budd Lynch has gone to the heavens above. He’ll be missed, but never be forgotten.
About the Author: Alex lives in Hockeytown, USA. He is a huge Red Wings fan going back to the 1985-86 season when they were dead last with 40 points. He has seen the transition from the 'Dead Wings' to one of the top franchises in sports. You can also follow him at twitter.com/alexmuscat73.