Foster Hewitt and Hockey Night in Canada

Facts and Details

On Nov, 1902, a legend was born. Foster William Hewitt was the most known man in the 1920s when it came to broadcasting hockey. He dedicated 15 year to be a TV commentator and to broadcast hockey games.
Foster Hewitt was born in Toronto on Nov, 21, 1902 and died in Scarborough on Apr, 21, 1985.
Foster Hewitt about to broadcast the first hockey game in Maple Leaf Gardens
His father, William A. Hewitt, was the sports editor of The Toronto Star, manager of the Toronto Rugby Football Club and secretary of the Ontario Hockey Association. Foster Hewitt worked as sportswriter for the Toronto Daily Star at the beginning of his career and then later on switched to the new radio desk. Before Foster Hewitt started broadcasting only hockey, he also broadcasted lacrosse, sculling, motorboat and motorcycle races, sailing, football and baseball games live but hockey was his specialty.
To start his broadcasting career, he formed a company for broadcasting Maple Leaf games, even though many Maple Leaf directors thought that broadcasting would lower ticket sales. But the directors were wrong, broadcasting actually brought up ticket sales. On Mar 22, 1923, Foster Hewitt made the first radio broadcast of any hockey game using an upright telephone (a game between Toronto Parkdale and Kitchener). He was assigned to announce the first radio broadcast of any hockey game by his employer "Canada Covers America First!" which was a radio station owned by the Toronto Star. He also broadcasted the first hockey game played in Maple Leaf Gardens, when it opened in 1931. What made Foster Hewitt so memorable was his famous phrase "He shoots, he scores!" in his high pitched voice, which he said while in a cramped box above the rink. The first game that used play-by-play over the radio was broadcasted by Foster who sat in a glass booth at rink level to keep the noise of the crowd out of earshot. Sometimes, the glass would get fogged up and would make it hard to see for Foster and also, since there were no air holes in the tiny, enclosed glass booth, he would start to suffocate which made him not want to broadcast anymore. Even though he guaranteed to the press that he would not broadcast again, the Toronto Daily Star received so many letters of appreciation about Foster Hewitt's broadcasting that he continued his career and had huge success.


Ever since Foster Hewitt broadcasted his first hockey game, he's been the biggest person that popularized hockey in North America and his name will always be associated with hockey, not just Hockey Night in Canada. Foster Hewitt was so recognized that he aquired the honour of the Order of Canada, inductions into the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame. After Hockey Night in Canada started to air every Saturday in 1952, the program became a national institution and some people thought that it brought Canada together.
The first Hockey Night in Canada logo which aired every Satruday