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Peter Maher, voice of Calgary Flames since 1980, announces retirement

CALGARY - Peter Maher has called his last game for the Calgary Flames.

Maher, the radio voice of the Flames since they moved to Alberta from Atlanta in 1980, announced his retirement from broadcasting at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

He called over 3,100 NHL games in his career without missing an assignment. He most recently did play-by-play announcing for radio station The Fan 960.

"Since arriving in Calgary in September of 1980, I have thousands, maybe millions of people to thank for this wonderful ride that I've had living the dream," Maher said.

Flames president and CEO Ken King said a tribute to Maher is being planned for next season.

Maher was well known in Calgary for his catchphrases "Yeah, baby!" and "You can put it in the win column!" He called the Flames' lone Stanley Cup win in 1989 and Canada's gold-medal win over the United States at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

The charismatic broadcaster had some words of advice to his replacement.

"Whoever is selected to take that broadcast seat, I offer nothing but the very best with this message: This is the National Hockey League," Maher said. "Treat every game, every broadcast with respect and reverence.

"Remember, it's an honour to be a broadcaster in the greatest league in the world."

Prior to working for the Flames, he called Toronto Maple Leafs games from 1977 to 1980.

Maher said he became interested in broadcasting when he realized he was better at talking than playing hockey.

"My boyhood dream of being a goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs turned into my young adult reality of being the play-by-play reality of being the broadcast voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs," Maher said to laughs.

The native of Campbellton, N.B., was recognized for his contributions to hockey broadcasting in 2006, when he received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame.

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