Joe Bowen

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Joe Bowen
Joe Bowen speaking at a Sick Kids Charity event in 2019.
Born (1951-04-05) April 5, 1951 (age 71)
Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Sports commentary career
Team(s)Nova Scotia Voyageurs (?–1982)
Toronto Maple Leafs (1982–present)
Genre(s)play-by-play (television and radio)
Sportsice hockey

Joe Bowen (born April 5, 1951) is a Canadian sportscaster. He is known as "The Voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs", having broadcast over 3,000 Leaf games.[1]

Early life, career, and family[edit]

Bowen was born and raised in Sudbury. His father died in 1965. He attended Sudbury High School, where he was part of the Copper Cliff Redmen Northern Ontario championship hockey club in 1967. After graduating from the University of Windsor,[2] where he developed his broadcasting chops at CJAM-FM, Bowen returned to Sudbury where he started his career in radio, covering the Ontario Hockey League's Sudbury Wolves.


Bowen started calling games for the Leafs in 1982, after calling games for the Nova Scotia Voyageurs.[3]

Bowen's catchphrase is "Holy Mackinaw!" (also the catch phrase from the CFL's Hamilton Tiger Cats), typically used when an amazing goal is scored or a big save is made. It has been suggested that the phrase originated from a California spirit yell, but Bowen claims he got the phrase from his dad who said "Holy Mackinaw" instead of swearing. He is also known for his creative alliteration when announcing the starting goaltenders (e.g. technicians of the tangled twine, watchdogs of the webbed wickets, officers of the oblong onion bags, etc.) Bowen does the radio play-by-play on Sportsnet 590 The Fan or TSN Radio 1050 with Jim Ralph.

Bowen appeared in a TV commercial for Harvey's promoting the "bigger" Angus Burger, using his famous aforementioned catchphrase (and has voiced over many Harvey's commercials recently). He was the radio announcer in the 1986 film Youngblood. He also called several seasons for the NLL's Toronto Rock, beginning in their inaugural season in Toronto in 1999, after one season in Hamilton as the Ontario Raiders. This included the 1999-2002 NLL championship games. Bowen stopped calling Rock games after the 2007 season.

On March 7, 2017, Bowen called his 3,000th game as Voice of the Leafs, a 3-2 home victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

In June 2018, the Hockey Hall of Fame announced that Bowen was named as the 2018 winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, honouring outstanding contributions by a hockey broadcaster.[4]


  1. ^ Joe Bowen's blog Archived 2008-03-11 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ | Chill Online || Archived 2008-03-18 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ 25 years, holy mackinaw! From the Toronto Star
  4. ^ "Maple Leafs broadcaster Joe Bowen to be honoured by Hockey Hall of Fame". Canadian Press. CBC. June 1, 2018.

External links[edit]