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Pittsburgh Penguins radio voice Mike Lange opts out to start season

Pittsburgh Penguins Hall of Fame radio play-by-play announcer Mike Lange is taking an early intermission before starting his 46th season in the booth.

The team announced Friday that the 72-year-old Lange will sit out the beginning of the 2021 season as a precaution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I've decided to opt out of the start of the season after huddling with doctors about the course of COVID-19,'' Lange said in a statement. "They've suggested it probably is best to receive the vaccinations before going back in the booth.''

Lange, known for his signature goal calls like "scratch my back with a hacksaw'' and "buy Sam a drink and give his dog one too'' plans to make appearances during intermissions and other team programming.

Josh Getzoff will handle the play-by-play duties in Lange's absence.