The big news out of Toronto today is that Bill Clement and Al Morganti have been honoured by the Hockey Hall of Fame for their work in broadcasting and journalism, respectively. President of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association Frank Seravalli and President of the NHL Broadcasters’ Association Chuck Kaiton, announced that Al Morganti will be honoured by receiving the Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award for his excellence in hockey journalism, while Bill Clement will be receiving the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster.
A former Philadelphia Flyers reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News between 2009 and 2015, Seravalli had a lot of praise for Al Morganti: “The Hockey Hall of Fame has a long history of recognizing players who were dominate forces over a concentrated period of time. Think Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, and Cam Neely. That is the level of impact Al Morganti had in hockey writing circles. For a decade and a half, Morganti was a true difference-maker. Philadelphia Flyers’ fans were privileged to read Morganti in the morning in the Inquirer, followed by fellow Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award winner Jay Greenberg in the Daily News in the afternoon. Back and forth they went, toe-to-toe every day for 10-plus years. Morganti was a superstar staring down stringent deadlines with witty and informed copy that had enough “bite” to satisfy the appetite of a hard-nosed and hockey-crazed city.”
Morganti has had an illustrious career in the world of journalism and it all started at the Boston Globe, fresh from his graduation from Boston University College of Communication. He then transferred over to being the beat writer at the Atlanta Constitution where he had the joy of covering the Atlanta Flames, who were only in existence for 8 years. He then became a hockey analyst for ESPN between 1993 and 2004, before becoming a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is a co-host for The Morning Show on WIP and has been since the early 90s, and of course you can find him on NBC Sports Philadelphia as he provides pre and post-game analysis as well as intermission analysis for the Flyers.
Just like Morganti, Bill Clement received a ton of praise from Chuck Kaiton: “Bill Clement’s long-time consistency, glibness and professional approach to bringing hockey fans in the United States and Canada the nuances of the game make him extremely worthy of this distinction. No colour analyst has done more US National Broadcasts than Bill (1,002) and his 21 years of covering Stanley Cup Playoffs are a true credit to the quality of his work.”
Flyers fans remember Bill Clement as the 11-year professional who won two Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975 as a member of the Broad Street Bullies. He then transitioned to hockey coverage on ESPN with Mike “Doc” Emrick from 1986 to 1988 and then as a lot of hockey fans from the 1990s would remember, his partnership with Gary Thorne from 1992 to 2004. Even in the tiny gap between Emrick and Throne on ESPN, he worked as a colour commentator alongside Emrick, for national and regional telecasts of the Flyers from 1988 to 1992. Clement also worked on NBC during their coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and he also did play by play commentary for table tennis, badminton, and the pentathlon during the 2004 and 2008 Summer Olympics. He also hosted a radio talk show on WBCB 1490AM and before retiring from broadcasting in the winter of 2021, he worked as a colour commentator and post game analysis on NBC Sports Philadelphia for the Flyers dating back to the 2007-08 season.
Morganti and Clement will be receiving their awards at the Hockey Hall of Fame NHL Media Awards Luncheon in Toronto on the 14th of November of this year. Their award plaques will be on full display, alongside their fellow recipients, at the Esso Great Hall at the Hockey Hall of Fame.