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Former Bruins radio announcer Bob Wilson dies at 85

BOSTON -- Bob Wilson, the legendary and beloved radio voice of the Boston Bruins, passed away Thursday. He was 85.

A Hall of Famer broadcaster, Wilson served as the voice of the Bruins for 25 years before retiring in 1995.

"On behalf of the Boston Bruins organization, we are saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Wilson," Bruins president Cam Neely said in a statement. "For a generation of New England hockey fans, Bob's legendary voice was synonymous with the Bruins and he will always be a part of our club's history. Our thoughts are with Nancy and their children during this difficult time."

Current Bruins broadcaster Dave Goucher has been the radio voice for the past 15 seasons. As a child, listening to Wilson was the reason Goucher wanted to become a play-by-play broadcaster.

When asked about Wilson's legacy, Goucher said: "He's the radio voice of the Bruins."

Goucher's tantalizing voice and sharp play-by-play ability are a tribute to Wilson's originality. Goucher remembers listening to Wilson's broadcasts and how he could excite listeners as if they were sitting in the old Boston Garden watching the Bruins face the Montreal Canadiens.

"You could almost feel him getting up out of his seat," Goucher said. "There's all sorts of peaks and valleys but all you have is your voice to convey 'This is important, this is a big moment.' He did that, to me, better than anybody. He was such a comfortable, smooth listen. You could listen to him read the names out of a phone book."

The Bruins honored Wilson on March 26, 2011, by dedicating the home radio booth as the "Bob Wilson Radio Booth." Wilson attended the event.

"It was awesome. It was great," Goucher said. "I was happy that they were able to do it while he was here to enjoy it. I was happy the Bruins made that decision to dedicate it to him. He was the best."