Ice Hockey Wiki

John Russell Leahy (born November 28, 1964 in Somerville, Massachusetts) is an American ice hockey broadcaster serving as the radio and television play by play voice of Merrimack College hockey, a post he has held since 2005, and working alongside longtime hockey correspondent Mike Machnik since 2009. Beginning in the fall of 2022, John began play by play television duties on ESPN+ for both the men's and women's broadcast coverage of all home games.

A broadcaster who has called over 1700 games professionally between his baseball and hockey career, John began his ice hockey broadcasting career in 1995 , broadcasting high school hockey in his hometown of Stoughton, Massachusetts for Stoughton High School men's hockey from 1995 to 2005.

In October of 2005, John was hired to do radio play by play at Merrimack to replace Don Boyle on the team's broadcasts. He has appeared on ESPN as a sideline reporter representing Merrimack and has broadcast milestone victories for Boston University's Jack Parker (800th win), and Boston College's Jerry York (900th win) and called a historic game at Fenway Park in Boston between Merrimack and Providence , in an installment of Frozen Fenway.

Growing up in Boston, John cites Fred Cusick as his greatest role model in sports broadcasting. His earliest memory of hockey play by play was sneaking a small black and white television under his blanket to watch a Bruins-Flyers playoff game at the original Boston Garden. " I was terrified my Dad would catch me and confiscate the TV if he caught me," Leahy explained. John would frequently mute the television and would re-create his own version of the play by play of not only hockey broadcasts, but baseball, basketball, and football games as well. On his love of broadcasting as a youth, John stated, " The Boston Globe used to print out rosters of the teams that were playing on TV. I would cut those out and have them in front of me as I did the games. I'd also have the entire sports page there, and use that as reference material. My parents probably thought I was crazy, but they always supported me. "

John's baseball work has included broadcast stints with the North Shore Spirit (Independent, Lynn, MA), the Kalamazoo Kings (Independent, Kalamazoo, MI), the Florence Freedom (Independent, Florence, KY), and the Lowell Spinners (Short Season A, Lowell, MA, Boston Red Sox affiliate). He did his 1000th career baseball broadcast in August of 2017 in Burlington, Vermont. He was on the radio call of the final game in the history of the New York Penn League in Brooklyn, New York, and was twice awarded the prestigious Warner Fusselle Award for broadcast excellence. John was also featured in the Gil Thorp comic strip while working for the Kalamazoo Kings.

He was also inducted into the Connecticut School of Broadcasting's Wall of Fame in their Needham, Massachusetts campus.