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LA Kings First Play-By-Play Voice, Jiggs McDonald, Reminisces – Part 2

In the final installment of a two-part series on the Los Angeles Kings first play-by-play announcer, Jiggs McDonald, who will fill in for the legendary Bob Miller on tonight’s Fox Sports West telecast when the Kings skate at the BB&T Center against the Florida Panthers, McDonald shared his thoughts on how hockey has changed since 1967, and more on what it was like to work for the Kings first owner Jack Kent Cooke. He also talked about his career after leaving the Kings, and about filling in for Miller.


The Los Angeles Kings first play-by-play
announcer, Jiggs McDonald.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein courtesy
Los Angeles Kings/NHL

LOS ANGELES — More than fifty years after he broadcast the first Los Angeles Kings game, Hockey Hall of Fame play-by-play announcer John Kenneth “Jiggs” McDonald will call one more when the Kings skate into the BB&T Center on February 9 to face the Florida Panthers, filling in for another Hall of Famer, the legendary Bob Miller, who is working a reduced schedule this year after undergoing quadruple bypass surgery last season and more recently, suffering a mild stroke during the 2017 NHL All-Star weekend.

During the Kings celebration of their 50th Anniversary last October, McDonald spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty about his time with the Kings, which you can read in part 1 of this series. In the second and final segment, he also shared his thoughts about how things have changed in the National Hockey League over the last 50 years, about his career after he left Los Angeles, and about returning to the Kings broadcast booth for one more game.

To be sure, hockey has changed rather dramatically over the years, and, as one would reasonably expect, over the course of fifty years, there has been a great deal of change in every aspect of the game, both on the ice and off.

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LA Kings First Play-By-Play Voice, Jiggs McDonald, Reminisces

Years before the Voice of the Kings, Bob Miller, began his 44 years behind the mic for the Los Angeles Kings, Jiggs McDonald, a Hall of Famer in his own right who will fill in for Miller on February 9 when the Kings skate against the Florida Panthers, called the action for the Kings for their first five seasons in the National Hockey League. In part 1 of this two-part story, McDonald shared some memories from his time with the Kings.


Former Los Angeles Kings play-by-play announcer Jiggs McDonald (right) with former Kings forward Brian Kilrea (left), prior to the team’s 2016-17
home opener on October 14, 2016.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — As anyone who follows the Los Angeles Kings knows, the long-time Voice of the Kings, Bob Miller, is practically synonymous with the team. It is virtually impossible to talk about the Kings and their history without, at the very least, mentioning their Hall of Fame broadcaster, now in his 44th season calling the action for the team.

But before Miller, when the Kings first arrived in Southern California, their first play-by-play announcer, John Kenneth “Jiggs” McDonald, who became a Hall of Famer in his own right, was behind the microphone on Kings television and radio broadcasts for the team’s first five seasons.

After the Kings, McDonald’s illustrious career includes stints with the Atlanta Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, three Olympic Winter Games, Sports Channel America, and New York Mets baseball. But he is best known for his 13 seasons doing play-by-play for the New York Islanders—the Isles won three Stanley Cup Championships with McDonald behind the mic.

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Did You Know That The LA Kings Had To Trade For Their First Head Coach?

Former Los Angeles Kings head coach Red Kelly
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Until 2006, when Dean Lombardi took over as their President/General Manager, the Los Angeles Kings’ history of trades was characterized by very few good trades and a ton of really bad ones, with a considerable number bordering on tragic.

One might even think that their first trade belongs on the “bad” side of the ledger.

That trade came on June 8, 1967, just two days after the 1967 National Hockey League Expansion Draft. But the Kings weren’t trading for a player. Instead, they were going after their first head coach.

Leonard “Red” Kelly, a twenty-year NHL veteran who won the Stanley Cup eight times—four each with the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, became the Kings first coach. But that didn’t happen until after Maple Leafs general manager Punch Imlach exacted a price from the Kings.

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Jeff Zatkoff: “I Haven’t Come Up With a Save When We Needed It and That’s the Bottom Line”

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jeff Zatkoff, the 2016-17 season has been a bit of a nightmare.

With a 2-7-1 record, a 2.94 goals against average and a poor .881 save percentage in just twelve appearances, the 29-year-old native of Detroit, Michigan is fighting to get back on top of his game.

“It’s been a frustrating year,” he admitted. “If you look at it, I think I’ve had seven starts. I think most of my appearances have been in relief. I’m not making excuses, by any means. I haven’t won enough games.”

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LA Kings: Toffoli Update; Martinez On The Tough Road Ahead

LA Kings right wing Tyler Toffoli
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the 2017 National Hockey League All-Star break behind them, the Los Angeles Kings, with the exception of all-stars Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty, who were given the day off, got back to work at practice on January 30.

Right wing Tyler Toffoli participated in the full practice, without restrictions. Missing was defenseman Matt Greene, who was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to January 20.

Although he said that he is “close” to returning, it appears unlikely that Toffoli will be available for the game at Arizona on January 31. The same goes for the game against Colorado on February 1 at Staples Center.

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