Advertisements

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.

Read more of this post

Advertisements

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.

Read more of this post

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.

Read more of this post

NHL Royalty: Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Mario Lemieux Hold Court In Los Angeles

NHL royalty—Wayne Gretzky (left), Bobby Orr (center) and Mario Lemieux (right) spoke with the media prior to
the NHL 100 gala on January 27, 2017, in Los Angeles, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — In a packed conference room at the JW Marriot at L.A. Live in Downtown Los Angeles, National Hockey League royalty held court.

Indeed, three of the NHL’s aristocracy, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr and Mario Lemieux, sat together at a dais to meet the media covering the NHL 100 gala, held at the Microsoft Theatre, also located at L.A. Live.

Yes, you read that right. Hockey’s three greatest players were together, and not just in the same vicinity. They were in the same room, seated next to each other.

Read more of this post

Former Oilers and LA Kings Legend Jari Kurri: One of the Best of All-Time

Former Los Angeles Kings great Jari Kurri
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Denis Brodeur via Getty Images and Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Before arriving at Staples Center in Los Angeles on January 14, former Los Angeles Kings superstar and Hall of Famer Jari Kurri wondered if Kings fans would remember him.

Although the applause when he was introduced at center ice prior to the game against the Winnipeg Jets wasn’t exactly thunderous, it was apparent that he hasn’t been forgotten here in Los Angeles.

“I wasn’t sure that could happen because it was twenty years ago—the last time I was here,” he said. “It was a very nice, warm welcome.”

Read more of this post