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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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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.

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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.”

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From The Lighter Side: Former LA Kings Forward Derek Armstrong Shares Stories

LOS ANGELES — With the National Hockey League in the midst of its holiday break, now is a good time to look at the lighter side of the game, away from the spotlight that constantly shines on the playoff races or the heated battles between teams.

In that spirit, former Los Angeles Kings forward Derek Armstrong, who has a ton of stories from his days as a player, spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty about a few of his more interesting and humorous hockey memories.

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