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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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Honored In Obscurity: Los Angeles Kings Retired Athletic Trainer Pete Demers

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: The Los Angeles Kings have more than twenty people—players, coaches, general managers and broadcasters—who have gained entry to the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame. There are also two other members of the Kings family who have been so honored, including former head athletic trainer Pete Demers. But because of how they are recognized by the Hockey Hall of Fame, Demers has been honored in almost complete obscurity, as have fellow athletic trainer and equipment manager honorees. In the final installment of this series on Demers’ career, Frozen Royalty looks at the honor, and what Demers is doing to ensure that future athletic trainers and equipment managers will get to enjoy that bit of the spotlight they deserve.


Los Angeles Kings retired head athletic trainer Pete Demers, circa 2003.
Photo: Demers Family Collection

LOS ANGELES — Fifteen players who have worn the jersey of the Los Angeles Kings have been inducted into the hallowed halls of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Three people inducted in the Builders category also spent time with the Kings organization, and one former head coach, Red Kelly, was inducted as a player, for a total of 19 people affiliated with the Kings who have become honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In addition, former Kings broadcaster John Kenneth “Jiggs” McDonald, the team’s original play-by-play announcer, and the legendary “Voice of the Kings,” long-time television play-by-play announcer Bob Miller, are media honorees.

But hardly anyone knows that the Kings have two additional people from their family who have earned a place in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

One is Norm Mackie, who served as the head athletic trainer from their inaugural 1967-68 season through 1971-72. Read more of this post