The Los Angeles Kings, along with play-by-play announcer Bob Miller, held a press conference on Thursday to tell the media — and the public — about his plans for the future. The Hall of Fame broadcaster told the media he will call two more Kings games on FOX Sports West – April 8 at home against the Chicago Blackhawks (3 p.m. start time) and April 9 in Anaheim against the Ducks (5:30 p.m. start time) and then retire.
Currently, Miller is on a medical leave of absence after suffering a stroke in January. In late January Miller released a statement, saying, “ “It is unfortunate that I have to miss Kings telecasts but I have to get this taken care of as soon as possible. I know the telecasts will be in good hands and I hope to return to the TV booth as soon as my health allows.”
On Thursday Miller said, ““Due to four separate health incidents the last year, quadruple bypass heart surgery, a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), a mild stroke and a stent placed in my left carotid artery, and with doctor’s advice to slow down, it’s time for me to retire.”
“I have been fortunate to work in a career I’ve always wanted, to be a radio-TV sports announcer for 57 years, 44 of those years as the Los Angeles Kings play-by-play broadcaster. Not many of us get to enjoy five decades, 3,351 games, in a career that has brought so much joy and excitement.
“I have worked for every owner the Kings have ever had and I appreciate that opportunity and their support as well as the support from AEG, FOX Sports West, Kings coaches and players, my broadcast partners, newspaper reporters, radio-TV announcers, the Kings fans and my family.
“I plan to broadcast two more games and then I hope to have some quality years and enjoyment in retirement.”
Right now Ralph Strangis is doing the play-by-play for the Kings games. He spent 25 years with the Minnesota/Dallas Stars before taking the job with Los Angeles.
Fans of Bob Miller will miss him once he retires. Hall of Famer and Kings President of Business operations Luc Robitaille said, “As far as any of us can remember, Bob Miller has been the Voice of the LA Kings. Watching a Kings game will never be the same.”
Dean Lombardi, Kings President and General Manager said, “Bob is a true pro. Off the ice, he has helped the Kings franchise play a critical role for our fans in his description of the play, and he has always displayed a great deal of competence — along with his signature sense of humor — through the highs and lows relating to the 50-year history of our club.”
Television analyst Jim Fox, who has spent over two decades with Miller calling Kings games, said, “It has been an honor to work with Bob for the last 27 years. His professionalism and work ethic are very apparent and that definitely shows up in his knowledge of the game and the relationships he has with people involved in hockey, especially the fans. He has been a mentor to me in how to prepare for games and how to never underestimate the value of doing homework. As far as his call of the game, I have always marveled at his skill in communicating what is happening in the game, not only with his spot-on description of the game’s events, but even more importantly with his skill at finding the appropriate energy and urgency to cover each individual moment. Bob has never had to use a shtick or gimmicks to cover the game and that is because ‘he is that good.’ I have enjoyed his stories and joke-telling throughout the years and because I was right beside Bob for the longest lasting tenure of any current NHL broadcast team, I am most fortunate to have always sat in the best seat in the house. Congratulations to Bob, his wife Judy and their entire family.”
The accolades continue to roll in on social media and fans will be looking forward to his last two games.
Tonight the Kings will face the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have 69 points and as of now will be in the playoffs. The Kings have 66 points and are struggling to make the post-season. Toronto is coming off a three-game losing streak and the Kings have a two-game losing streak behind them, both games lost in overtime. So fans will see two teams skating hard to make it into the playoffs. It’s likely goalie Jonathan Quick will start tonight, but behind him is Ben Bishop, who had a good start against the Calgary Flames, giving up just one goal in regulation. He had 30 saves in the loss to Calgary, with only two goals allowed.
Game time is 7:30 p.m.
Photos by L.A. Kings, unless otherwise noted