Bob Miller, Beloved Voice of the Los Angeles Kings, Is Expected to Retire
He's been the NHL team's play-by-play man since 1973 but has been plagued by health problems over the past two seasons.
Bob Miller, the beloved voice of the Los Angeles Kings for more than four decades, is expected to retire from calling play by play in light of recent health problems.
Miller, 78, has not worked since suffering a minor stroke during festivities surrounding the NHL's All-Star weekend at Staples Center in late January. He was already calling games under a reduced schedule after missing much of last season after he had a heart attack and underwent quadruple bypass surgery.
The Kings announced that Miller would host a news conference on Thursday to make "a major announcement regarding his future plans."
Said Miller, who has been resting at his West Hills home: "I have received a lot of inquiries about my health situation, and I appreciate the concern. I think it's time to bring everyone up to date on my progress and what's ahead in my future."
Fans of the Kings and Miller are hoping he remains with the club in some capacity. The Los Angeles sports community is still having trouble getting over the fact the Vin Scully, the voice of the Dodgers since 1950, retired in October.
A member of Hockey Hall of Fame since 2000, Miller started calling Kings' games in 1973 and is one of only three regular play-by-play men the team — now in its 50th year — has ever had. He was given a lifetime contract by the Kings in 1998, and the press box at Staples Center is named for him.
The Chicago native was overcome with happiness when the Kings won the Stanley Cup in 2012 and 2014.
"I'm often asked how I keep my enthusiasm," Miller told the Los Angeles Times in 2000. "I think it's because when you go to work, you never know what you're going to see. It could be a record of some kind, especially in the Wayne Gretzky era. There are nights you don't want to go, but you get caught up in the atmosphere of being at a live sporting event.
"That's one of the best things: It's a live event. I still enjoy the fact it's live, not on tape, and you can't say, 'Let's stop the tape and do it again.' You can't take it back, so let's do it right."
Ralph Strangis, a former play-by-play man for the Dallas Stars, has been filling in for Miller alongside analyst and former Kings star Jim Fox, who has partnered with Miller since 1990.