The Los Angeles Kings said today that their Hall of Fame TV play-by-play man will be sidelined while on medical leave. Bob Miller, the Voice of the Kings who has been the team’s lead announcer for 43 years, will undergo a heart bypass operation. No date is set for the surgery or his return.
“It is unfortunate that I have to miss Kings telecasts, but I have to get this taken care of as soon as possible,” Miller said in a statement. “I know the telecasts will be in good hands, and I hope to return to the TV booth as soon as my health allows.”
The Kings said that Nick Nickson will move from the radio booth to take over TV play-by-play alongside analyst Jim Fox. Nickson, who was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame last year, has been with the team since 1981. He and Miller did radio and TV simulcasts of Kings games until Fox and Miller took over TV duties in 1990. Jon Rosen will do radio play-by-play in the interim, with Daryl Evans continuing as the color man.
The changes kick in February 2 with the Kings’ road game against the Arizona Coyotes. The Kings are playing a nationally telecast game tonight, so the local announcers are off, and the NHL All-Star break begins Thursday.
Miller, 77, took over Kings announcing duties in 1973 and is nothing short of an institution in Los Angeles hockey, having thrilled generations of fans. Fast-paced and spot-on, he called such memorable games and moments as Wayne Gretzky’s goal to break Gordie Howe’s NHL points record in 1989; the 1982 “Miracle on Manchester,” in which the Kings came back from a 5-0 second-period deficit to beat Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers in a playoff game; and the Kings’ two Stanley Cup runs in 2012 and 2014. In between periods of telecasts this season, Miller had been regaling fans with stories from his decades behind the mike.
“Like all Kings fans, we wish Bob a safe and speedy recovery,” Luc Robitaille, the team’s President of Business Operations and a fellow Hall of Famer, told LAKings.com. “We look forward to hearing his familiar voice on our broadcasts again real soon, but it is important that Bob take his time to recover as his health is the top priority.”