Jiggs McDonald to call first Kings game in 45 years

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Thursday’s Kings-Panthers game in Florida will be a special one for Jiggs McDonald.

McDonald, the legendary play-by-play man and winner of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Award, will return to the Kings’ booth for the first time since 1972 to call tomorrow’s game, alongside color commentator Jim Fox.

More, from the club:

McDonald is the “Original Voice of the LA Kings,” working in Los Angeles from 1967-72 during the club’s very first five seasons. He called the club’s first preseason game, first regular season game and first playoff game. His first Kings game in 1967 was also his first NHL game.

He has also worked as a club broadcaster for the Atlanta Flames, Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders, totaling more than 3,000 contests. In 1990 he was the recipient of the Foster Hewitt Award, which is recognized by a plaque in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and he will return to Los Angeles for Opening Night as the 1967-68 Kings are reunited. He is one of three Kings broadcasters to be so honored along with Bob Miller and Nick Nickson.

In what is scheduled to be his last NHL game, McDonald will now have called a Kings game in their first year and again during the club’s 50th Anniversary celebration. He has also called at least one NHL game in each of the last 50 years.

McDonald, 78, is best known for his lengthy stint calling Islanders games, and being the play-by-play voice for three of New York’s Stanley Cup championships.