Jiggs McDonald

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John Kenneth "Jiggs" McDonald (born November 28, 1938) is a sportscaster who did play-by-play announcing for NHL games for almost 40 years.[1] In 1990, McDonald received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame.[2]


Biography[edit]

National Hockey League broadcasting career[edit]

McDonald began his NHL broadcasting career in 1967, as the voice of the expansion Los Angeles Kings.[3]

In November 2003, he announced his 3,000th regular season game; his number of games called is thought to be the highest by an NHL announcer.[1] He was the original voice of both the Los Angeles Kings, where he was nearly paired with Al Michaels, and the Atlanta Flames, where Bernie Geoffrion served as his broadcasting partner.[1][4]

When the Flames moved to Calgary in 1980, McDonald joined the New York Islanders broadcast team as play-by-play announcer, taking over for Steve Albert; former Islanders captain Ed Westfall was the color commentator. McDonald spent 15 seasons as the Islanders' play-by-play man, and the team won three Stanley Cups during the period.[1] Including national work, as well as work for other teams, McDonald called the play-by-play of over 200 NHL playoff games.

Although he was not the announcer for the first (1980) Stanley Cup championship team, McDonald hosted the New York Islanders' 25th anniversary celebration in 2006.

In future years, McDonald did play-by-play on Toronto Maple Leafs telecasts and Florida Panthers radio broadcasts. Following the 2003–04 season he retired,[1] but he substituted for Dave Strader when the latter was on NHL on NBC assignments on Panther telecasts during the 2005–06 season.[5] Since the 2006–07 season to present, he has returned to call Islanders games on MSG Network, filling in for Howie Rose (when Rose is on vacation or doing New York Mets games on WFAN). With his Islanders work in 2010, he has called hockey games across six decades.

McDonald also did broadcasts on nationally televised NHL games for numerous networks. Notably, he called games for SportsChannel America for five years, during which the channel was the rights-holder for national NHL telecasts. In addition, he broadcast the Winter Olympics for ABC and TNT, announcing at three Games.[1]

In addition, he filled in for Florida Panthers radio play-by-play man Randy Moller for three games when Moller became ill in January 2010.[6]

Non-hockey related broadcasting[edit]

Outside of ice hockey, McDonald served as an announcer for the New York Mets Major League Baseball team in 1982. In 1992, he did play-by-play on CTV for Olympic basketball games.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In late October 2008, McDonald and his wife were vacationing in Asia, only to be stranded in Bangkok, Thailand in late November and early December for a week in the wake of the 2008 Thai political crisis that resulted in the takeover of two commercial airports in Bangkok by pro-democracy activists.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Jiggs McDonald: Kings Television/Radio Play-By-Play Announcer 1967–72". Los Angeles Kings. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  2. ^ "The Legends – Media Honourees: Foster Hewitt Memorial Award Winners". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  3. ^ Gustkey, Earl (1997-04-10). "Jiggs Was a Name Fit for a Kings' Broadcaster". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  4. ^ Malamud, Allan (1993-06-05). "Stanley Cup Finals: Notes on a Scorecard". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  5. ^ "Panthers hand reeling Blues fourth straight loss". ESPN. Associated Press. 2006-01-12. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  6. ^ Gorten, Steve (2010-01-19). "Florida Panthers stay with hot hand in goal". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 
  7. ^ Elliott, Helene (2008-12-02). "Jiggs McDonald saga near a happy ending". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-07-15. 

External links[edit]