Celebrating 50 Years of Jiggs McDonald behind the Mike
A Journey into Hockey
He started as Ken McDonald but soon became known as Jiggs.
50 years later he is still as sharp as ever and calling hockey.
Jiggs McDonald was honored for 50 years behind NHL microphones before a game between the islanders and Panthers in New York on January 11. He also called the game on MSG - meaning that he has called a game for 50 years.
For one evening the Islanders havebrought Jiggs in to call the game. He will also be doing an L.A. Kings game in Florida this season.
McDonald began his NHL broadcasting career in 1967, as the voice of the expansion Los Angeles Kings. 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.
When the Flames moved to Calgary in 1980, McDonald joined the New York Islanders broadcast team as play-by-play announcer, taking over for Tim Ryan; 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. Including national work, as well as work for other teams, McDonald called the play-by-play of over 200 NHL playoff games.
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, but he substituted for Dave Strader when the latter was on NHL on NBC assignments on Panther telecasts during the 2005–06 season. 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 WOR). 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.
Congratulations to Jiggs on the milestone and all the much deserved attention he is receiving.