Bob Miller has been the voice of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team for a long time now. 44 years, in fact. It seemed as if he would continue to be the man calling the play-by-play for the team forever. But lo and behold, the time has come to pass for a new person to enter the broadcast booth, with the legend planning a retirement very soon.

Sudden retirement

The legendary broadcaster pulled together a sudden press conference on Thursday to announce his retirement. He admitted that this was not the way he wanted his career to end, but it was a necessity more than anything. Miller will only call two more games: the Kings' home regular season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks on April 8, and the team's regular season finale at the Anaheim Ducks on April 9.

Medical problems have been derailed the 78-year old Miller lately. Last February, he had quadruple bypass surgery, which was followed three months later by a mini-stroke. During this past All-Star break in January, he suffered from another minor stroke, the latest medical problem and the one that likely spelled the end of his time in one of the only roles he has ever known.

A legend in Los Angeles

Miller has been a broadcaster since 1968, when he called games for the University of Wisconsin. In 1973, he joined the Kings and has been a mainstay ever since. Some of his legendary calls include the famous comeback in the 1982 Stanley Cup playoffs, as well as the record-breaking goal for Wayne Gretzky to become the NHL's all-time leading goal scorer.

He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame a decade ago and has the press box at the Staples Center named for him.

For Los Angeles sports fans, Miller will be the second major vocal departure in the past several months. At the end of the baseball season, legendary broadcaster Vin Scully retired from calling games.

Luckily for fans, they'll get two more chances to hear the legendary voice of Bob Miller before he fades off into a well-deserved retirement following 44 years of serving hockey fans.

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