Kings find their man af­ter Miller

Alex Faust, 28, will call games on TV next sea­son. Fox ex­pected to stay as an­a­lyst.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By He­lene El­liott

Alex Faust, 28, is hired as team’s play-by-play an­nouncer for TV, tak­ing over for the re­tired Bob Miller.

The Kings knew they could never re­place Hall of Fame broad­caster Bob Miller, whose health prob­lems led him to re­tire in April af­ter 44 sea­sons of call­ing their games with a sto­ry­teller’s charm and a unique his­toric per­spec­tive. In choos­ing his suc­ces­sor for their TV play-by-play job, they went out­side the box to hire 28-year-old Alex Faust, who ac­knowl­edged he wasn’t a die-hard hockey fan grow­ing up but has im­mersed him­self in the sport since he called hockey games for North­east­ern Univer­sity’s stu­dent ra­dio sta­tion.

The Kings had given on­air au­di­tions to sev­eral an­nounc­ers last sea­son while Miller re­cov­ered from a stroke. Brook­lyn-born Faust, whose hir­ing was an­nounced Thurs­day, wasn’t among them, and his rel­a­tively low na­tional pro­file didn’t make him an ob­vi­ous choice.

“Be­lieve me, it wasn’t an ob­vi­ous out­come for me ei­ther,” he said, re­call­ing that he ini­tially hoped to merely get an in­ter­view with Fox ex­ec­u­tives and put his name in their minds for the fu­ture.

“The ex­pec­ta­tion isn’t that I’m go­ing to re­place Bob Miller, be­cause that’s just im­pos­si­ble to do. When you’re there for 44 years, you build up a rap­port with the au­di­ence and you build a re­la­tion­ship with the au­di­ence, and I know he de­vel­oped a re­la­tion­ship even be­yond the TV sphere of go­ing out and meet­ing peo­ple at events or meet­ing fans at games. That’s part of the job re­spon­si­bil­ity for me, for me to get to know fans, for fans to get to know me, and hope­fully it all works out over the long haul.”

Jim Fox is ex­pected to con­tinue as the TV an­a­lyst. Ra­dio play-by-play an­nouncer Nick Nick­son and com­men­ta­tor Daryl Evans also are ex­pected to re­turn next sea­son.

Faust has done play-by­play of col­lege foot­ball, bas­ket­ball and lacrosse for ESPNU and also has worked for NESN. In ad­di­tion, he has done ra­dio play-by-play for the Utica (N.Y.) Comets of the Amer­i­can Hockey League and has free­lanced on NBCSN’s hockey cov­er­age and on the Ten­nis Chan­nel.

Kings Pres­i­dent Luc Ro­bitaille was heav­ily in­volved in the search to fill a cov­eted job that at­tracted many can­di­dates. Through it all, Faust stood out.

“We sat with all the folks at Fox, and they had sent us the reels of a bunch of dif­fer­ent peo­ple, and we had a small meet­ing a cou­ple weeks ago and we chat­ted in the room,” Ro­bitaille said. “We were all pre­pared. We all had our fa­vorites with­out any­body talk­ing to each other, and we lis­tened to them. Af­ter lis­ten­ing to every­one and hear­ing every­one’s points and what we were look­ing for, it came down to Alex.”

For Ro­bitaille, Faust’s youth isn’t a draw­back. “It’s kind of funny. If you lis­ten to him, you don’t re­ally know about his age,” Ro­bitaille said. “I look at it from a stand­point where I’m glad this guy is go­ing to come in and work with us and be with us for a long time.

“We’re not look­ing to re­place Bob. That was the No. 1 fac­tor. We thought it was im­por­tant to get a na­tional voice, some­one that when you hear the city of Los An­ge­les and Kings fans you feel al­most like you’re watch­ing a na­tional broad­cast.”

he­lene.el­liott@la­ Twit­ter: @he­le­nenothe­len

‘The ex­pec­ta­tion isn’t that I’m go­ing to re­place Bob Miller, be­cause that’s just im­pos­si­ble to do.’ — Alex Faust, Kings’ new TV play-by-play an­nouncer

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