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Kings' Bob Miller, Times poll winner, gets it

October 31, 2008 |  4:30 pm

Bob Miller

Congratulations to Bob Miller for winning The Times' favorite sportscaster poll.

He's a class act. That's why I found it a little hard to believe when someone reported recently that Bob "lit into" The Times during a recent broadcast.

That doesn't sound like Bob, and sure enough, he didn't exactly light into us. I heard the tape, and he pointed out that we don't publish as much about the NHL as we once did -- and then he fairly points out that we don't have as much space as we once did.

He gets it.

The Times has excellent hockey writers, including Helene Elliott, the 2005 Elmer Ferguson Award winner for her outstanding hockey coverage and this year's winner of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation sportswriter of the year award. She was among the honorees, along with Sugar Ray Leonard and Ashley Force, at a dinner Thursday in Beverly Hills.

But it's true that we've had to cut back on national coverage. It's also true that we will be more selective this season, as we were last season and the season before, about which Kings and Ducks road games to cover with our own reporters.

That's not always easy to explain to loyal hockey fans. But Miller articulated it as well as anyone in his gracious comments after winning our sportscaster poll, acknowledging that perhaps he was the beneficiary of a campaign by hockey fans.

"I know the reaction often is that there aren't a lot of hockey fans and therefore they don't get enough respect,'' he said. "So maybe there was some of that, that we have a sport a few of us love but that not everybody likes.''

We at The Times will continue to try to serve that few as best we can. But it's not easy with the ravenous hockey crowd. As a colleague once said, "There's not enough hockey in the Hockey News for hockey fans.''

-- Randy Harvey

Photo: Bob Miller, a Hockey Hall of Famer and the voice of the Kings, poses with his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a 2006 ceremony. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times