When Los Angeles Kings' Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Miller found out he would be spending an evening with the Stanley Cup, he made sure to invite some longtime friends to the party.
One of the first people he invited to the festivities was Nashville Predators play-by-play man Pete Weber, who served as a Kings television and radio analyst alongside Miller from 1978-81. The longtime friends go as far back as their college broadcasting days when Miller was at the University of Wisconsin and Weber was at Notre Dame.
"He called us when the date was set in stone and asked if we could make it out. We said we'll make it. It might have taken 10 seconds for us to say yes," Weber said. "It was a tremendous situation. And I was very careful, I did not touch the Cup."
Shortly after making an appearance at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, the Cup arrived at Miller's event, which was hosted at the Monterey Room at Encino Glen a public golf course in Encino, Calif. About 250 people came through to take photographs and see the Cup. In total, the event raised up to $8,000 for Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, a faith-based organization that provides food, shelter and clothing for thousands of needy families in the area.
"They recently had a fire in their building and they were trying to get back on track, so we thought this would be a good way to help out," Miller said. "Everybody was really generous. It was nice to see people contribute like that. And they all had a great time."
Along with Weber, Miller invited a number of friends from his lengthy career with the Kings, which began in 1973. Among those on hand were former Kings trainer Pete Demers, former equipment manager John Holmes, longtime Kings TV producer Bob Borgen, former Kings public relations head Mike Hope and Marsha Galloway, who served as the secretary for general managers George Maguire, Rogie Vachon and Dave Taylor.
Some in attendance came from as far away as Alaska. But one unusual guest arrived courtesy of an area artist, who brought a pet pigeon with her. After some fuss from the bird once it was removed from its carrier, it managed to fly up and land squarely in the Cup.
"She belongs to some group that has pigeons and they take them all over the world and take photos of them wherever they are in the world," Miller laughed. "I thought it was going to take off and just fly out the door. First time I've ever seen that."