For Kings’ broadcast team, its Cup time can’t runneth over … but these guys can taste the fruits of victory with Jim Fox’s party plan

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Scott Varley/Staff Photographer
Wednesday’s special time with the Stanley Cup started with Kings broadcasters and Alumni Association members Jim Fox and Daryl Evans delivering it to some 500 fans waiting at the Redondo Beach Cafe. It ended with Fox hosting a party in Rancho Palos Verdes, where all four Kings’ broadcasters attended.

The clock was about to strike midnight late Wednesday – curfew time — and the Stanley Cup had to prepare for a graceful exit.

Cup keeper Mike Bolt put on his white gloves, but then asked Jim Fox, the Kings’ longtime TV analyst and host of the party, if he would like the honors of personally escorting out one of the world’s most revered sports trophies.


Photo by Evan Gole

Fox didn’t hesitate.

He and his wife, Susie, got on each side of the 35-inch tall, 34 -pound hunk of engraved silver and gently carried it out the front door of their friends’ Palos Verdes Estates home, down the stairs and up the driveway into the darkness.

Bolt opened the back hatch of his rented Chevy Traverse. Fox angled the Cup just right so it fit snug into the large black trunk, and Bolt closed the lid and latched it shut.

The Stanley Cup, L.A.’s latest rock star, was about to make another road trip, flying to New York on Thursday where Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick were awaiting its arrival for the full day they’d been planning to spend with it.

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Photo by Evan Gole

But as he stood there, watching the life of the party be driven away after nearly 200 of his family and friends got some intimate time with it, Fox was hardly bittersweet.

“I wasn’t sad at all when it was leaving,” Fox said. “I really wasn’t. We had such a great time with it. I was just so glad it was there and everyone at the party got what they wanted.”

And more, as it turned out.

As recent NHL tradition allows, each player and coach on the Kings is allowed a full day with the Stanley Cup this summer. But those on the Kings’ staff – including broadcasters Fox, Bob Miller, Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans – are also allowed a four-hour window of opportunity on an arranged date to do with it what they want. To an extent, of course.

In late June, Miller, the TV play-by-play Hall of Famer, was one of the first to have the Cup, but had to arrange a party quickly while on vacation. They were going to try to keep it simple and invite some 90 people to their home in West Hills, but it ended up doubling in size and it was moved to the Braemar Country Club in Tarzana.

Nickson and Evans, the radio broadcast team, will have their party time in September, and are already trying to arrange for ways to have longtime Kings’ season-seat holders on the e-vite list, along with using it as a fundraiser.


Photo by Evan Gole

All four were in attendance Wednesday for Fox’s turn with the Cup, which Bolt made sure got there just before a spectacular view of the sunset unfolded.

Fox admits in his 10 years playing for the Kings in 1980s, he rarely allowed himself to entertain thoughts of what it would be like to hoist the Cup on the ice, let along plan a party for it. When given this rare opportunity, he said it felt as if he and his wife were planning a wedding – finding a big-enough reception area, hiring a photographer and caterer, and then making a list of invitees.

“I just wanted to make sure all my friends could come and touch it and get a picture with it,” said the 52-year-old, who had his older brother, Mike, fly in at the last minute from their hometown of Sudbury in Ontario, Canada, to make the party, joining his father in law Bill Core and sisters in law Francine DeMarchi and Kathy Dunster, also from Ontario.

“We’ve been here 32 years now, and we’ve made so many friends who got to know and love hockey, and we wanted them here. It all went well.”


Photos by Evan Gole
Once the champaign was poured into the Stanley Cup, former Kings assistant coach Jamie Kompon was there to serve it to Jim Fox, Bob Miller, Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans.

Because of Fox’s love of fine wines, many of his friends thanked him by bringing some high-end beverages to be sampled from the Cup.

Fox made sure all protocol was followed, starting with only allowing someone whose name is on the Cup, or will have his name on it, to actually lift the Cup and offer someone to drink from it. Problem solved: Jamie Kompon, the Kings’ assistant coach (who has subsequently decided to take a job with the Chicago Blackhawks), was there and did all the heavy hoisting.

The lineup of samples included a 1961 Chateau Margaux, a 1974 Chateau D’Yquem and a 1996 Chateau Mouton Rothschild, after two champagnes – a 2003 Dom Perignon and a 1999 Piat D’Or – were enjoyed. All four broadcasters at one point shared the same champagne and posed with the Cup – their own team picture.

“I did have a few sips, but I wanted to make sure I was always in control and we’re doing anything stupid,” said Fox, who wouldn’t even touch the Cup for years until Kings’ captain Brown handed it to him during the team post-championship party, and even then Fox will not lift it over his head again.

The Hockey Hall of Fame is specific about some rules in regards to the Cup’s dignity. A sheet sent out to everyone who has the Cup spells out that it will be dropped off their designated site of choice at 8 p.m. and picked up at midnight, “or before if it is not treated with respect.”


Photo by Evan Gole

In some regards, it’s worked out better for the broadcasters that the Kings won the Cup now rather than in 1993, when they had their last real shot at it. It wasn’t until 1995 that the Cup was allowed to travel during the summer with the winning team, but that was only with players. Now it has increased to include coaches, trainers and staff.

Miller, who finally got his up-close-and-personal time with the Cup after a 39-year wait, said the best time for him was “watching the faces of the people get a look at the Cup, realizing they could get their picture with it, asking ‘Can I touch it?’

“Some would as, ‘Can I kiss it?’ I said, ‘Sure, we’re giving free tetanus shots in the back of the room.’

“To me, that’s what’s so great about the Cup – no other trophy is sports is so accessible to fans.”

Miller’s invite list included his two UPS delivery men, both huge Kings fans who would often stop by his home even when they didn’t have packages just to talk about games. Another was an 88-year-old friend from their local church.

Miller may be turning 74 this October, but he’s got no intention of retiring now that’s he’s called a Cup champion. Nor will he get tired of attending Cup parties.

“My wife (Judy) and I had gone to a couple of parties, and we thought, ‘We don’t really have to go to everyone who has the Cup,'” said Miller. “But then after we had our party, we really want to go to as many as we can now. It’s been so fun.”


Photo by Evan Gole

With the Cup time afforded to Fox, he used it as opportunity to record with help of the Kings Vision crew a “video toast” for the Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame event. It inducted Fox, a native son, into its shrine on June 11, but he couldn’t make it – something about a Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final played that night. Instead, he’ll have another party to attend, now with the video clip of the Cup, to in his hometown of Coniston, Ontario, in early September.

Earlier in the day, Fox and Evans were part of the Kings Alumni Association and Kings Care Foundation outdoor party with the Cup as it was on display in the parking lot of the Redondo Beach Caf, where some 400-plus fans were able to move through a line in a matter of two hours to snap personal photos.

In the afternoon, the Cup made a stopover at a private party in Century City at the Fox studios.

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Scott Varley/Staff Photographer

No matter what expense was paid to have his four-hour personal time with the Cup, Fox said he’d do it again next year.

“Heck yes,” he said. “This will never get old. Not in the least.”

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