Monarchs sound horn on longtime play-by-play man Ken Cail's tenureStaff Report
July 26. 2018 7:56PM
Ken Cail is no longer the voice of the Manchester Monarchs.
After 17 seasons and 1,425 games, including the clinching game of the 2015 Calder Cup Finals, the longtime broadcaster has been let go by the team.
Cail is the only play-by-play voice in the history of the team, which arrived in 2001 as the American Hockey League affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings and became the Kings’ ECHL affiliate in 2015.
“This was their decision,” Cail, 64, said Thursday. “I had no intention of stepping away.”
“I’m very disappointed. I have been there since day one,” said Cail, who pointed out he missed only one assigned broadcast in 17 years.
Public Relations Coordinator Parker Wheeler will broadcast Monarchs games this season. Wheeler worked alongside Cail for the past two seasons as the Monarchs’ color commentator, and was the play-by-play broadcaster for the University of New Hampshire men’s ice hockey team from 2012 to 2016.
“We are extremely grateful for the 17 years of dedication Ken provided to the Monarchs organization and wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” said Brian Cheek, CEO of the Monarchs.
Cail said Cheek, who delivered the news in person, told Cail the business model in minor-league hockey has changed and that team broadcasters are also handling public relations and sales duties.
“I don’t regret a minute,” Cail said, noting that this is the first time in his lengthy broadcasting career that he’d been fired from a job. “I’m just sad that it’s not going to continue because I’d hoped that it would.”
“These things happen. It’s not pleasant,” Cail said.
Cail said the 2015 championship, which was also the team’s final game in the AHL, was the highlight of his career, but said it was an “emotional broadcast,” knowing that it would mark the end of the AHL’s wildly popular stay in Manchester.
“It was (a special time). It really was. I was fortunate (then-team president) Jeff Eisenberg took a chance on me in 2001,” said Cail, who said he had never broadcast a professional hockey game when he was hired. “I’ll be forever grateful.”
An annual nominee for Broadcaster of the Year in the AHL and ECHL, Cail was inducted into the New Hampshire Legends of Hockey Hall of Fame in 2010.
Cail, who still hosts “Cail and Company” daily from noon-3 p.m. on WTPL-FM 107.7 and WEMJ-FM 107.3, was also named the New Hampshire Sportscaster of the Year twice and has won the Golden Mike Award for outstanding play-by-play in the state of New Hampshire three times.