Avalanche TV announcer moving to St. Louis Blues

Originally Published: May 6, 2004
ESPN

ST. LOUIS -- John Kelly, the son of late St. Louis Blues broadcaster Dan Kelly, on Thursday was named the play-by-play announcer for the Blues' regionally televised games, ending Ken Wilson's two-decade run in that broadcast booth.

Kelly, who has called Colorado Avalanche games for Fox Sports Net in Denver the past nine seasons, signed a multiyear deal and next season -- barring a potential NHL lockout -- will begin his new job with Fox Sports Net Midwest and St. Louis station KPLR.

Avalanche TV broadcasts will move next season from Fox Sports Net to a new regional network, Altitude Sports & Entertainment, owned by Kroenke Sports Enterprises. Kroenke also owns the Avalanche and the Denver Nuggets of the NBA

Thursday's announcement by Fox Sports Net did not specify terms of Kelly's contract or the reasons for the departure of Wilson, saying only that Wilson's contract was not renewed.

"We appreciate Ken Wilson's tremendous contributions to Blues telecasts. We enjoyed working with Ken and wish him the best," said Jack Donovan, FSN's vice president and general manager. "We're excited to welcome John, who is well-liked by fans and one of the top play-by-play announcers in hockey."

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Wilson rarely has talked with Blues management in recent years, and that that relationship factored significantly in his ouster.

"I'm not surprised. I've seen this coming for a long time," Wilson told the newspaper. "All I'd like is to be respected for who I am, what I am."

John Kelly, a native of St. Louis who broadcast Blues games on radio and television simulcasts from 1989-92, said "a chance to move to my hometown and be close to our family was the No. 1 factor in deciding to go back to St. Louis."

His father, legendary Blues announcer Dan Kelly, died in 1989.

John Kelly, 43, will take Wilson's place in teaming in the broadcast booth with analyst Bernie Federko, the Blues' career leading scorer and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame since 2002.

"On behalf of our organization, I sincerely thank Ken Wilson for his many years in the Blues radio and television booth," Jim Woodcock, the Blues' senior vice president of marketing and communications, said in the statement. "Many great Blues moments occurred with Ken behind the microphone, and his calls will always be part of our memories."

Fox Sports Net Midwest, which has closed out its ninth season as the television home of the Blues, reaches more than 4.2 million homes by cable and satellite in six Midwest states.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index