BY MIKE LUCAS
UWBadgers.com Senior Writer
MADISON, Wis. — The storytellers were Bob Miller, whose legendary broadcasting resume includes having his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; and Tony Granato, whose return to his alma mater has already bordered on the stuff of legends with the revitalization of a dormant program after just one season.
From up-close and afar, they have earned each other's respect: Miller, 78, the former Wisconsin hockey play-by-play man and iconic voice of the Los Angeles Kings; and Granato, 52, the former UW star, Olympian and battle-scarred NHL survivor as a player (13 years) and coach (13 years).
"He's such a wonderful human being," Granato said.
"He was an individual who would do anything to win the game," Miller said.
Now for their story.
In late January of 1990, Granato was in Madison for the NHL All-Star break when he got word that he had been traded from the New York Rangers (along with Tomas Sandstrom) to the Los Angeles Kings for Bernie Nicholls. The following day, Granato flew to Vancouver to join his new team.
"When I checked in at the hotel," he said, "I asked, 'Who's my roommate?'"
This was before NHL players had single rooms on the road.
"They said, 'W. Douglas,'" Granato recounted. "So I was wondering, 'This is kind of strange.'"
That's because he was unaware of a W. Douglas on the Los Angeles roster.
Walking to the elevator, he bumped into Miller, the venerable Kings announcer.
"He welcomed me to the Kings and we were talking about Badgers stuff and everything else," recalled Granato. "And, then, I said, 'Hey, Bob, who's this W. Douglas that I'm rooming with?'"
Miller got a smirk on his face.
"Oh, you know what, that's Wayne's name that he registers with at the hotel," Miller informed Granato. "That's so people don't know it's Wayne Gretzky."
Photo: Wisconsin Badgers
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