The play-by-play voice of the Detroit Red Wings is known throughout Hockeytown, but Ken Kal calls St. Clair Shores his hometown.
For the past 16 years he has shared the radio booth of of 97.1 FM (The Ticket) with Paul Woods, calling Red Wings games. Kal grew up on the west side of Detroit and received his degree in communications from Wayne State University. He moved to St. Clair Shores in the late 1980s when he was working in medical sales and calling University of Michigan hockey games.
Kal spent a few minutes with St. Clair Shores Patch before a recent at St. Isaac Jogues to talk about hockey and living in the Shores.
Patch: How long have you lived in the Shores?
Kal: I grew up on the west side of Detroit and I moved out here in the late 80s. I was doing University of Michigan hockey [and] I was commuiting from St. Clair Shores to Michigan every weekend. I had a sales job, I was in the medical field—I was in the home I V infusion business—so that was my real job until I got the Red Wings job.
Patch: Once you started with the Red Wings, you decided keep your roots in the city?
Kal: For any broadcaster, it is rare you grow up in the city and you work for the team you follow. In our business normally you got to go somewhere else, and maybe down the road if you get lucky, you get the chance to do [a hometown broadcast]. I have been pretty fortunate to cover Michigan, which is near my hometown, and the Red Wings.
Patch: I often hear you mention St. Clair Shores during your broadcasts, you seem to be pretty proud of the area.
Kal: I just love the lake, the people, the community of St. Clair Shores. I just think it is an outstanding community. I love the restaurants ... I love everything about this city. I am from Detroit, but I couldn't pick a better city to live in. My wife is from Baltimore, and she loves it here too.
Patch: Why do you think hockey so popular in the Shores?
Kal: If you look historically at the game of hockey, and you talk to people from Canada, they all played on ponds, canals, lakes and rivers. St. Clair Shores has all of that. The roots of hockey I believe in this city are similar to that of Canada. Kids today that would like to maybe one daybe playing in the National Hockey League have an opportunity when it is cold out to get out on a canal in St. Clair Shores, lake, or frozen pond and learn the game.