Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Daniels, Ken

Sports broadcaster Ken Daniels has been the familiar voice calling televised Detroit Red Wings hockey games since 1997.  

Daniels was born March 18, 1959, and grew up as a hockey-obsessed youngster in Toronto, Ontario. The sport was a critical part of his life – listening to and watching games, playing hockey after school, and spending several years as a referee. From a young age, Daniels admired the way his role models called his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs games, and set his sights on a career doing the same.  

Following the advice of CBC broadcaster Brian Williams, Daniels pursued a degree and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from York University in Toronto. His first broadcasting job came shortly after, at the radio station CKAR-AM in Oshawa, Ontario, covering local news and politics. Daniels’ first television experience came filling in on CBC in the summer of 1985, and his first play-by-play experience came during the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. That led to calling radio play-by-play for the Maple Leafs. By the early 1990s, Daniels was appearing on CBC’s institution Hockey Night in Canada

Daniels came to Detroit immediately following the Red Wings’ 1996-97 Stanley Cup victory. His first game for the Wings came against the Maple Leafs in September, 1997. That season, the Wings successfully defended their title as Stanley Cup Champions. Daniels has been the television play-by-play presence for the Wings ever since, in his 25th season as of 2023, pairing up with many other voices including longtime broadcast partner Mickey Redmond. 

Daniels’ sports broadcasting experience extends beyond hockey, having reported on various Olympic events, baseball, Indy-car racing, and more. He is also an author, and active philanthropist. He created the nonprofit Jamie Daniels Foundation, which aims to spread awareness of addiction and provide resources that aid in countering the drug epidemic, honoring Daniels’ son who passed away at a young age in 2016.