A few minutes passed noon today, I read on washingtonpost.com that John Walton has been hired to replace Steve Kolbe as the Washington Capitals play-by-play voice. Walton, 38, has been in the same position with the Hershey Bears for quite sometime and will most certainly do an admirable job in his new role with the Capitals.
But, I wanted to take this time to extend a sad fairwell to Steve Kolbe. I was fortunate enough to start going to Capitals home games at the start of the 2007-2008 season. One of the first media members I met at the start of the season was Kolbe. He and I have a mutual friend, so I used that as a way to introduce myself and begin to build a relationship with Steve.
It took me the majority of the season, but as the playoffs neared that year Steve began to address me by my first name and even came up to me in the press box a few times and initiated conversation.
Before Game 1 of the Capitals first round series with the Flyers in 2008, Steve called into the radio show I was doing at George Mason at the time and gave us a solid 10 minute interview on how he thought the series was going to play out.
That was one of the great things about Steve was he never seemed to let his position go to his head. I was doing a lowly college radio show, yet he gave us all the time that we wanted and answered every question very thoroughly.
As the seasons passed, Steve and I began to talk a little more. He would come up to me in the media room after games and we would discuss how we thought the Caps played that night, or that week. We even discussed whether or not George McPhee should trade Alex Semin on several occasions.
But, there are two things Steve did for me that I will always remember. During the Capitals President's Trophy winning 2009-10 season, Steve brought me into his booth in the Verizon Center and showed me how he kept notes during games and throughout the season.
At the start of last season after I was unable to get a credential for the season, Steve agreed to do a Q&A with me once a month even though I wasn't going to be at any games.
After 14 seasons, it would seem that Steve's job would've been secure even with a new position being created. But, for whatever reason the organization decided to go another direction.
Steve, I appreciate all the kindness you showed me over the last four years and the coversations we had before, during and after games.
I will miss hearing your voice on the radio and hearing you read off stats that you, and only you knew about.
Wherever you end up, I'm sure it will be for the best and you will give it your all.
Goodluck, Steve, and thank you.