Friday, August 26, 2011

Capitals Single-Game Tickets Go On Sale Wednesday, Sept. 7

Per the Washington Capitals Media Relations Department:

Washington Capitals single-game tickets for the 2011-12 season go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 10 a.m. at 202-397-SEAT, on WashingtonCaps.com, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex and at all local Ticketmaster outlets, including the Verizon Center box office.

Verizon Center has been sold out for 106 consecutive Capitals games (including playoffs) and, for the second straight season, the Capitals sold out every home game. Single-game tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

The home season begins with Opening Night at Verizon Center presented by GEICO on Saturday, Oct. 8, against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Capitals will unveil their 2010-11 Southeast Division championship banner prior to the game, and fans will receive a magnet schedule presented by GEICO.

The Capitals will introduce dynamic pricing this season, a system that allows consumer demand to set the price that reflects the most accurate current market value. Similar to the travel and entertainment industries, fans who purchase their tickets early are more likely to get the best value. With dynamic pricing, the price of single-game tickets may fluctuate based on a variety of factors, including league standings, opposing team, rivalries, star players, day of the week and supply and demand. For example, games against the top teams in the league are anticipated to be in high demand, whereas it’s possible that early-season and week-day games experience a decrease in price. The system is designed to reward single-game buyers for purchasing earlier in the season

Among the ticket options available is the Washington Capitals Pregame All-Inclusive Package, which starts at $89 per package and includes a game ticket, a pregame all-you-can-eat buffet in the Dewar’s 12 Club, unlimited beer, wine and soda, a Caps hat and a Caps rally towel.

For more information on Capitals tickets contact 202-266-CAPS or visit WashingtonCaps.com.

Washington Post Live moving to later time slot

Per Comcast SportsNet:

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s leading source for multiplatform sports coverage, has announced its new weekday program lineup, which will take effect on Tuesday, Sept. 6. As part of the updated daily schedule, ‘;Washington Post Live with Ivan Carter’ will air live each weekday at 10:30 p.m., giving the network two hours of live programming following Capitals and Wizards games.

The new late-night live version of ‘;Washington Post Live,’ which currently airs live at 5 p.m. with encores at 10:30 p.m., will allow Carter to incorporate relevant postgame topics and interviews, as well as up-to-date news and information, into the shows fast-paced format. The show will continue to feature debates and commentary from Carter and his daily guest list of analysts, reporters and athletes. The program will encore nightly at 12:30 a.m., as well as multiple times in the mornings.

Comcast SportsNet’s daily Baltimore Ravens shows will premiere each weekday at 5 p.m., with encores at 12 a.m., throughout the regular season and playoffs. Returning to the network this year are ‘1 Winning Drive’ (Monday), ‘;Game Plan’ (Wednesday), ‘Ravens Report’ (Thursday) and ‘;Purple Passion’ (Friday), with a new interview show, ‘Ravens One on One’ (Tuesday), making its debut this season. ‘Redskins Nation’ will remain at 5:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. each weekday.

Comcast SportsNet’s comprehensive daily news program, ‘SportsNet Central,’ will continue to air live four times daily at 6 p.m., 10 p.m., 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., with multiple re-airs each morning. On Capitals’ and Wizards’ game nights, the network will again present half-hour pregame and postgame shows surrounding the live-game coverage as ‘Central’ and ‘Postgame Live.’;

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official sports network of the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.7 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.

Comcast Sports Group, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 14 local networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and breaking news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s sports networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.

Comcast SportsNet acquires ACC Football and Basketball rights

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s leading source for multiplatform sports coverage, has acquired long-term television rights to live Atlantic Coast Conference football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse, as well as other conference events. Through the multi-sport agreement, Comcast SportsNet remains the region’s official sports network of the ACC and will televise up to 120 live conference events annually.

The comprehensive package begins this season and provides Comcast SportsNet with a weekly schedule of live ACC football for the first time since 2004 and significantly expands its lineup of other conference sporting events. The network, which obtained the rights as part of the new ACC Network sublicensed regional package, will deliver this programming exclusively to more than 4.7 million households throughout Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“Our longstanding relationship with the ACC, its member schools and their many fans throughout the region make our network an ideal partner for the conference and a great home for their exciting product,” said Comcast SportsNet Senior Vice President and General Manager Rebecca Schulte. “This partnership represents a considerable increase in our high-quality programming and confirms our position as the region’s leader in college sports coverage.”;

Comcast SportsNet will be the regional rights-holder for 14 ACC football games this season, beginning with James Madison at North Carolina on Sept. 3 at 3:30 p.m. Other match-ups scheduled to air on the network include NC State at Wake Forest on Sept. 10 at 3:30 p.m. and a doubleheader on Sept. 17 featuring Kansas at Georgia Tech (12:30 p.m.) and Arkansas State at Virginia Tech (4 p.m.) The remainder of the football schedule will be announced throughout the season.

Also highlighting the new package of ACC programming is up to 59 basketball games, including up to 31 men’s games – featuring 16 conference match-ups – and 28 women’s basketball games. In addition, Comcast SportsNet now has the rights for up to 20 conference baseball games, including ACC baseball tournament games, and a variety of soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, softball and field hockey. The network will also be home to ‘ACC All Access,’ a weekly half-hour program.

Comcast SportsNet also has established partnerships with the three ACC programs in the region, the University of Maryland, University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. These school partnerships will complement the network’s robust conference programming with special team and coaches’ shows, encore game presentations and marketing and branding elements. The network also has partnerships with other colleges throughout the region, including the University of Richmond, Towson University, Old Dominion, James Madison University and Virginia Commonwealth University.

The new ACC package adds to Comcast SportsNet’s already substantial live-game coverage of college athletics. As the official sports network of the Colonial Athletic Association, the network produces and airs a full schedule of conference football and basketball games and serves as the region’s exclusive provider of syndicated football, basketball and baseball games from the nation’s top conferences, including the Pac-12, Big 12 and Conference USA.

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official sports network of the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.7 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.

Comcast Sports Group, part of the NBC Sports Group, consists of 14 local networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and breaking news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s sports networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages NECN (New England Cable News), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Capitals Sign Forward Stanislav Galiev

Per the Washington Capitals Media Relations Department:

The Washington Capitals have signed forward Stanislav Galiev to a three-year entry-level contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The 6’1”, 188-pound forward spent the 2010-11 season with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) where he helped lead his team to the Memorial Cup championship. Galiev tallied a goal and two assists in four Memorial Cup games after helping Saint John win the QMJHL championship. He ranked fifth in the league in playoff points (27), third in assists (17) and tied for sixth in goals (10). During the regular season, Galiev set career highs in goals (37) and points (65) while adding 28 assists.

Galiev, 19, recorded 60 points (15 goals, 45 assists) in 67 games with Saint John during the 2009-10 season and led all rookies in assists while also being named to the QMJHL All-Rookie Team. He has compiled 125 points (52 goals, 73 assists) in 131 QMJHL games and is eligible to return to juniors next season.

Prior to his stint with Saint John, Galiev spent one season in the United States Hockey League (USHL) where he helped lead the Indiana Ice to the Clark Cup championship. He registered 64 points (29 goals, 35 assists) in 60 games while being named to the USHL All-Star Game as well as the league’s All-Rookie Team.

The native of Moscow, Russia, was drafted by the Capitals in the third round (86th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Maximum of 12 Capitals games to be broadcast exclusively across NBC and VERSUS

NBC, which will operate under a flexible schedule for seven of the network’s regular-season dates, has chosen five dates from the Washington schedule for potential national coverage, the network announced today as the NHL released its national broadcast schedules. VERSUS will broadcast at least 10 Washington Capitals games to a national television audience in 2011-12. Washington will have the maximum of 12 nationally exclusive games on NBC and VERSUS.

In addition to the broadcast schedule the Capitals announced five time changes from the original schedule: Nov. 1 vs. Anaheim (7:30 p.m.), Feb. 13 vs. San Jose (7:30 p.m.), Feb. 20 at Carolina (7:30 p.m.), March 4 vs. Philadelphia (7 p.m.) and April 2 at Tampa Bay (7 p.m.).

NBC will have the option to select from five Washington Capitals games via their NBC/VERSUS flex scheduling. VERSUS will broadcast at least 10 Capitals games, six exclusively and four non-exclusively. NHL Network will carry 15 Capitals contests, while 12 games will be televised nationally in Canada on CBC (seven games) and TSN (five games).

NBC has the option to select from the following flex schedule games: Jan. 22 at Pittsburgh, Feb. 12 at New York Rangers, March 18 at Chicago, March 25 vs. Minnesota and April 7 at New York Rangers. The games not selected by NBC will be broadcast on VERSUS on a non-exclusive basis.

VERSUS will feature the Capitals at least 10 times this season, six of which will be exclusive, nationally broadcast games. The network, which will be re-named “NBC Sports Network” on Jan. 2, will broadcast the following games exclusively: Dec. 28 vs. New York Rangers, Jan. 11 vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 31 at Tampa Bay, Feb. 5 vs. Boston, Feb. 13 vs. San Jose and March 4 vs. Philadelphia. The following dates are non-exclusive VERSUS broadcasts: Oct. 10 vs. Tampa Bay, Nov. 1 vs. Anaheim, Feb. 20 at Carolina and April 2 at Tampa Bay.

NHL Network will carry 15 Capitals contests this season: Oct. 13 at Pittsburgh, Oct. 20 at Philadelphia, Oct. 22 vs. Detroit, Nov. 11 at New Jersey, Nov. 12 vs. New Jersey, Nov. 25 vs. New York Rangers, Dec. 1 vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 13 vs. Tampa Bay, Feb. 18 at Tampa Bay, Feb. 25 at Toronto, March 8 vs. Tampa Bay, March 10 at Boston, March 22 at Philadelphia, March 29 at Boston and March 31 vs. Montreal.

In addition to the national broadcasts in the United States, 12 Capitals games will be televised nationally in Canada. CBC will televise seven Capitals games: Oct. 15 vs. Ottawa, Oct. 29 at Vancouver, Nov. 19 at Toronto, Dec. 3 vs. Ottawa, Feb. 4 at Montreal, Feb. 25 at Toronto and March 31 vs. Montreal. TSN will televise five Washington games: Oct. 27 at Edmonton, Dec. 7 at Ottawa, Jan. 18 at Montreal, Feb. 22 at Ottawa and Feb. 24 vs. Montreal.

Washington’s local broadcast schedule will be released in the near future.

Matt Hendricks, Capitals Fans to Take Part in

Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks, mascot Slapshot and more than 120 Capitals fans will volunteer their time on Saturday, Aug. 20, at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Washington, D.C., as part of the D.C. Public Schools’ (DCPS) annual Beautification Day. This is the third-straight year the Capitals have participated in the DCPS Beautification Day.

Hendricks and the rest of the volunteers will be undertaking a variety of projects to prepare Thurgood Marshall Elementary for the school year including painting murals, classrooms and exterior doors, putting together a robotics table for their robotics program, helping teachers organize classrooms, creating a garden, weeding and pruning and cleaning the amphitheater.

John Marshall, son of Thurgood Marshall, will also be in attendance to help out on Saturday. In addition, Marshall will come out to the school during the school year to talk to the students about his career and his father’s legacy. Marshall grew up a Caps fan and loved playing hockey in Washington, D.C., at Fort Dupont Ice Arena. His love for hockey continued as he attended college at Georgetown University where he played on the club-level team and continues to play recreationally today.

Wes Johnson, the Caps public address announcer, will emcee the event. Lunch will be donated by Front Page, Arlington along with gift cards for the volunteers.

Hendricks, 30, recently completed his first season with the Capitals. He ranked tied for third on the team with three game-winning goals and set career highs in games played (77), assists (16), points (25) and penalty minutes (110). Hendricks signed as a free agent on Sept. 27, 2010.



WHO: Washington Capitals forward Matt Hendricks, mascot Slapshot, public address announcer Wes Johnson, Thurgood Marshall’s son John Marshall and more than 120 Capitals fans

WHAT: Beautification projects as part of D.C. Public Schools’ annual Beautification Day

WHEN: Saturday, August 20
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

WHERE: Thurgood Marshall Elementary School
3100 Fort Lincoln Drive, NE
Washington, DC 20018
Parking is available in the parking lot behind the school located on Commodore Joshua Barney Drive.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Flyers Rookies to Host Capitals Rookies at Wells Fargo Center

Washington Capitals rookie camp will conclude on Thursday, Sept. 15, with a 5 p.m. game against rookies from the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the Capitals and Flyers rookies have met in a game. Philadelphia will broadcast streaming coverage of the game live, which will also be available at WashingtonCaps.com.

The Capitals will open rookie camp on Saturday, Sept. 10, with all on-ice workouts at Kettler Capitals Iceplex open to the public and free of charge. Select participants in rookie camp will be invited to join veteran players in training camp, which begins Friday, Sept. 16. Like rookie camp, all training camp on-ice workouts are open to the public. A complete schedule of practice sessions for both rookie camp and training camp will be announced at a later date.

Gartner, Bondra and Johansson Highlight Inaugural Caps Alumni Game

Per the Washington Capitals Media Relations Department:

The Washington Capitals will host the inaugural Capitals Alumni Game at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. The game will include several popular former Capitals players and will kick of the 2011 Capitals Convention weekend festivities.

The game will feature “Team Langway” facing off against “Team Laughlin.” Participating alumni are scheduled to include, Hall of Famer Mike Gartner, former All-Stars Peter Bondra, Don Beaupre and Dennis Maruk as well as former Caps Calle Johansson, Greg Adams, Alan May, Mark Lofthouse, Yvon Labre, Gord Lane, Jason Woolley, John Druce, Sylvain Cote, Paul Mulvey, Alan Hangsleben, Nelson Burton, Errol Rausse, Gary Rissling, and Ken Sabourin.

Recently retired NHL referee Bill McCreary will officiate the game. McCreary began his 25-year NHL officiating career on Nov. 3, 1984 at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland and picked the Verizon Center to referee his final NHL game on April 2, 2011.

Tickets are $10 with all proceeds benefiting Capitals Charities. You must be a Caps Convention ticket holder to purchase Capitals Alumni Game tickets. Tickets go on sale Aug. 24 at 10 a.m. and are limited and sold on a first-come, first-served basis. A convention ticket does not guarantee an alumni game ticket. To purchase tickets, please visit WashingtonCaps.com.

In addition, the alumni game will be the first opportunity to purchase Caps Convention merchandise. Attendees will also have a chance to pick up their autograph wristbands at the game.

The 2011 Capitals Convention, presented by GEICO, will take place the following day at the Washington Convention Center. The event has been a tremendous success in its first two years, attracting sold-out crowds of more than 6,500 to the day-long interactive and informational celebration of the Capitals, which features the entire roster of current players and a number of prominent alumni.

Upcoming Capitals Events

Tuesday, Sept. 20 Baltimore Hockey Classic at 1st Mariner Arena, Baltimore, Md.
Friday, Sept. 23 Inaugural Caps Alumni Game
Saturday, Sept. 24 2011 Capitals Convention presented by GEICO
Saturday, Oct. 8 Opening Night vs. the Carolina Hurricanes

Matt Hendricks to participate in charity golf tournament

The Ice Pack Hockey League is hosting the first fundraising event for Defending the Blue Line in Maryland on Monday, Aug. 22. The charity golf tournament is sponsored by FreeSecureShredding.com. All proceeds will benefit Defending the Blue Line.

Matt Hendricks of the Washington Capitals is one of the celebrities scheduled to play in the tournament. The tournament will start at 8 a.m. with a shotgun start at Needwood Golf Course located at 6724 Needwood Road, Rockville, MD. Open slots are still available. Those interested can register at www.DefendingTheBlueLine.org. Participants will also receive practice balls, lunch, and beverages on the course. There will also be raffles and contests in which an array of prizes will be given away.

Defending The Blue Line is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by a group of National Guard soldiers. The charity assists families of all branches of the military with costs associated with hockey. They provide financial assistance for registration fees, free equipment, summer hockey camps, and sending many deserving families down to NHL hockey games in several different markets.

Defending The Blue Line is excited for this opportunity to further help military families. Keeping the kids focused and active in hockey is a great way to help keep their minds off of a parent’s upcoming deployment.

The Ice Pack Hockey League is a private pick-up hockey league started in the spring of 2006. They currently host games among six teams on Tuesday & Thursday nights at the B & C level of adult hockey. They play their games at Cabin John Ice Rink.

FreeSecureShredding.com is green community service provided by Office Paper Systems targeting identity theft and environmental concerns. Free secure shredding is available Monday through Friday at 7650 Airpark Road in Gaitherspark, MD.

For more information or for interviews, please contact:
Bryan Reynolds
Community Relations
Defending The Blue Line
Bryan@DefendingTheBlueLine.com
763-226-6959

Steve Allen
sallan@rosenbergmedia.com
248-808-4132

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Should There Be Concern For Sidney Crosby?

Word got out on Monday afternoon that Pittsburgh Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby may not be ready for the start of the regular season. Crosby is apparently still suffering concussion-like symptoms almost eight months after suffering a concussion that forced him to miss the final 41 games of the regular season, and all of the Penguins seven game loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals.

Penguins General Manager Ray Shero has said they are not setting a time frame for Crosby's return, but do expect the former Hart Trophy winner to eventually return to full-time play.

Though there doesn't appear to be any serious concern on part of the Penguins organization on whether or not Crosby will ever play again, I can't help but wonder if that question needs to be asked?

Crosby suffered the injury in either against the Washington Capitals in the Winter Classic, or Jan. 5 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That was a little more then seven months ago and Crosby is still apparently dealing with headaches, though Shero said he is still able to do his full workout routine.

The Penguins are definitely taking the correct approach in not rushing Crosby back, but he began skating in April and four months later is still experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Crosby chose to return to Canada this offseason, but I can't help but wonder if it would've benefitted him more to stay in Pittsburgh where the teams' trainers and doctors could monitor his workouts everyday and evalute him afterwards.

When I think about this situation, I can't help but think about Eric Lindros. Lindros was well on his way to being one of the most dominant forwards to ever play in the NHL before suffering a series of concussions that ultimately derailed his career.

The information on concussions was not what it is now when Lindros was going through his troubles, and this is only Crosby's first concussion, but once a player suffers one he is always susceptible to another one.

Do I think Crosby's career is in danger? No. But, the fact that nearly eight months after suffering his first concussion he is still experiencing symptoms suggests to me that the injury is worse then the Penguins have led on.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Alex Ovechkin "Mean as a bear"

I read a post earlier this afternoon that Tarik El-Bashir posted on the Capitals Insider on washingtonpost.com. It had to do with an interview he conducted with Bruce Boudreau this past Sunday at Boudreau's 29th annual Golden Horseshoe Hockey School in St. Catharines, Ontario.

The post was about an apparent conversation Boudreau and Ovechkin had a Kettler Capitals Iceplex last month where Boudreau informed Ovechkin of his expectations of Ovie for the upcoming season. Needless to say, they are high, but not unrealistic, nor unreasonable.

Boudreau said he expects Ovechkin to come to training camp "as mean as a bear" after the worst statistical season of his NHL career. Ovechkin certainly has much to prove next season, but it isn't just on the stat sheet.

According to Boudreau, he told Ovechkin that he needs to take his role as team captain a step further and establishing a more serious tone in the dressing room the first day of training camp. Boudreau, according to the post, also told Tarik "we're not all 22-year-old guys anymore. He's the captain. I think he's a great captain on the ice because no one works as hard as him, and no one wants to win more than him."

Tarik also wrote that he felt Boudreau was trying to tell Ovechkin to also be more vocal and assertive in the locker room and less concerned about hurting feelings.

Boudreau is right in everything he said to Ovechkin and hopefully Ovie listened. I know there are those that will read this and say "it's about time" and that Ovechkin should have made this turn in his maturity sooner.

I don't totally disagree with those opinions because Sidney Crosby's maturity has been arguably his greatest virtue since coming into the league, and we've all seen how quickly the young guns for the Blackhawks matured.

But, there are plenty of 25-year old males in this world that aren't professional athletes that aren't mature. So, if it is now that Ovechkin has finally realized where he needs to grow up and improve himself it certainly hasn't come to late.

It sounds like he may have as Boudreau said Ovie plans on coming back from Russia earlier then he has in the past.

There are also some that are going to say Boudreau should've had these discussions with Ovechkin two, three years ago. For all we know, he very well may have, it may have just taken a few years and a several playoff disappointments for that message to sink in.

What I'm taking from Tarik's report is very positive. If Ovechkin has indeed turned the corner in his maturity, the sky is the limit for both he and the team. A more serious minded and mature Ovechkin is a scary thought.

Imagine what he will be able to do this season if he's in top shape at the start of camp in both his weight, stamina and no nagging injuries.

Even more so, if Ovechkin's teammates follow his lead and come into camp with a more serious attitude which I imagine they will with the additions of Troy Brouwer, Joel Ward, Jeff Halpern and Roman Hamerlik, this very well could be the year they turn the corner and win the Cup.

Of course, at the moment this is all speculation. But, if the picture Dan Steinberg posted of Ovechkin at a Russian youth hockey camp a few weeks ago are any indication of what he's going to do this season, all I can say is watch out.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Steve Kolbe Out as Capitals play-by-play voice

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.