With the NHL season suspended indefinitely, there are no sports at the present. As such, the men and women who cover the Capitals have been forced to look both to the past and the future.
On the most recent episode of Capitals Talk, Rob Carlin spoke with the gameday broadcast team, including Joe Beninati, Craig Laughlin and Al Koken. They spent most of the hour discussing their favorite memories from covering the team, telling fun behind-the-scenes stories in the process.
One of the things they all agreed they missed most during the suspended season, however, was something from off the ice.
"We work with so many great people that also make the job fun," Al Koken said. "In this business, there are so many people that you would just love to shove off the side of a cliff. But I can’t name anybody that I would put in that category who’s worked on our game broadcasts."
The sentiment was quickly echoed by Beninati, the play-by-play voice of the Capitals.
"The men and women behind the camera are phenomenal," he said. "We work at a regional network, but so many of the people in our crew are national talents...We’ve been blessed to work with them for a long, long time."
Laughlin, who provides color commentary, agreed with the other. He also pointed out just how unique, and thrilling, covering hockey is.
"Obviously we’re the luckiest guys in our field," he added. "Because hockey is dynamic. It’s not a game or a job where you’re doing the same thing day in and day out. Every game is different, every game is exciting. I still pinch myself from my first game to now that it’s been this long, because it goes by in a hurry."
Of course, when reminiscing, the question quickly turns to how soon any sense of normalcy will return? Carlin gaged from the crew how likely it is we see the NHL season resume this summer.
"I’m hopeful that they can finish off the season," Laughlin answered. "It will be, I would think, sometime in July, but it will definitely be without fans. That’s the only disappointment I have...but I think the NHL for a lot of different reasons is going to go right down to the wire, try to get the season in, and try to have someone hoist the Stanley Cup."
He wasn't the only one who expects a season, in some form or fashion. Though Beninati was a little less sure.
"I think we’re going to try, I just don’t know how feasible it’s going to be to keep everybody quarantined and everybody safe," he added. "I know the league wants all of us to have hope, and that’s a good thing. I don’t think they’re toying with our emotions. At the same time, it’s been a moving target. You know the best minds in our sport are trying to figure it out, and let’s just hope the people in the medical profession can help us get through."
He continued, with a sentiment no Caps fan will disagree with.
"This season deserves to get finished," he said. "And I’d love to see where Washington ended."
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