Walton Is New Caps' Radio VoicePosted on January 14, 2013 by Mike Vogel
Just as the lockout that killed the 2004-05 NHL season was coming to an end in midsummer of 2005, I was in Hershey where the Caps were conducting their annual summer development camp. The Caps and Bears had just rekindled their affiliation together a couple months previously, and I was getting acquainted with the area and the Bears’ organization. No one person was more helpful to me during that period of time than John Walton, the radio play-by-play voice of the Bears. Since then, John and I have worked together and spent a good deal of time together on the road in various North American ports of call. He is and has always been a true professional, a great voice with a tireless work ethic who is adaptable and versatile and capable of wearing many hats well. Today, I welcome John as a co-worker with the Washington Capitals and on Caps365. John has been named to the newly created position of director of radio broadcasting. In addition to becoming just the third radio play-by-play voice in Capitals franchise history, John will also be a regularly featured presence on washingtoncaps.com and Caps365. Over the course of nearly a decade behind the microphone in Hershey, John also displayed his strong voice in written form on the Web and in social media and helped grow the Bears’ radio network. With the Caps, Walton will serve as the team’s radio voice, will also be seen on Caps365 and will contribute written content to washingtoncaps.com. For John, today’s news is a dream come true after many years of hard work and a lot of long bus rides. He’s going to The Show. I am very much looking forward to working alongside my good friend for years to come. I’ve got one quick story that came to mind with the news of John’s appointment here in D.C. The Capitals spent a short portion of their 2005 training camp in Hershey as well. One night after a preseason game, the entire team and its staff went out – via a few small shuttle buses – to Shakey’s for a few sodas. Alex Ovechkin opted to go back to the hotel early, before the shuttle buses were ready to deliver players back to their beds. John, Nate Ewell and I were headed back that way, too, so we offered Ovi a ride. By way of introduction, Nate said, “Ovi, this is John Walton. You’re never going to see him again.” That wasn’t meant at all as a slight to John. Nate knew that there was no way Ovi was ever going to be playing in Hershey, and that was the basis of his comment. But starting next month, Ovi and John are going to be seeing a lot of one another.
As you’ve likely heard by now, The Hockey News preview issue has anointed the Washington Capitals as the 2012 Stanley Cup champions. As we all know by now, it will take 82 regular season games and two months worth of pluck, luck, sweat, toil and sheer will to make that prediction become a reality.