A Tribute to Craig Laughlin

Posted March 18, 2016

(M Richter/Caps Outsider)

Today, Comcast SportsNet is honoring longtime Caps TV color analyst Craig Laughlin for 25 years of broadcasting, and Caps Outsider wants in on this roast toast to D.C.’s most colorful television sports analyst. Whether the Caps are going through a slump or on top of the standings, Laughlin is one person Caps fans can count on for clever analysis, one-of-a-kind catch-phrases (Lockerisms) and uplifting commentary.

[Photos: Craig Laughlin’s Party!]

While Laughlin spends his season alongside Joe Beninati in the broadcast booth, much of his summer is consumed by coaching his Network Hockey development camp in Laurel. This is where Caps Outsider got to know him as he’s welcomed us with open arms to cover his antics there. That has helped us produce hard-hitting bloggy things such as this:

Put mustard on that pass!

“Put mustard on that pass!”

HAHAHAHA. See more of this oh-so-clever fun we had at his expense.

Laughlin’s camp isn’t just about hockey, though, as we reported when he first moved his program to the Gardens Ice House:

While most hockey camps and programs offer the chance for on-ice improvement, Network Hockey is focused on the journey to becoming a better person. Mottos such as “Developing lives: body, mind, and soul” and “Get better, get worse, or stay the same” speak to the program’s purpose as it is combined with a familial atmosphere to allow the players to mature within the system, extending even beyond the summertime.

There are no Joe. B and Locker bobbleheads, but there should be.

Each of the past three summers, Laughlin hosted a coaches-vs-students game. While the coach’s record is technically 3-0, the second win was Laughlined, as the student’s 15-9 score was wiped off the board in favor of a next-goal-wins mulligan.

“If you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin,” said daughter Courtney, repeating a life lesson passed on from dad.

Drafted my Montreal, Laughlin played one season there before being traded with Rod Langway on Sept. 9, 1982 to Washington, where he spent six seasons and found a home for his family. He played in D.C. from 1982-83 to 1987-88, appearing in 428 games (plus playoffs), scoring 110 goals and adding 173 assists. Laughlin holds one Capitals record: In 1985-86, his Caps-high shooting percentage was 26.3%, where he scored 30 goals on 114 shots.

38120f0d-31fd-4685-b2e3-770e8191c678After Washington, Laughlin had stints with the Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, and a team in Landshut, Germany. Laughlin played in 549 NHL games, recording 136 goals and 205 assists. In college, he played for Clarkson University, and now he’s one of four Golden Knights to have his jersey retired.

After retiring as a player, Laughlin took the TV job and has covered more than 1,500 games since. He’s sat alongside play-by-play announcers Jeff RimerKenny AlbertAl Koken, and Beninati, who he joined in the 1996-97 season.

From DC Sports Bog: Craig Laughlin got in the broadcast booth a lifetime ago. Here’s why he never left.

We here at Caps Outsider wish Laughlin a humongous congratulations on his 25 years in the broadcast booth, and we’re looking forward to many, many more.

Caps Outsider’s Laughlin Photo Gallery