Longtime Capitals’ Reporter Al Koken To Be Inducted Into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Silver Circle

Photo: @MonSportsNet/X

Of all the people covering Washington Capitals hockey, no one may be more familiar with the club than longtime reporter and analyst “Smokin” Al Koken. A staple in the coverage of the District’s NHL club, Koken has been announced as a 2023 inductee of an exclusive club in the field of televisiod.

It was announced on Wednesday that Koken, an analyst for Monumental Sports Network (formerly NBC Sports Washington, Comcast Sportsnet, and Home Team Sports) for over three decades, will be among the 2023 inductees to the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Capital Chesapeake Bay chapter’s (more commonly-known as Capital Emmys) Silver Circle, which, per the NATAS website:

“…is an honor society within our chapter for members who have spent 25+ years working in pursuit of our profession’s highest and most noble goals.”

Koken, who has covered the team for Monumental Sports Network (then-HTS) since 1983, is the longest-tenured on-air personality for Monumental Sports Network. He served as an analyst from his first season (1984-85) to 1989-90, a play-by-play announcer in 1995-96, and an in-studio host and on-ice reporter throughout his 34-year career covering the Capitals. In that time, he has become synonymous with the culture of the team.

Smokin’ Al Koken: A Look At Al Koken’s Illustrious Broadcasting Career With the Capitals

As lifelong Capitals fan Ron Bove II (who attended games in the Caps’ inaugural season of 1974-75) of North Carolina recalls, “I just remember watching the Capitals’ games on TV and suddenly, ‘Smokin’ Al Koken was interviewing players and coaches. He is someone who is passionate and excited in what he does and it carries over to the fans.”

The inductees will be honored on October 7, 2023 at The Renaissance in Richmond, Virginia.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. Michael joined the NoVa Caps team in 2015, and is most proud of the growth of the NoVa Caps community in that time. An avid photographer, Michael resides in VA.
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6 Responses to Longtime Capitals’ Reporter Al Koken To Be Inducted Into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Silver Circle

  1. Anonymous says:

    Prevent Defense:
    Michael F thanks for this article!
    HTS was a magnificent new innovation for our lives as Caps fans
    Previous local coverage of the Caps (Channels 9 and 20 among others) was always spotty at best. HTS brought most of the home-ice schedule back to the fans, especially in the early 1990s. It also proved that the Caps would “draw” at the box office no matter what the TV coverage. Koken was a “Plank owner” of the original HTS and was always energetic, well-studied, and positive. Smokin’ Al, Joe Beninati and Frank Herzog were the Class of the DC play-by-play sports scene for decades

  2. Anonymous says:

    Nobody knows more about the Washington Capitals than Al. Nobody. Well deserved, sir.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Smokin’ Al is the true GOAT

  4. Anonymous says:

    What took so long?!

  5. horn73 says:

    Each comment above me is dead on. Also, talk about a loyal guy that just stuck things out thru many “company changes” in which he could have (and probably wanted to) left as he’d seemingly get overlooked only to always kind of stick around.

    So excited for him!!

  6. novafyre says:

    When the Lightning created their Hall of Fame last year, one of the big attractions was that through this they could honor people other than players who had made the team what it is today, people who aren’t going to have a number retired and lifted to the rafters. A selection committee came up with a slate but fans voted.

    I think that the Caps should follow suit. A number of people I would vote for are already gone. The Caps need to do it now while they can see us honor them and not just their kids.

    Thank you for going back to the old site.

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