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The Noon Number: Hold it Here!

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A look at a long and storied career for a DC hockey institution

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25 - Number of seasons spent in the broadcast booth for Caps games for Craig Laughlin, the anniversary of which will be celebrated during tonight's game. Locker has been a fixture on the air since taking the gig in the summer of 1990, and has established himself as a fun-loving voice with a ton of hockey knowledge.

Here's the venerable Dan Steinberg on Locker:

When he was traded here with Langway and others in 1982 - "the Locker trade," as Patrick jokingly calls it - he asked the defenseman "where the heck are we going?" But in the next few years, after the Caps lost in the playoffs, the players would all party for one day (or three), and then just about everybody would leave town. Laughlin never did.

Before we got to Verizon Center on Tuesday night, I asked Laughlin why he was so excited about yet another night of this: the pregame meetings, the promotional reads, the on-air digs, the jokes with the visiting broadcasters, his voice caroming around the press box, all these things that had happened hundreds of times before. Who gets that happy about going to work?

"Why am I excited? I love the game," Laughlin said. "I just like the environment. I love the guys I work with. We laugh all the time. Laughing's part of life, man. You've got to have fun."

Many congrats, Locker - and here's to 25 more years!