George Matthews, the rapid-fire radio voice of the Blue Jackets since their birth in 2000, is stepping down from full-time play-by-play duties, citing a strong pull to return home to Prince Edward Island. "I feel great, and the broadcasts we did this year were as good as any we've done energy-wise," Matthews said. "I feel 50 years old, but the real number is 60. Believe me, nobody enjoys doing this job more than I do. Maybe a lot of people enjoy it as much as I do, but nobody loves it more. "I'll miss it. I'll miss the city, the fans, the players. I've enjoyed every minute of it." Matthews will continue with the Blue Jackets, he said, doing 10-12 broadcasts per season. He may also help the club with community outreach. Back home, he hopes to broadcast Charlottetown Islanders games in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. "I met with (Blue Jackets' VP of business) Larry Hoepfner three or four years ago, and we talked about the goals I had," Matthews said. "I told him at the time that I wanted to 1,000 NHL broadcasts, that it was a goal of mine and something I'd be very proud of. "Let me be really honest here: When I first was hired in Columbus by Doug MacLean, I didn't have any idea it was going to be 13 years or whatever it's been. I never thought I'd be here this long. But I got attached to the city and the fans, and I just couldn't leave. But I got my 1,000 games. And, as I've said, it's time for me to make a change here. This is for the best."
Matthews Stepping Down As Blue Jackets' Radio Voice
Columbus Dispatch | May 29