Yesterday at the Draft Day party, the Washington Capitals introduced their new uniforms for 2007/2008. While the design was unfortunately leaked just days before the unveiling due to a computer hack, the new look was still well received by more than 2000 Caps fans that had gathered at the Kettler Ice Complex. The Capitals are returning to a more traditional look - a red, white and blue look. After all, what would you expect from a team based in the nation's capital?
The original Capitals uniform was red, white and blue. From the team's inception in 1974/75 until now, there have really only been two significant uniform changes - this one, and when the Caps dumped their original jerseys in 1995 in favor of the blue, black and bronze that Washington fans have seen for the last 12 years. Oh sure there were tweaks of those first two jerseys, but for the most part, they were just minor alterations, and marketing maneuvers.
The new jersey is a return to tradition. Apparently Capitals fans letting owner Ted Leonsis know that they wanted, nay, demanded a return to the red, white and blue look was worth the time and effort.
"The fans played a key role throughout this process, including enthusiastic response in focus groups," said Leonsis. He and president and co-owner Dick Patrick, worked closely with General Manager George McPhee and others to design the new jerseys with Reebok. “We have worked with some talented people at Reebok to create a fresh, new look that doesn’t lose sight of our past – from the original uniforms to the Capitol dome and eagle logos of the past 10 years,” Leonsis said.
All thirty NHL teams will also be using the new Rbk EDGE Uniform System. The EDGE Uniform System was introduced at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game, and 'provides improved performance and protection for the players.'
Washington had several current players and alumnae take to the ice on Friday at Kettler, to celebrate the new uniforms. Captain Chris Clark, Ben Clymer, Jeff Schultz, and Brian Pothier all donned the new jerseys, while Sylvain Cote, Mike Gartner, Yvon Labre, Rod Langway and Kelly Miller, all wore jerseys from their respective eras in Capitals history.
GM McPhee said that, “The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Our players – both current and former Caps – have embraced the new look, and I know our team will wear the new uniforms with pride.”
The new uniforms consist of red sweaters at home and white on the road; the name and numbers are white at home, and red on the road. The sharp new lettering and numbering really pop against the jersey, and make it very easy to identify players.
Brian Pothier (left) shows off the new away uniforms, captain Chris Clark (right) shows off the new home uniforms.