The Caps unveiled their uniforms for the NHL New Years Day Winter Classic today at the Caps Convention at the DC Convention Center. In keeping with the theme of embracing the past even as they push for greater glory, the Capitals’ Winter Classic jersey hearkens back to the original red, white and blue away jersey with the six stars above the original logo, with red and blue horizontal bands at the waist. In a nod to the elder statesmen, former captains Yvon Labre and Rod Langway took the stage ahead of current captain Alex Ovechkin in modeling the Winter Classic jersey.
Indeed, the past was present today, and the several thousand season ticket holders and red-clad fans showed their appreciation. At least 16 former players, including fan favorites Mike Gartner, Peter Bondra and Olie Kolzig were in the house, bringing together 35 years of hockey history. Addressing a large audience of Caps fans, Ted Leonsis said he is looking for generational excellence out of the current team. The team’s new slogan “Building America’s Hockey Capital” and Leonsis’s focus on bringing the Stanley Cup to Washington shows an ambition beyond selling out the Verizon Center every night. Let the games begin!
Here is some more good news for the future: Leonsis mentioned that with Monumental Sports now owning the Verizon Center the ice surface (and the ambient air) will be kept colder, addressing the perennial player complaint of soft ice. So put on your sweaters and get ready for fast ice at the home opener next Saturday night.