The Capitals debuted their new uniforms on Friday evening at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The excitement was muted though, because Caps Nut totally ruined it by posting the sweater last Tuesday.
Anyhow, my initial reaction to the new uniform system was disappointment. I had hoped that the new design would have a big, less busy capitol dome logo than the team wore at home for the last several years. As I saw more and more of the uniform I began to come around a bit to the point that I kind of like it. For one thing, being red white and blue is a big improvement over the black, bronze, blue palette that they had been using since the last years of the Capital Centre.
A view of the Capitals sweaters in better light (washingtoncaps.com)
Here are the things that I am not crazy about:
The new logo is really a script. One of the cool things about hockey uniforms is that good ones; Bruins, Canadians, Maple Leafs, Flyers and Devils all have great logos that instantly recognizable.
I can’t help but think the marketing folks who designed it thought along the lines of “hey, remember that old Capitals sweater from the 70s that looks really dated? How about we do something similar only make the logo look even more 70s?” It looks like a throwback basketball team logo.
My co-worker Fred, a Buffaslugs fan no less, noted that the script has no capital letters. Yes, the team is the Capitals, but the letters are lower-case. They could have capitalized the “C” and still gotten the basic point across.
Too much trapped white/red space below the script. This is why having a logo makes a lot of sense, especially with a new, stripe free design.
Where are the stars? Capitals uniforms always had lots of stars, one way or another. The sleeves should be covered in stars. Or at the bottom to take care of that trapped white/red space. They should be on the pants too.
I’m not sure about the shoulder patch logo. While it is clever to combine and three elements — an eagle, the Capitol dome, and a W, I am undecided about the execution. I have a feeling a few years from now when it is the logo of the third jersey, we’ll have a better idea.
Despite my reservations about the new design, I prefer it over the previous version. Besides, from where I sit (400 level) I can’t see the logo anyway.
The numbers and nameplates are legible
Its not a Buffaslug-esque design.
Red, white and blue — the Caps should have never abandoned these colors. That in and of itself makes it a superior uniform to the last design. They look like the Capitals again.