Winter Classic Logos Unveiled!

At a press conference this afternoon, the NHL unveiled the logo for the 2011 Winter Classic along with the retro logos to be used by the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.

The outdoor game will take place on New Year's Day at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The logos were revealed on giant digital screens at the football stadium, which is normally home to the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers.

Unlike past Winter Classic logos, which have typically used a neutral color palette, the 2011 mark seems to feature only the colors likely to be found on the Penguins' Winter Classic throwback uniforms. To be fair, though, these are the colors most associated with the city of Pittsburgh itself.

And based on the news conference, it seems everyone in Pittsburgh is very excited to be playing in the NHL's most publicized regular season game for the second time since 2008 — though this is Crosby & Co.'s first time hosting.

A staple of the Winter Classic since its inception has been retro logos and uniforms. Every team involved has looked into its past for something special to wear. This year will be no exception.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will call back to their inaugural season, 1967-68 — for the logo at least. The uniforms won't be revealed for either team until the fall. The mark features the original skating penguin wearing a scarf, all set on a "vintage" white.

The use of this logo suggests the Penguins will also wear their inaugural uniforms, which were light blue with PITTSBURGH in diagonal text across the front. Again, we'll have to wait for the fall, but this is probably a fair assumption.

The Washington Capitals will also look back to their inaugural season, 1974-75. The logo is the original script mark used from the team's inception until 1996. The Caps' current logo, in use since 2007, is call back to this mark.

With the expection of the first Winter Classic in 2008, the host team typically wears the dark uniforms, with the visitors in white — as is standard in the regular season these days. That means the Capitals will likely wear their original white sweaters.

Of course talk about Winter Classic uniforms is speculative and premature, it's easy to make educated guesses based on history. I'd really be surprised if we get anything different — though I was definitely surprised by the Bruins last year!

The Capitals will officially unveil their Winter Classic uniforms on Oct. 2 at the Capitals Convention. The Penguins have said theirs will also be unveiled some time in the fall — no specific date just yet. You can read more about today's event at