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Fuzzy leaks precede Caps' Winter Classic jersey unveiling

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Fuzzy leaks precede Caps' Winter Classic jersey unveiling

In a matter of hours, the Washington Capitals will unveil their uniforms for the 2015 NHL Winter Classic. But we have a preview of a some branding elements already.

First, the Capitals are celebrating their 40th anniversary this season and will wear a patch on their uniforms to mark the occasion. You can see a couple of photos that showcase it on the right.

The logo was first unveiled two weeks ago. It's already being worn on jerseys during preseason games in the last several days.

Then this morning, in a Facebook post reminding us of tomorrow's event, the Capitals gave us our first official look at the text treatment for the 2015 Winter Classic branding.

Notice how they've worked in the stars above the word "Classic" calling back to the Caps' original logo and uniform designs.

It's pretty much par for the course on Winter Classic wordmarks. I'm more interested in seeing the full logo, which I presume we'll get tomorrow during the ballpark press conference.

But the most intriguing details came this morning by way of leaked photos on the blog RMNB (Russian Machine Never Breaks).

The photos appear to show Nationals Park — the site of Tuesday's unveiling and the Jan. 1, 2015 game — decked out in Winter Classic branding, including the special Blackhawks and Capitals logos.

They're blurry cell phone images, yes, but they seem to show a Capitals logo unlike anything we've ever seen before — which is becoming more commonplace for the Winter Classic in recent years.

They used to simply dig into a team's history for a classic jersey and logo. But we've seen the Red Wings and Flyers among others come out with completely new designs for the outdoor game.

So what sort of Capitals logo are we looking at here? We won't have to wait much longer. The Capitals will reveal all on Tuesday at noon ET.

Drop by Icethetics for full coverage.

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Flyers adopt 2012 Winter Classic jersey as new third

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Flyers adopt 2012 Winter Classic jersey as new third

The rumors started by reporter Dave Isaac a month ago are true! The Philadelphia Flyers announced today they're bringing back their 2012 Winter Classic jersey as a new alternate uniform this season.

Flyers 2012 Winter Classic jersey

This afternoon's reveal couldn't have been better timed, by the way. I just got through writing up a blog post this morning discussing some recent rumors. 

A photo recently surfaced showing Mark Streit wearing this jersey. But it was taken last year and therefore not directly related to this year's announcement. Just a timely coincidence.

Going back to Aug. 26, Dave Isaac, Courier-Post, mentioned seeing the players practicing in Winter Classic gear. That's where the real story began. And it turns out he was right on.

The Flyers also released their third jersey schedule. It's comprised of 12 games, including two on the road. The jersey's first indoor appearance will take place on Sat., Oct. 11.

The full schedule can be found in the new Icethetics jersey Calendar.

What do you think? Are you happy they went with this design? Or were you hoping for something new?

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Behind the rumor: Is this the new Flyers third jersey?

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Behind the rumor: Is this the new Flyers third jersey?

Flyers 2012 Winter Classic jersey

Nothing propagates a bad rumor quite like the absence of any real information.

With the Penguins' third jersey unveiling now behind us, we turn to the other Pennsylvania club. The Philadelphia Flyers also have a new alternate on the way, but they've been extremely tight-lipped about it this summer. We don't even have an unveiling date at this point.

The first "official" mention of the jersey came Monday in a line at the end of a press release about game promotions:

The team will also wear a third jersey for select home games to be announced.

This lack of facts keeps the rumor mill churning. Part of what I do here at Icethetics is attempt to draw a line between the believable and the baseless when we have little to go on. And there's a big leap being made in the latest rumor.

Trouble is, this particular rumor is not a hard one to believe. The Flyers have a history of being very conservative with their branding, so it makes sense they might look to their recent history — the 2012 NHL Winter Classic — for their next sweater design.

In the last week or so, this photo of Mark Streit has been making its way around the web alongside assertions that it's a leak of the Flyers' new third. Let me say it is not a leak.

That said, Streit became a Flyer last summer and wasn't with the team for the 2012 Winter Classic. So why would he be wearing the jersey unless it was new?

Let's start with the origin of the photo. It did not come from the Flyers. And it is not new. It's the product of EQ Images from a series of photographs published in June 2013.

So what is EQ Images? From their "About Us" brief:

EQ Images was founded in 2002 as a pure sports picture agency. Since 2008, we also report on politics, economy, culture and society. We supply Swiss newspapers, magazines, electronic media, agencies, clubs, and Armed with our photos.

Naturally, Swiss media might be interested in updated photos of a Swiss NHL star joining a new team. So EQ arranged a shoot distributed the photos to their media partners.

A quick search of their website turns up the 14 photos above, all dated June 20, 2013, which alternate between the Winter Classic sweater in question and the Flyers' current road jersey — originally the 2010 Winter Classic design, in fact.

So why put Streit in a jersey he'd never wear in a game? 

Fair point there. But I have no reason to believe the Flyers ever even contemplated a new third jersey last year. (I do tend to hear about these things.) Still, just because I didn't hear about it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

But that's the big leap in logic I was talking about. Maybe the Flyers were thinking about it, but there's no foundation for such a notion. Not even an inkling of a rumor like that last summer. So that's where I have trouble.

Obviously a middle ground exists between "100% confirmations" and baseless rumors. (That's what "possible rumors" actually means.) If a rumor has a basis in reality, I'm all ears. If it just now came out of your brain, I may or may not be all that interested. Nothing personal, I just hear it a lot.

But let's say the Flyers were considering a third based on the Winter Classic jersey last summer. Why would they tell only EQ Images and no one else? Not even Reebok.

That still leaves us at the original question, wondering why Streit would be wearing that jersey in the first place. The photographer was Peter Eggimann. Perhaps he would know best. Maybe someone could track him down and ask. There could be any number of reasons. For now, it's a mystery.

THE VERDICT
Will the Flyers bring back their 2012 Winter Classic jersey as a third this season? It's very possible. Is this photo of Mark Streit proof of that? Absolutely not. They are unrelated.

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Penguins unveil long-awaited throwback third jersey

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Penguins unveil long-awaited throwback third jersey

How long have Pens fans been begging for a return to that classic shade of yellow from the team's early years? Today, they got their wish.

The Pittsburgh Penguins officially unveiled their new black third jersey for the 2014-15 season this morning at 9:19 AM — on 9/19.

The jersey was revealed in a video posted online by the Penguins. You can watch it here:

The design is a direct callback to the black sweaters worn by the team from 1986 to 1992 — made famous by Mario Lemieux and Co. with back-to-back Stanley Cups. Coincidence?

The new sweater will be worn 12 times this season beginning Oct. 22 against the Flyers. The full schedule can be found in the Icethetics Calendar.

t's a gorgeous design and stands out in a way that Vegas gold never could. I was expecting a yellow jersey, but perhaps this is for the best. I sure wouldn't want to see the league overrun with that color.

Plus, it seems black jerseys are trying to make a comeback. We'll see a new one from the Tampa Bay Lightning next Saturday. And what about the Flyers?

Anyway, from here, I could see the Pens adding a white version and returning to this look full time. If that happens, would you complain?

What do you think of the Pens' new third?

Splash image from Penguins website

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Lightning share another third jersey teaser photo

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Lightning share another third jersey teaser photo

A week after the first teaser photo and 10 days from the unveiling, the Tampa Bay Lightning have revealed another sneak peek of the new third jersey.

Today's photo, similarly framed to the first, gives us a look at Stamkos from the left. It appears the shoulder patch from the primary uniforms will carry over. But because the photo is not in color, it's tough to tell whether the patch will be blue or black.

It's also tough to tell much else from either photo. But the countdown is on now to Sat., Sept. 27 when the Bolts will officially reveal the jersey at Fan Fest.

Speaking of Fan Fest, I have big news! I'm going!

I'm off to Tampa next weekend where I plan to live tweet the big jersey reveal. I'm also working to get an interview with someone from the team who was involved in the design process.

That'll be an exciting weekend for sure, but don't forget we have two big jersey unveilings taking place before then.

This Friday, we'll finally get to see the Penguins' new alternate uniform. And next Tuesday, the Capitals will show off their new Winter Classic threads.

Keep an eye on Icethetics. Things are heating up!

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