In a few weeks, the Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs will meet outdoors at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. March 3 brings the 2018 NHL Stadium Series. And as it happens, I've resurfaced to share news of the jerseys they'll be wearing for the big game!
And when I say "news," I mean, of course, information that has been out for some time but I've been too busy to write about. Yep, it bums me out too. But hey, I'm here now, right? Better late than never.
Let's start with the Caps. The host of the this season's only Stadium Series match-up revealed their uniform last month, way back on Jan. 17. First off, it's blue! The last time Washington wore a blue jersey was almost 18 years ago. So that'll be quite a sight.
It's got Adidas' trademark squared off shoulders and large blocks of color which has become common for outdoor game uniforms. This sweater also joins the Nickname Jersey Club — with "Caps" emblazoned across the chest — alongside the Bolts and Sens jerseys worn in Tampa and Ottawa a few years back.
There's an interesting perforated design inside the numbers on the back. Almost like a futuristic version of the retro stitching we've seen most notably on throwback Sabres jerseys. What it actually is is laid out in the press release:
As a historic tribute to team's hometown, the numbers are accentuated with a perforated pattern based on Pierre Enfant's original grid plan for the city of Washington D.C.
That's going deep.
On the other side of the ice will be a lot of white. Perhaps the whitest uniform in the history regular season NHL action. The Leafs will wear a white sweater with a white Leaf, white gloves, and most critically, white pants. Thick blue stripes break up some of the whiteness.
If the Capitals are informally representing the American military at Annapolis in their red, white and blue, the Leafs are giving a nod to Canada's military — specifically the Royal Canadian Navy. Its motto — "Ready, Aye, Ready" — can be found inside the collar. The Leafs' own motto — "Honour. Pride. Courage." — has relocated to the upper blue stripe on the left sleeve.
If you'd like to delve even deeper into the symbolism of the uniform, the team has set up a special page on their website. It's got interesting details which include:
Not only will the Maple Leafs wear white sweaters for the first time in an outdoor game, they will also wear white helmets, socks, gloves and pants. For the first time in club history we will wear the traditional home white badge on the white road sweater.
And there it is. The last of the new sweaters for the 2017-18 season.
Looking forward to the summer when we should expect a new series of third jerseys across the NHL! (Though, hopefully I get back to regular blog updates long before then.)