Photo: Neil Greenberg
The Washington Capitals announced Wednesday that they will unveil their new Winter Classic jerseys at the finally-agreed-upon-venue, Nats Park, on September 23rd.
“The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® has made New Year’s Day a highlight of the season for NHL fans everywhere,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said according to the Capitals’ press release. “Nationals Park provides an ideal setting for all the excitement, entertainment and fun as the Blackhawks and Capitals bring our outdoor tradition to historic Washington, D.C.”
“We are thrilled the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park as we welcome the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans to our nation’s capital,” Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said. “We are delighted the D.C. area and our great fan base will have an opportunity to experience the Winter Classic, and we know that Nationals Park will provide an incredible backdrop for the game.”
Commissioner Bettman, Caps owner Ted Leonsis, general manager Brian MacLellan, captain Alex Ovechkin, center Nicklas Backstrom, and goaltender Braden Holtby are all scheduled to attend the event.
Still without a venue to announce, there hasn’t been much affirmative news about the 2014 Winter Classic lately, which is kind of a bummer. But this morning, I was innocently surfing the internet when I happened upon — and this is a blatant lie — the Caps’ Winter Classic jerseys for this year.
It must be. It has to be.
Instead of sporting vintage red, white, and blue, the Capitals have clearly chosen to embrace the colors of the team’s former home state– including the logo of that state’s favorite baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles.
Bold. And appropriate. This jersey is the fashion equivalent of 20 games above .500.
Now imagine the Caps skating around an outdoor rink at Camden Yards, the most beautiful baseball stadium in this area (according to one Nats reporter), with a sprinkling of snow on the field. Despite Ted’s insistence that “the “Caps will play on New Year’s Day here in DC against the Chicago Blackhawks,” OPACY still feels like a mortal lock, right?
The Caps and Pens face-off in the 2011 Winter Classic. (Photo credit: Brian Babineau)
For the past few days we’ve waited with bated breath to find out what, exactly, Uncle Ted would reveal on Saturday morning at Caps Con. An outdoor game? A new retired number? Moving the team to Baltimore? Well, Friday morning news broke (via The Washington Post’s Katie Carrera) that the Washington Capitals will be hosting next year’s Winter Classic.
The Caps have been promised an outdoor game for the past few years, so this isn’t surprising. Still, it’s exciting that a big outdoor event — and there are too many of those to count these days — will finally be coming to DC, likely to Nationals Park. Ted should fill in the gaps for us on Saturday.
So, what do Caps fans think of being on hockey’s center stage?
“About damn time!” Beth Dunn exclaimed when I asked her about the news. “It was the worst kept secret ever.”
The Washington Capitals are set to announce that they’ll be hosting the 2015 Winter Classic at Caps Con on Saturday. That’s all we know so far. We don’t know where it’ll be or against whom they’ll play or if HBO’s cameras will completely ruin the team again.
Personally, I’m most keen to figure out who will be at the other end of the ice on that inevitably-balmy January afternoon.
Who will the Capitals play at the 2015 Winter Classic?
Late on Monday, the NHL released a pretty sweet time lapse video of the Winter Classic ice rink being built at Citizens Bank Park and concludes with 46,967 people filing out of the stands at the end of yesterday’s game, a thrilling 3-2 Rangers’ victory. Now just imagine this in 2014— maybe at FedEx Field or Nationals Park (or even Camden Yards!).
Editor’s note: To get you properly revved up for the season, each member of the RMNB crew will take a longing look back at some of our favorite goals from days gone by. You can call it nostalgia or cheap summer content, but it’s really a reminder: WINTER IS COMING.
I wasn’t always a huge hockey fan. My family were Hartford Whalers season-ticket holders, and they took me to an event down at the old Civic Center when I was 4. I would have gone skating but the goal siren frightened me away. I refused to skate and spent the rest of the night sitting on the bench with my hands on my ears. When I finally saw a game at age 12, I was an instant convert.
So: January 1st, 2011. The Winter Classic. Maybe the biggest game of the regular season and my first away from Home Sweet Verizon Center and in Pittsburgh, home of our nemeses. I wanted the win badly.
After Caps practice concluded today, players and team members were treated to a free skate in which they could bring their friends and family onto the ice. The one person who seemed to have the most fun was none other than Alex Ovechkin, who celebrated the Russian New Year on the Winter Classic ice at 4pm.
Ovi began the free skate by pulling his non-hockey-playing brother Mikhail along with a stick. Next, he set his sights for Alex Semin’s young niece and gave her a trek across the ice on top of his shoulders. After noticing a few kids throwing a football around, Ovechkin got into the action and threw the ball to the kids the entire length of the ice. Several times the bouncing football almost hit one of the NHL Network’s reporters on live TV. Finally, Ovechkin concluded his skate by giving George McPhee’s son, Graham, a wedgie we’re sure he’ll remember for life.
Since we figured you’d want to actually see all of this, the photos and video are below the jump. Enjoy.
Your new desktop background: The entire Caps’ roster smiles for the camera ahead of the Winter Classic. Click to enlarge. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
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