Washington Capitals Team Jersey History
Washington was awarded an N.H.L. expansion franchise for the 1974-75 season. The team name, Capitals, comes from its location, Washington D.C. being America’s capital city. The Capitals would further build on its American patriotism with red, white and blue becoming the team colours.
The light jersey used white as the primary colour. The wrists had blue and red stripes. The lower torso was striped from top to bottom, with red, white then blue. Along the top of the sleeve the player number was featured along with five alternating red and blue stars. Six alternating stars, three red and three blue, also make an appearance on the front of the jersey above the front patch. The front patch is a script logo. The logo in small red upper case letters says “WASHINGTON” above the word “capitals” in blue (which is in all lower case). A red hockey stick replaces the letter “T” in capitals and there is also a blue puck at the blade of the stick.
Player name and numbers were blue, with the numbers having a red outline.
The dark jersey had the same layout but had to use different colours since red became the primary colour. The other changes made are: • The stripes on the sleeve were white then blue.
• The stripes on the lower torso were blue, white, and red from top to bottom.
• The stars on the chest and sleeves were changed to alternating blue and white.
• The front patch lettering is blue and white.
• Player numbers are white with blue outline. (the dark jersey didn’t have player names on the back until 1977)
The jersey made only minor changes over the next 20 years.
• In 1979, the player name was changed to single colour until 87, when the outline returned.
• In 1980, the word “Washington” on the front patch was made smaller. The stars on the sleeves and chest were made larger.
• In 1983, the number of stars on sleeve were reduced to four, but then brought back in up to five in 1985.
• In 1985, the stars on the chest were shifted, bringing them closer together and more centered.
In 1995, the team introduced completely new jerseys and colour scheme. The team’s new colour scheme was dark blue, bronze, black, and white. The new layout for the jersey feature a four band stripe (Blue, bronze, black, then bronze) that form on the middle torso in a check mark shape. The same striping pattern also appears on the sleeves on an angle around the elbow. On the light jersey, below the striping patterns, there are blue panels. On both jerseys the script “CAPITALS” appeared in the larger, black section of torso stripe (this script would be removed in 1997 from the light jersey but would remain on the dark jersey).
On the dark jersey, which was completely blue, the striping pattern dropped the blue stripe and added white stripes on the top and bottom
The most significant change was the new logos. The primary logo became a side view of a diving bald eagle. The logo features five stars in the wing as well as a claw down ready to attack. The logo is uses the three team colours as well as adding a small red detail; the outline colour varied depending if was used on the home or away jersey. The secondary, shoulder logo became a highly detailed image of the United States Capitol building. The logo also featured two crossing hockey sticks; a star on either side of the Capitol dome; a hockey puck at the bottom between the blades of the sticks; and script in front saying “WASHINGTON” above “CAPITALS.”
In 1997, the team introduced an alternate jersey. The third jersey used black as the primary colour and bronze would become more predominate. The striping ran along the lower torso and diagonally on the sleeves from the inside of the upper arm to the wrist. The striping pattern had three primary bands (blue, bronze, and then blue) with white bands on the outside and separating the three coloured bands. The front primary logo was the secondary Capitol building logo from the light and dark jerseys. On the shoulder the team used the Diving Eagle logo.
The player name and number were bronze with a blue then white outline, matching the striping pattern. The player name, on the bottom, was curved above the player name but remained flat on the top. The player number also appeared on the top of the sleeve.
In 2007, with the introduction of the Reebok Edge jerseys, the team redesigned the uniforms. The team also changed the team colours back to red, white, and blue. Both changes are made to look more like the original jerseys that the team wore for twenty years.
The new dark jersey uses red as the primary colour and the light jersey uses white. The striping on the jerseys; are a single blue stripe that runs along the front of the sleeves from the wrist to the neck; and a blue single stripe that run across the bottom of the torso two inches above the bottom, where a red section wraps around the bottom. Under the blue sleeve stripe is a white panel that curves and contours its way to the shoulder (on the Light jersey this panel is red). There are also blue panels on the side torso that run from the under-arm to the lower torso stripe.
The new logo is again a styled in reference to the vintage jerseys. It is a script logo that features the word “capitals” in blue with a hockey stick replacing the letter “T” (strangely no in capital letters). Above “capitals” the word “WASHINGTON” and three stars appear in white (on the light jersey they are in red). The secondary logo is a spread bald eagle; the head is white with the wings blue with red wingtips. At the bottom of the body the outline of the Capitol building is again represented. The shaping of the blue colouring in contrast with the other colours, a “W” is formed. The player’s name and number are white with a blue outline (or red with a blue outline on the light jersey
All Time Esteemed Capitols
• # 5 Rod Langway 1982-1993*
• # 6 Calle Johansson 1988-03
• # 7 Yvon Labre 1974-1980*
• # 8 Alexander Ovechkin 2005-Current
• # 9 Brendan Morrison 2009-Current
• # 11 Mike Gartner 1979-1989*
• # 12 Peter Bondra 1990-2004<
• # 17 Chris Clark 2005-09
• # 19 Nicklas Backstrom 2007-Current
• # 38 Alexander Semin 2003-04, 06-Current
• # 32 Dale Hunter 1987-1999*
• # 37 Olaf Kolzig 1989-90, 92-08
• # 40 Semyon Varlamov 2008-Current
• # 52 Mike Green 2005-09
• # 60 Jose Theodore 2008-Current
Recent Top Draft Pick(s)
• 2009 Marcus Johansson
• 2008 Anton Gustafsson
• 2008 John Carlson
• 2007 Karl Alzner
• Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL).
• South Carolina Stingrays of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).