It’s no small secret that when Adidas took over as the NHL’s official apparel manufacturer, they decided to cut back on their first years work in a less than ideal way: by cutting every team’s alternate third jersey from their rotations. For the 2018-19 season, however, Adidas has announced that many teams will be reprising an alternate sweater. 10 teams have announced their alternates already, but the reigning/defending Stanley Cup Champions have not yet disclosed which jersey (if any) will join the lineup for the 2018-19 campaign. This comes as a surprise, considering that a resounding 50% of the teams who have already weighed in on the matter play in the Metropolitan Division.
The Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Philadelphia Flyers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and New York Islanders have all unveiled their third jerseys for the upcoming season (more here), leaving the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and of course the Capitals as the only teams in the division to not have a third jersey in their lineup. Other teams who have announced their alternates include the Anaheim Ducks, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, and Arizona Coyotes. There is a lot of speculation among fans as to what Washington could be considering behind closed doors.
While the odds are in favor of a past third/alternate jersey being reprised as opposed to a new jersey, NoVa Caps takes a look at a few possible candidates for the coveted alternate jersey.
Reebok 2016-17 Alternate
Realistically, this is the most viable option at Washington’s disposal; these alternates were the go-to for the Capitals before the NHL changed hands and went to Adidas, and were worn in 13 homes games the last time they were being used. While staying true to the Capitals “Rock the Red!” slogan, this uniform also represents the other colors of the American flag as well, suiting for a team playing out of the nation’s capital, as well as replicating the original red uniforms the team wore from their inception in 1974 to 1995.
2018 Stadium Series
Another decent uniform for consideration is the jersey the eventual Stanley Cup champions debuted in the outdoor Stadium Series game in January 2018. These sweaters, only worn in the titular outside game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and once later in a home game against the Dallas Stars, are fresh in the minds of Caps fans the world over, and would be an interesting choice should they be named the alternate for the season. As a little side note, these are one of the only jerseys Washington has never lost a game while wearing. If superstition has any say as to what jersey we’ll see this year, the Stadium Series one could just get the go-ahead.
2015 Winter Classic
While not a very likely candidate for a resurgence, the 2015 Winter Classic sweater does still have a glimmer of hope left in it; and that glimmer of hope is fan favoritism. The Winter Classic sweater Washington wore to face the Chicago Blackhawks in 2015 has remained atop the polls of Caps fans’ favorite sweaters since its unveiling. It has been three years since the Capitals last this this sweater, but, speaking as a fan, this is my personal favorite as it is for many others. If fans’ opinions have any pull in this decision, I would hardly count this jersey out of the race.
He won the Calder Trophy for Rookie of the Year in 2004. He’s also won the Conn Smythe Trophy, the Prince of Wales Trophy, and has won the Hart Trophy three times in his career so far. And now, Alex Ovechkin is a Stanley Cup Champion! What better way to celebrate the crème de la crème of The Great 8’s achievements than with a throwback to the beginning of his career? If this sweater were to be chosen, it would be a reminder that it took a road of hardships to ultimately accomplish the team’s ultimate goal of winning a championship.
Any of the sweaters listed above would make an excellent alternate jersey for Washington this season. But what do you think Caps fans? Is one of these your favorite? Is there an oldie but good sweater that I missed? Should the team introduce a brand new jersey? Maybe a brown and white nod to the Hershey Bears? Sound off below and tell me what you think!
READERS POLL: Which Jersey do You Want to be Washington’s Alternate?
By: Chris Laroche