If the Caps Were To Pursue a Third Sweater . . .

There’s been a good deal of online chatter this week regarding third sweaters. Eighteen NHL teams will introduce alternate jerseys this season, according to the Fan590’s Howard Berger. Icethetics and Puck Daddy have been monitoring the fashion situation as well. So we put the question to the Caps: Any chance a third sweater is in the near future?

The answer is no. At least not this season, we were told. And that makes sense; it was just last summer that the team introduced two new sweaters, so some marketing “breathing space” is appropriate. And if you’ll recall, the Caps were one of 30 victims poorly served by Reebok’s initial uniform redesign. Additionally there’s the successful Rock the Red campaign; a third jersey so soon would just distract consumers from the home reds.

But in these ever-evolving uniform times, can a third Caps’ sweater be that far off? And what might it look like? This got our happy hour heads pondering this week, so after a few puck sodas we set off to the Photoshop to test out some ideas. Here are the design concepts that guided our final product:

  • A base color of blue—the natural choice to complete the patriotic and team-colors circles.
  • A classic look. The Caps’ redesigned uniforms of a year ago were a terrific success in incorporating the much-admired original look with a contemporary update . . . yet it’s an undeniably modern-looking hockey jersey. So with the third one we sought some distinction from the other two—a more classic look and feel—the type of sweater that would look at home on someone playing pond hockey.
  • The team’s existing secondary logo didn’t necessarily have to be the new primary logo on a third sweater design, but blown up large on the blue background it stands out quite well.
  • We used ONFROZENBLOG for the “player name”—a fairly long pseudo-surname—and it seems to still be readable. For instance, it’s one less character than KONOWALCHUK; Kono’s sweater’s nameplate seemed to stretch from elbow to elbow on the old Dome design, yet was still illegible. These letters are based on the current uniform’s font (with color changes) and seem like they’d stand up to long-distance reading.
  • We love the three stars that accompany the Caps’ primary logo, representative of the team’s support in Maryland, the District, and Virginia; for our third sweater we placed them on the shoulders, signifying the region’s hockey hopes carried on the team’s collective shoulders. We’d considered rotating them 90 degrees and having them run down the shoulder’s seam (a la the Caps’ classic sweater); let us know if you have strong feelings one way or the other about the stars’ placement.
  • Draw-string collaring was a must. The Caps have never had it; it hasn’t yet become so common a feature as to be cliche; and on a sweater design striving for a throwback, classic look, it seems like icing on the fashion cake.

So our final result is below. We strove for something more than minimalist, yet not cluttered. It is intended to represent the team and the region, and is hopefully something that would age well. But this is just one blogging team’s (admittedly fun) effort—we’re looking for your feedback, suggested improvements and, if you’re so inspired, perhaps your very own third sweater design posted as a comment.

So in the spirit of Marvel Comics’ old “What If…” title, we hope you enjoy this concept of a Caps’ Sunday Sweater as much as we did designing it:

Washington Capitals Third Jersey - Design by Mike Rucki

Washington Capitals Third Jersey - Design by Mike Rucki

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49 Responses to If the Caps Were To Pursue a Third Sweater . . .

  1. Kurt says:

    Oh, man. I want that, and yesterday.
    Any chance that you get enough OFB readers interested to print up a custom batch? I’d buy three of those in a heartbeat.

  2. Lisa McGrath says:

    LOVE it! I like the new red … but this one is a beaut! Great job.

  3. Paul says:

    If the caps used it, I’d buy it.

  4. J.P. says:

    Tight. Similar to one of the concept thirds at Icethetics (http://icethetics.blogspot.com/2008/07/four-new-sweater-designs.html) and one at their predecessor (http://nhllogos.blogspot.com/2008/05/capital-conceptualizing.html), but an improvement over both, for sure.

  5. keef says:

    I love the “Weagle” and have been hoping to find it on an alternate jersey since last summer. The proportion you have here looks great but I think that some of the power of the mark is lost when it’s placed on the same blue found in it. Without being able to discern the white stroke around the mark from a distance (say from the stands to the ice), it’ll look like the red wings are floating. Does a navy blue work any better?

  6. (Please note that we did not place a Reebok mark on this mock up : ) )
    One of the things I love about a blue hockey sweater is how it looks worn with a pair of really beat up, faded bluejeans. This sucker I think would look killer in this regard — a total babe magnet.

  7. Thanks for the kudos folks!
    @ Keef, we’d toyed with a deep navy background and it does look pretty good with the crest — but it seemed a bit odd to add a *second* blue to the color scheme. I will say that, like the blue on the current jerseys, all the blue in this sweater would be a little darker blue than it looks on most folks’ screens.
    We could always bleed the white border a little thicker to make sure it stands out more… but I think it’s OK as-is: the white border of the Eagle is the same as for the numbers on the back, and I think that stands out reasonably well.

  8. Stella says:

    Here is mine. Just changed all the blue to black.

  9. The Mule says:

    I love it. I really like the blue color and the second logo. BUT…be careful the logo isn’t too large for the jersey. Nothing is more obnoxious than when the logo is too large on a jersey or t-shirt. Fro mthis mock up it looks like the logo should be slightly smaller.

  10. Kelley says:

    NO MORE BLACK!
    So unoriginal. Too many teams wear black and more than half of the upcoming 3rds will be black.

  11. vt caps fan says:

    I love these jersey’s the only thing I could think of to add (to make it look less NYR –eww) would be a bit more red around the armpit/underarm region (kind of like we currently have).
    I’d buy this alternate. It would drive the Mrs. Crazy. The white jersey last year, the red, this year; and whenever the 3rd jersey comes out, you better believe I’ll be getting it.
    Good work guys.

  12. DrinkingPartner says:

    I actually really, really like it. When I first started reading the description, and you were talking about the secondary logo, i thought to myself that that would look terrible, but the way you worked it in was very successful.
    It is kinda NYR-esque, but I like it enough to overlook that.
    I agree with an earlier comment about the size of the logo, though. If that were a real jersey, the logo would be way too big to be comfortable — if you crossed your arms, you’d be poked by the logo’s edges.
    Nice effort, though.

  13. Gustafsson says:

    icethetics apparently has some of the new 3rd sweater logos:
    http://icethetics.blogspot.com/2008/07/new-third-jersey-crests.html
    icethetics also described the 18 3rds coming out:
    http://icethetics.blogspot.com/2008/07/all-18-third-jerseys-described.html
    1 red
    1 white
    1 orange
    1 light blue
    7 dark blue
    7 black
    Is blue the next black?

  14. RE: Crest Size — Yes, it would likely have to be slightly smaller in production. But it just looked so much better oversized in this little mock-up that I had to leave it that way. 🙂
    RE: NYR comparisons — it is hard to completely avoid those comparisons given the Caps’ and Rags’ colors are practically identical. We made sure to avoid Rangers-esque red stripes on the cuffs/bottom of the jersey and chose simple thin white stripes instead.

  15. Jordana says:

    I loved the recent Icethetics 3rd jersey concept design for the Caps (also blue with the Weagle front and center). I would buy that jersey in a heartbeat, and hope when the time comes, it does look something like that.

  16. Jordana says:

    Here’s the link to the jersey I was talking about, for anyone who might not have seen it:
    http://icethetics.blogspot.com/2008/07/four-new-sweater-designs.html

  17. automatic says:

    I like it. I was having the Caps-third-jersey conversation the other day, and the idea came up of a retro third jersey – maybe the original white, or (my favorite) the blue eagle from the ’98 Cup run. It’s probably too soon to return to a logo that was just discontinued last year, though.
    Oh, and Stella’s conversion of the OFB third to black and red basically removes the last major difference between the “Weagle” and the DC United logo.

  18. If I might add re. the Rags’ comparisons — there are far worse comparisons one could suffer, insomuch as not only are we talking about a classic Original Six design but for many the best of that bunch. Talk about a durable classic design. And of course I’m not referring to their infamous Statue of Liberty sweater. I’ve had talks with Caps’ reps for a couple of years, including email with Ted, about striving to achieve that kind of durable, classic look. Obviously, it’s not easily achieved, or more teams would have it.

  19. JR says:

    Dammit people. No.
    No. No. No. No. No!!!!!!!

  20. @ JR: Please elaborate. Are you unhappy with the design? Or are you just dreading the idea of spending more money on yet another jersey? I can tell you that my wife is firmly in the latter camp. 🙂

  21. Gustafsson says:

    I would bet that JR will state that it is the idea of the 3rd sweater in the first place.
    I think the 3rd sweater program is just the reality of the economic landscape.

  22. usiel says:

    I like the blue, the stars on the shoulder, draw string collar but…that shoulder patch as the main logo is tremendously lame, IMO. When the put out a 3rd jersey at least have a different logo and not something canabalized from the current unis.

  23. JR says:

    There designs are very pleasing, but you called it correctly, I cannot stand the concept of 3rd sweaters. First off, I think that the economic windfall (and how much of that are we really talking about anyway? I bought a white, I’m not going to go out and immediately buy red, much less blue) is offset by the hindrance it does to NHL brand recognition. For a sport that struggles to get TV exposure, do you really want even some of the more hardcore fans to squint and ask, “What teams are these, where is this game??”
    3rd sweaters are like a nudist resort. Sounds like an awesome idea until you get there and see the majority of the nudists.

  24. At this point, protest over third jerseys is akin to Mr. Gore’s protest over the internal combustion engine. I, too, would like very much the return of the old fashioned baseball doubleheader; I also know it ain’t happening. Put somewhat crassly, the commonality of cause in both instances is greed. Should Major League Baseball teams wear green caps on St. Patrick’s Day? (Or AHL teams green sweaters on St. Patty’s, such as the Hershey Bears do?) A fair number of these ventures are turned into auction items, however — there’s some good in that, I think.
    Put more broadly: I see nothing intrinsically evil in these fashion ventures, however cluttered the landscape has become with them. Cluttered it has become, and cluttered it will remain. So . . . amid it, why not try and stand out a bit?

  25. SpartyCuse says:

    I would make one minor change. Move the stars BELOW the numbers on the sleeves, as a nod to the placement of the stars on the sleeves of the original jerseys.

  26. JR says:

    “Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to.” And with that I’ll say I’m glad the Caps are not. Search for “Red Wings Third Jersey” and see what comes up, eh?

  27. Lisa says:

    I like it and as a revenue producer, I prefer it to some of the other options bandied about this summer. I agree it’s too soon though.

  28. Dan says:

    Love the eagle crest on the blue! LOVE the laces! That would be a classy 3rd sweater!
    Here’s hoping!!!!

  29. Scofield says:

    This only works if they go back to the White Pants 🙂
    i’m not a fan of the lace up collar though…
    only addition i’d have is the “stretchy” side panels, would look amazing in red.

  30. The Mule says:

    I have to say I prefer the third jersey concept posted here MUCH MORE than the one on the icethetics site. They have the logo better sized but I really like the cleaner version here with the stars included a hell of a lot more.

  31. I love it! Because it also reminds me of Wu Tang Clan. Ghostface would approve. Except if I remember right he is a Canucks fan.

  32. Bob says:

    Why not just do the actual retro ala the Sabres? I do like the jersey though.

  33. Ben says:

    I’m a Sabres fan and admittedly dont know too much about Caps heritage but I would love to see all the white changed to cream and a single wide, horizontal stripe on the elbows where the numbers are in that cream color as well. it would give it a cool vintage look in my opinion. let the un-american non-caps fan bashing begin…

  34. The Mule says:

    I’m ashamed to admit that I just now realized the bottom of the logo makes the outline of the Capitol dome. That is pretty neat.

  35. Dan says:

    After a little time to think about it, I think that white numbers with red trim might have a nicer contrast.

  36. Dan says:

    Mule- yeah, my wife didn’t care for the “Weagle” until she realized that it was more than a bird…she thought it was cool that it formed a W, but then when she saw the Capitol dome, she was sold… “I take it back…it’s not stupid…it’s actually kind of badass,” she said.

  37. Johnny says:

    Wow that blue made the weagle stand out. i like but I liked the old black and it took a while to warm up to the new jerseys. lets just wait 2 years to introduce a new one. OK I cant afford another new jersey! the truth is out, i cant afford my season tickets either, but I have creativly shaved a few dollars off of each kids allowance and shorted them a birthday and Chrismas present here and there just to afford section 400 seats, if they had another new jersey I would have to start stealing from work and risk my job, then how would I afford 9.00 chicken tenders and 4.50 sodas???

  38. Doug says:

    Super great! One thing, though—horizontal stripes don’t look too good, IMHO, with the current long RBK Edge “shirt tails” in the back (see Red Wings jerseys), so I’d suggest a wide white hem–same width as the home sock white stripe, with a red band above, also to match the top red band on the home sock. Make all these follow the curving shape of the sweater, and voila! A sweater that fits visually with the lower part of the uniform. That’s my two cents. Wonderful job on the new ideas, OFB team. I’d light up the old credit card in a minute for your third design or mine!

  39. Doug says:

    Oh, and do the same stripe thing with the cuffs. Love the stars—right on!

  40. Ken says:

    I iwhs our current jerseys though being great would have white on the shoulders for the red jerseys and red on the shoulders on the white jerseys like the old ones.

  41. Melon says:

    Though there are a lot of red jerseys too….

  42. Madflava says:

    I think it would look nice with the stars on the forearms like the old Caps sweater and small “Capitals” logo’s on the shoulders (like the Hershey Bears jersey)

  43. Whitermage says:

    I think we should just go retro if we’re going to have a third. Old school red jersey – could use current Caps logo, minus stars, and then add the stars and shoulder yoke. Basically – RBK the retro jersey. I love the weagle, I just think it looks like trash as a primary if it’s not on a white sweater.

  44. I like it. But I always like when teams go back and use the retro jerseys. The news caps jerseys kind of bring it back but an earlys 90’s lookin caps jersey would be good.

  45. todd says:

    I had no idea about the Capitol silhouette either. I just move here a few years ago and missed out on the new uni discussion. I have season tickets and I had no idea. I’m such a yob. That’s a nice third sweater…

  46. Krissy says:

    I like this one, though it reminds me ALOT of the NY Rangers.

  47. Chris says:

    Yes the Weagle is quite a clever logo. I noticed everything the first time I saw it except it took my a while to see the W. but as you can see the logo represents the very popular Wu Tang clan. Also the letter W for Washington. The outline of the Dome of the Capitol. and if you look close enough you can see the washington monument.

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