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Caps' Draft Day Party and Uniform Unveiling a Success

by Julie Petri / Washington Capitals
Red, white and blue was the theme of the evening Friday night at Kettler Capitals Iceplex as the Washington Capitals unveiled their brand new American-inspired uniforms before a crowd of 2,088 excited fans. Capitals television play-by-play man Joe Beninati kicked the evening off, welcoming fans to the long-awaited jersey unveiling and giving them a bit of background on how the new look came to be.

Yvon Labre, Rod Langway, Mike Gartner, Kelly Miller, Sylvain Cote (L to R)
Capitals alumni Mike Gartner, Rod Langway, Kelly Miller, Sylvain Cote and Yvon Labre were all in attendance at the unveiling. Each former Capital took part in the on-stage presentation in vintage sweaters before signing autographs for fans thrilled to see some of their all-time favorite players live and in person. Tonight’s appearance was Gartner’s first return to D.C. since his playing days.

Former Caps were also joined by six current players, some who flew back from their respective off-season homes to take part in the team’s uniform unveiling. Captain Chris Clark, defensemen Brian Pothier and Jeff Schultz, forwards Ben Clymer and Boyd Gordon and goaltender Brent Johnson all returned to the team’s practice facility to assist in the unveiling. Four of the players stood behind a screen that dropped amongst dry ice and strobe lights to stand fully dressed in pads and gear to model the jerseys on stage. Clark, Pothier, Schultz and Clymer then took to the ice, skating a lap for fans and showing them the jerseys live.

Team majority owner and president Ted Leonsis also addressed the roaring crowd, thanking them for their feedback and assistance in changing the Capitals colors back to the red, white and blue of old. The team’s colors, alongside the new “Capitals” logo and eagle shoulder patch, were a hit in the crowd.

“I like that they are red, white and blue,” commented long-time Caps fan Barbara Schwartz. “I think that this is a real positive change for the team.”

After the unveiling show concluded, fans were treated to numerous activities throughout the Iceplex, including alumni and current Capitals autograph stations, face painting, interactive games and great food. Another interesting activity that will leave an impression on many fans -- particularly the two that participated -- was a tattoo artist who took his art on the road.

Capitals fans Jim Greene and a close friend each received on-site tattoos of the Capitals new logo, something that served as entertainment to some and excitement to the pair who have been long-time Caps supporters. Greene, who cut a deal with Leonsis that if the team ever changed their logo, he would get a tattoo of it, was thrilled for the opportunity to take the Caps chairman and majority owner up on his word. Thankfully, the logo was something that he really enjoyed.

“I am glad to see the team going back to the old red, white and blue colors and the new logo looks great,” said Greene. “It’s retro and really a good change.”

The Capitals unveiling and draft day party was a resounding success, with new team hats and other merchandise available for purchase at the event, as well as a special introductory offer for new jerseys. Fans who pre-order the first 2007 jerseys will receive them for $99.
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