SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The idea sprouted on Halloween, when a group of the younger players on the Boston Bruins showed up in coordinated outfits, inspired by the BBC series "Peaky Blinders." It snowballed from there, with defenseman Torey Krug enlisting a tailor and the entire Bruins team ordering suits for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
They walked into Notre Dame Stadium on Tuesday morning looking like 1920s gangsters, in three-piece suits and scally caps, led by defenseman Zdeno Chara, who opted for a flat-brim hat, and forward Patrice Bergeron.
"We've known for quite a while," Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk said of the plan.
Grzelcyk, who was one of the players who originally wore the outfit on Halloween, went with a two-tone look Tuesday, complemented by a tie with a snake design.
Video: Players and fans arrive at the 2019 Winter Classic
"This is a big day for a lot of us. We're itching to get after it," he said.
The Bruins take on the Chicago Blackhawks in South Bend, Ind., in the Winter Classic on Tuesday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).
"It's the Winter Classic, so you've got to rise to the occasion, have fun with it," Grzelcyk said.
And it was an easy decision, given how popular the show is among the Bruins players, with Grzelcyk calling it a "a big hit in our locker room."
By the time Brad Marchand - who confirmed on Tuesday morning that he will play in the Winter Classic - addressed the media before the game, he had already changed into a brown Winter Classic sweat suit.
But he wasn't entirely happy about it.
"I'm actually kind of [annoyed] at the PR staff for not bringing me out here when we were all decked out," he said, half joking. "Can I go change and come back?"
Marchand said the entire team bought in right away on the idea.
"We wanted to have fun with it," Marchand said. "This is a cool experience. We wanted to do something a little different."