The Winter Classic: an annual New Year’s Day event that showcases the NHL’s finest talent on an outdoor playing surface. As some would say, the event represents “the way hockey is meant to be played.” Old-fashioned, some might claim. In other words, the Classic is a honored tradition as old as time itself, or maybe the National Hockey League, or perhaps 2008. Whatever. The point is, the Winter Classic represents all that is pure and venerable about the beautiful sport of hockey, and has nothing at all to do with marketing and league revenue.
Now comes word that our beloved home town of Washington, DC will play host to the 2015 Winter Classic. Though the Capitals have played in one Classic, a 3-1 victory at Pittsburgh in 2011, the team has never hosted the game. All kidding aside, there is no doubt that this award lends legitimacy to DC’s rise as a hockey town.
Therefore, though we’re still over 15 months away from this historic DC milestone, we at Capitals Hill decided to do this hallmark event justice. Besides, we like to be way ahead of the curve. Like, we mean way. So we put on our collective thinking hockey helmets and began to dream up what a Washington, DC Winter Classic might look like.
First, what would be the venue? Spoiler alert: it’s Nationals Park. FedEx Field is out. It’s ugly, it’s far away, and it has more traffic than every Mexican drug cartel combined. And though the DC natives among us long for the nostalgic feel of a Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium Winter Classic, our beloved old stomping grounds are old and tired – most importantly, the concessions and amenities (read: bathrooms). Conveniently located Nationals Park, on the other hand, is less than a decade old, and the Park plus the surrounding watering holes can more than accommodate the event. Congratulations, Nationals and Southeast DC, you get to host two hockey teams and 30,000 drunk hockey fans!
Next, we needed a logo that represented both the event and the host city. And what’s more DC than political red tape and the Beltway? To that end, we don’t have a logo. We’re still pushing it through our Capitals Hill panels and commissions and whatever, and all the members are stuck in traffic. In the mean time, here is a stunning (if we do say so ourselves) rendering of what we might have proposed for a logo. The Capitol, the Washington Monument (sans scaffolding), and a hockey puck. What could be better?
Last, the sweaters. Here, we think Ted Leonsis and GMGM will make the right call and go with our vintage red look. There’s just something perfect about the stylistic pairing of Capitals red with Ovi’s toothy gap and Holtby’s flowing locks. In addition, the star design and contrast- what? Oh. Rock the Red. Right.
There you have it. In 15 short months, Washington, DC will play host to the Winter Classic, arguably the most important single day on each year’s NHL calendar. It’s never too early to give thought to an important hockey milestone like this. And the results may just look something like what we’ve shown you.
When you get a chance, also head over to our Capitals Playing Cards for a look at what the current day Caps would look like suiting up in the 1980′s.