Tonight the Toronto Maple Leafs will visit the Washington Capitals to take part in the 2018 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
Naturally with a venue such as this the overall design and look of the game will be centered around the military and the Navy specifically. We’ve put together this all-in-one post covering everything about the logos and uniforms so you can impress (or creep out) your friends as you watch the game tonight.
The logo for the game was unveiled at the stadium during a Navy vs Marine Corps college football game on the U.S. Veteran’s Day holiday.
It was designed by NHL Creative Services, and heavily embraces the imagery of the Naval Academy. It features an eagle, “stoic and proud”, the look of which used throughout the graduating class plaques placed within the stadium, within the wings of the eagle are archways – a nod to the architecture of the stadium, and in the top right is the north star, a reference to the Navy brand.
A handy graphic to explain every little bit of the 2018 Stadium Series logo:
The uniforms are also Navy inspired, the hometown Caps wearing blue for the first time while the Leafs going with a uniform based off of what’s worn by the Canadian Navy (including white pants):
For the Capitals as mentioned the uniform is navy blue, the first time the Capitals have worn that as a main uniform colour in their franchise history, and features an abbreviated version of the team’s logo across the chest – “caps” (rather than “capitals”) is in red with three stars above, representing those found on the Washington, DC flag. These three stars are repeated on the side of the pants above a new white “W” logo (slightly different than the Winter Classic logo they used a couple years back); the “W” also designed with the Washington Monument in mind as a subtle nod to the famous memorial obelisk.
Everything about the design has been increased in size and boldness in order to improve visibility from the stands in the larger outdoor stadium venue, the audience at home will just have to deal with the gigantism inflicted upon the uniforms. The red stripe across the waist and arms, the socks — the white yoke around the shoulders an apparent tribute to the original Capitals road red uniform.
Inside the numbers of the back of the jersey is a grid-like pattern, I initially thought perhaps a nod to the pentagon but it is in fact patterned off of Pierre L’Enfant’s original grid plan for the city.
Everything explained in the graphic below, just click the image for a better look:
The Maple Leafs are going white from head-to-sock, an unusual look for a hockey team but we’ll reserve full judgement until we see it on the ice.
The uniforms pay homage to the Royal Canadian Navy, the overall concept of an all-white uniform with blue trim is a direct nod to the Canadian Naval Ensign, which is a blue crest on a field of white with blue trim. On the inside collar the Leafs have removed their usual team motto of Honour. Pride. Courage, replacing it with the official motto of the Canadian Navy: Ready, Aye, Ready.
Across the chest we see two blue horizontal stripes with a large field of white in between. These stripes only go across the front of the jersey, the back is simply white. On each sleeve these two blue stripes are repeated with the team motto, typically found on their inside collar, now featured as a tonal deboss on the top blue stripe of the left arm.
Overall the uniforms feel like a road white to pair with the Centennial Classic design the Leafs wore last season for the outdoor game at Toronto’s BMO Field. For that game the Leafs wore blue with a white and silver horizontal stripe across the chest, a white Maple Leaf logo with silver accents placed on that white chest stripe.
White pants will be what many will surely focus on with this design, afterall it isn’t something we’ve seen too often in NHL history. It was quite common however during the league’s first few seasons in the 1910s and 20s including being worn for several years by the Leafs while they were still known as the Toronto St. Pats.
By the 1930s throughout the league pants were coloured to match better with each team’s sweaters and socks. We didn’t see white pants in the NHL again until the 1974 Washington Capitals (hey they’re playing in this game!) who briefly wore white pants with their road red set during their inaugural season.
The Los Angeles Kings brought back the white pants for a Stadium Series game against the San Jose Sharks in 2015 and then just five weeks ago Team Pacific wore them to victory during the 2018 All-Star Game in Tampa.
The 2018 Stadium Series game will be the eighth such game played since first introduced during the 2013-14 season; four outdoor games were played as part of that first season, since then it’s been played once annually with the exception of 2015-16 during which two games were played. Overall there were three outdoor games played in the NHL this season, the others being the NHL100 Classic in December and the Winter Classic in January.
A look back at previous Stadium Series logos: