Reviewing the Washington Capitals’ New Reverse Retro Jersey

Dmitri Khristich, Washington Capitals (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Dmitri Khristich, Washington Capitals (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

It’s finally here Washington Capitals fans.

After saying goodbye to what has become known as the “Screaming Eagle” logo in 2007, the Washington Capitals have finally brought it back for the Adidas’ Retro Reverse series.

Yesterday, Monday, November 16th, Adidas unveiled 31 Retro Reverse jerseys, which will be worn by every team in the NHL during the 2020-21 season (or whenever they decide to start). For their new jerseys, some teams made a basic swap of their classic jerseys (see the Montreal Canadiens),

Some teams combined two iconic jerseys into one (see the Los Angeles Kings).

And some teams have made clear their hatred towards the idea of “things that look good,” (see the Detroit Red Wings and the Dallas Stars).

After hearing the idea for the Reverse Retro jerseys and seeing the leaked concepts for what the Capitals had in store, I had to admit I was nervous. I was never a fan of the Screaming Eagle and thought the Capitals’ old, ’90s and early 2000s jerseys were ugly. Then they began to grow on me. I started to appreciate the design of them, and it actually got to the point where I can honestly say I like those jerseys. Then the Capitals dropped their Reverse Retro jerseys yesterday.

Then they started dropping these unreal promotional edits:

Then Tom Wilson posted an edit of him looking dope in the new jersey:

At first, I was iffy about them. I wasn’t confident I loved the Screaming Eagle yet. But, approximately 30 minutes after tweeting that I wasn’t sure how I felt about them, I fell in love with them. I am now 100% on #TeamEagle.

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These jerseys are straight-up fantastic. The way they modernized these classic Caps’ jerseys is nothing short of masterful. The concept I had seen looked very similar, but still slightly different, and I wasn’t a huge fan. The minor fixes made in the finished product really made me fall in love with this jersey. Let’s dive into all the features on this new, old, modern, classic jersey.

Throwback…to the Future

So, let’s begin with the overall style of the jersey. It is clear that the style of this jersey is taken from the Capitals’ away jerseys from 1997.

washington capitals
Olaf Kolzig, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Doug Pensinger /Allsport /

This jersey had a style that can only be compared to the original Mighty Ducks’ jersey with the diagonal striping. The difference of these bad boys was the direction change that makes it look like a check mark. The way they spiced up these Retros and put the Reverse in them was by giving these jerseys the “Rock-the-Red” treatment with red as the primary colour and the updated navy blue where the blue is on the original sweater.

As I mentioned, the original concept I saw looked slightly different from what actually came to be.

Looking back at this concept after seeing what the Reverse Retro jersey actually looks like, a main reason I wasn’t a fan of this concept was because the bottom of the jersey is red. The way they made the bottom of the jersey blue sort of makes the jersey for me in a way. It looks so much better (not to insult Lucas’ design, because he just about nailed it back in October).

There is, however, one part of the jersey I am undecided about.

That part being the “CAPITALS” written in the diagonal waist stripe. I know they had it on their retro jerseys, that’s just a feature I never personally fell in love with. It doesn’t hurt the jersey in my opinion, it just doesn’t do a lot to help it either.

Something else that needs to be discussed are the logos which are used on the Reverse Retro jersey. On the shoulder, they have the Capitol Building logo, much like they did on the original sweater. Only, this time, it too has been re-colourized in red and blue to match the modern-day look of the Washington Capitals.

The same was done for the logo on the front, which is, of course, the almighty Screaming Eagle.

The Capitals gave the fans what they wanted and threw it front and centre on the jersey and made it the size of the God-damn moon. Was the logo this big on the original jerseys? I don’t know, but wow, that thing has its own zip code. The logo is so big in fact that I noticed something only avid jersey nerds would notice:

Please let me know if I’m wrong, because that was off the top of my head, but I’m pretty sure that’s the case.

Other than it being the size of a small nation, they also altered the colour of the logo. They removed the black, bronze and blue and replaced them with white and navy, which looks very good on this jersey. These updated colours fit the logo perfectly and don’t make it look unnatural. It’s not like they made it red; It still looks like an eagle that is screaming.  I think it was a great alteration.

Now, the one area where I have always been iffy with this jersey is the font. It’s just so formal, it doesn’t look like it belongs on a hockey jersey BUT, at the same time, it kind of works. I am so torn on how I feel about it, but I respect that they went back to using the original font that was on these jerseys. Regardless of how I feel about it, they had to do it to make it authentic.

This may have been the most confused about something I had ever been in my entire life, but I think the Capitals knocked it out of the park. It is an excellent tribute to their past with a modern twist. In other words, it is exactly what the Reverse Retro series is all about. I am excited to see the Caps wear this whenever the season starts, and I consider the entire Reverse Retro project a failure if Alex Ovechkin doesn’t score “The Goal” again in these jerseys.

light. More. Washington Capitals: Michal Kempny 2020 Report Card

Jerseys will be available for purchase on December 1st.