Washington Capitals unveil their retro-inspired Winter Classic uniforms

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capitalswinterclassic.jpgAs you can see from the image to the right (click it to enlarge), the Washington Capitals displayed the uniforms they’ll be wearing during the Winter Classic on New Year’s day. Here’s the scoop from the team’s press release.

The Washington Capitals unveiled their uniform for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic today, a tribute to the franchise’s past that was modeled by team captain Alex Ovechkin and former captains Rod Langway and Yvon Labre. The unveiling took place at the 2010 Capitals Convention, a second annual event that drew a sellout crowd of 7,000 to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C.

“There is a great sense of history in playing hockey outdoors, and we wanted to pay tribute to our team’s history with this uniform,” vice president and general manager George McPhee said. “They turned out very well, got a terrific reaction from our fans and will look fantastic on New Year’s Day.”

The primary color for the uniform is white and very closely resembles the team’s original jersey, worn from 1974-75 through 1994-95. The original Capitals wordmark is featured on the front of the jersey with six stars above it and five stars beneath the numbers on each sleeve. The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic logo is featured on the right shoulder of the jersey.

Unlike the original uniforms, which featured blue pants, the Capitals will wear red pants and red helmets for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

I’m on board with those jerseys, red pants or blue pants. There’s something simple and awesome about older jersey concepts and logos that just seems that much more appealing than modern designs that try so hard to go the “extreme” or “edgy” route.

The Washington Capitals’ current jerseys are a bit of a “throwback” to the team’s old jerseys in the first place, as they went back to that color scheme and use a similar logo. They’re a big improvement over the ridiculous “eagle” design they wore in the Petr Bondra days all the way through Alex Ovechkin’s first year in the league.

Anyway, I give their goalie scheme a big “thumbs up” but what do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.

Maple Leafs sign defenseman Rasmus Sandin to 2-year deal

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TORONTO — Rasmus Sandin has signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the club announced on Thursday.

The 22-year-old from Sweden was the 29th overall selection in the 2018 draft. Sandin had 16 points in 51 games with Toronto last season. He’s played in 88 career regular-season games, with six goals and 22 assists, and has one goal in five playoff games.

“Got a great set of tools,” fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin said. “With experience, I think they’re only going to get better.”

The signing comes as the Leafs’ blueliners been hit hard by injuries. Muzzin has been dealing with a back issue, and Timothy Liljegren recently had surgery for a hernia.

Toronto then lost Jamie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) in Wednesday’s 3-0 preseason victory over the Montreal Canadiens, pressing forwards Calle Jarnkrok and Alexander Kerfoot into defensive roles for two periods.