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Capitals’ ‘screaming eagle’ jersey is back in black for Reverse Retro reboot

The Capitals will wear their Reverse Retro uniforms for seven home games this season. (Courtesy of the Capitals)

Two years after the Washington Capitals’ “screaming eagle” logo returned as part of the NHL’s first “Reverse Retro” collection of alternate jerseys, the franchise’s throwback look is back in black.

The design, which was officially unveiled Thursday along with the rest of the league’s Reverse Retro reboot, was a poorly kept secret, with leaked renderings circulating earlier this year. Capitals players wore black pants, gloves and socks at practice Tuesday, and goalie Darcy Kuemper showed off new black-and-copper pads along with a new mask adorned with the screaming eagle logo. Washington will wear its primarily black alternates with copper, white and blue accents for the first time Nov. 5 against the Arizona Coyotes and for six additional home games this season.

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The Capitals debuted their screaming eagle logo — a bald eagle diving with an outstretched, open claw above the team’s name — with a blue, white and copper color scheme for the 1995-96 season, and it was the primary uniform design when the franchise reached the Stanley Cup finals for the first time in 1998. Washington retired the screaming eagle and returned to its red-white-and-blue roots with an updated version of its original wordmark in 2007, and the team’s primary home and away jerseys have been mostly unchanged since.

Washington brought back the screaming eagle with a red, white and blue color scheme for its first Reverse Retro uniform during the 2020-21 season, and it proved to be one of the best-selling jerseys in the league. This year’s Reverse Retro design combines the original screaming eagle look with the black-and-copper color scheme of the third jersey the Capitals introduced in 1997 and which replaced the team’s road blue jersey in 2000.

The shoulder patches on this year’s Reverse Retro jerseys feature the primary logo from those retired third jerseys — the Capitol dome with two crossed hockey sticks, a puck and a pair of copper stars. The Capitals’ original black jerseys featured players’ names and numbers in copper outlined with white and blue. The Reverse Retro version features names and numbers in white, outlined in blue and copper.

In a nod to Alex Ovechkin’s rookie year, 2005 is printed on the inside neckline of this year’s jersey, which also features the Capitals’ Caesars Sportsbook advertising patch on the upper right chest. The collar features the NHL logo in the orange-and-black color scheme the league used until 2005.

The Capitals will wear their Reverse Retro jerseys for home games Nov. 5, Nov. 25, Dec. 9, Dec. 23, Dec. 31, Jan. 3 and Jan. 14. Four of the dates will feature Reverse Retro-themed giveaways, including a T-shirt (Nov. 25), snapback hat (Dec. 9), pennant (Jan. 3) and rally towel (Jan. 14). The jerseys will be available for purchase online and at the Capital One Arena and MedStar Capitals Iceplex team stores starting Nov. 15.

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