The Washington Capitals have won the Presidents’ Trophy in consecutive seasons, sporting one of the deepest rosters in professional sports. Behind the scenes, the players are supported by significant others whose talent matches or surpasses their athletes’ on-ice ability.
If you’ve been to Capitals playoff games, you’ve likely walked by or seen someone wearing a jean jacket, repping a look straight from the early 90s.
If it has a number on the back and some patches, that’s either one of the Capitals wives, girlfriends, or children.
Shortly after the trade deadline, the Capitals’ WAGs spoke about how they could show solidarity to the players during the playoffs. Last year, the Caps’ kids debuted custom designed Daddy jerseys, which they would wear at games or at home when they were watching on TV. The Caps WAGs wanted to build off that.
“Deanna Abbey, Kevin Shattenkirk’s girlfriend, and Lauren Oshie both had the same idea,” Taylor Winnik said to me. “It was just a weird coincidence that they both wanted to do jean jackets. Lauren told all of us, including the kids, to pick out and buy a jean jacket and get them to her house. She then sent them to Print-N-Stitch in her home state of Minnesota.”
The company had the numbers and last names of the family members printed in white on the back. Meaningful patches were then added to bring the look together and give each jacket a unique personality. For instance, Taylor Winnik’s included a bulldog patch and a middle finger.
“The middle finger represents all the frustration I feel throughout the hockey season,” Winnik said. “I also just dig vulgarity.”
Justin Williams’ wife Kelly features logos of her husband’s Stanley Cup Final runs. Many of the jackets also include flag patches that represent where their husbands are from.
The look has been so popular that several groups of wives and girlfriends from other teams have copied the idea including the Nashville Predators and Columbus Blue Jackets.
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Finally, to bring the cohesiveness of the look together, Mandy Alzner gave all the families gifts. Everyone got baseballs tees made by the 500 Level which included cartoon versions of their husbands. Lauren Oshie had several other shirts designed that the families could wear.
The team jean jackets are just another tiny example of how close knit this Capitals team is. With so many players as free agents headed into the offseason, the dynamic of the Capitals will change in the locker room and out of it.
All photos via Taylor Winnik
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