NHL logo rankings No. 28: Washington Capitals

We continue our logo ranking roll out with the Washington Capitals at No. 28. From text, to the eagle, the capitol and back to text again, what do you think of the Capitals logo? And can you design a better one?

It’s Day 3 of our NHL logo rankings, so we introduce a look we slotted in at No. 28: The Washington Capitals. The reason this one didn’t get much love is because it’s less a logo than it is just the team’s name being spelled out. The “T” in Capitals forms a hockey stick that has a red puck next to it and the three stars along the top are an addition to the original look. The red, white and blue colors are representative of the capital city of the USA, but other than that, it’s just “Washington Capitals” in italics. Not much to it. Past Capitals logos have included an eagle and the Washington Capitol, though they were never embraced and the color scheme changed with them. But you figure there would be a lot of options for any potential new look for Alex Ovechkin’s team. Think you can do a better job coming up with a logo for Washington? Now’s your chance. Like we have with
Carolina and
Colorado, we’re inviting you to redesign the Washington Capitals logo. Use whichever color combination you want and submit your new look to At the end of our logo ranking release, we will run our favorite redesigns from all 30 teams. (All logos below are from
Chris Creamer’s website.)
HISTORY OF THE CAPITALS LOGO In the beginning, the Capitals logo represented the truly awful. In its first season in the NHL, Washington’s 21 points was about half the amount their expansion brothers, the Kansas City Scouts, accumulated. Washington’s .131 points percentage is still the worst in NHL history and in the era of the salary cap floor, it’s hard to imagine a team ever being that bad again. The first Washington logo was very basic, straightforward and the colors popped. There are some obvious differences between the first Caps logo and the current “throwback” look. The slant of the letters goes to the left instead of the right, there are no stars above “Washington,” the stick is red, the puck is blue and the font is more plain. The Capitals used this logo from their inception in 1974-75 until the 1995-96 season.

The Capitals changed their colors and logo in the mid-90s as black became popular in the NHL. At least the streaking eagle is a logo, as opposed to the lettering that just spells out the team name. The stars made their first appearance on this logo and though the design turned away from the lettering that had preceded it, “Capitals” is still a prominent feature in this one. The Capitals found their first success with the eagle logo, making it to the Stanley Cup final in 1998, but the look just didn’t have staying power.
washingtonlogo2 In the early 2000’s, the Washington logo changed again, though the color scheme remained the same. Out went the eagle and in came the Capitol dome. The full name “Washington Capitals” returned to the logo – just in case you weren’t interested enough to know which team it represented – and the puck and two sticks make sure you know which sport this team is from. In all seriousness, the reason why I dislike this logo so much is that it’s so busy for no apparent reason. The Capitol is a nice touch that tries to tie-in the city with the hockey team that represents it – but yes, this is a hockey team’s logo and, yes, it’s the Washington Capitals. Do all these things really need to be in the logo? Not to mention, the coloring stinks. Washington has to have red, white and blue. It’s America. This logo also probably brings back some bad memories for Caps fans as this look marked another low point in franchise history. Jaromir Jagr came to town and was a nightmare. But, at least they got Alex Ovechkin out of this down time.
washingtonlogo3 In 2007-08, the Capitals went back to their original look, with some adjustments. The italicized lettering slants in the opposite direction, three stars sit above “Washington,” the colors of the stick and puck are different and the font has changed. Comparatively, this is probably the best logo/color combination the Capitals have ever had and, really, the full jersey is rather attractive and easy to look at. But the logo itself isn’t really a logo at all – it just states the obvious. And it isn’t even capitalized! There’s something to be said about a throwback look, but can’t anything better be done with this logo using the same colors?
Dissenting opinion: “There’s a place for word jerseys in the NHL, in small doses, and the Capitals fit the mold perfectly. The use of the nickname across the chest is subtle enough to be classy, while still integrating some playfulness in the form of a hockey stick for the “t”. The classic, patriotic red, white and blue color scheme, accented by iconic stars, make this a logo worthy of our respect.”
– Jason Kay, editor in chief.  

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Think you can do a better job with a Capitals logo? Try your hand at designing a new and improved logo for Washington, using whichever color scheme you think looks best. Send your submission to and we’ll post the best ones after we finish rolling out our
ranking of all 30 NHL logos. Which Washington Capitals logo do you like most?

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