TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs’ outdoor showdown against the Washington Capitals on March 3 won’t be the first white party Nazem Kadri has crashed.
“Funny you should ask. I actually do [own white pants],” Kadri said Saturday, referring the all-white uniforms his Leafs will be sporting at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland.
“I’ve been to a couple white parties in my lifetime. And the white track pants? You gotta have those. So I do have a couple pairs.”
For the first time in an outdoor game — a road contest, no less — the Maple Leafs will not only wear white sweaters with a white Maple Leaf insignia, but also white helmets, white socks, white gloves and white pants — after Labour Day.
“It was a little bit of a shock,” said Tyler Bozak, who helped model the alternate uniforms for promotional purposes. “Hopefully it’s not snowing… or we might not be able to see each other. I like ’em. I think it’s cool. Kinda something different.”
The special sweaters were designed to honour the tradition of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club.
Inside the collar of the Stadium Series sweater will be the motto of the Royal Canadian Navy: “Ready, Aye, Ready.”
The Maple Leafs’ motto of “Honour Pride Courage” will be moved from the collar to the sleeve for the event and be stitched in blue.
As the NHL’s new uniform designer, Adidas also decked out the victorious Pacific Division in white pants and white gloves during last month’s NHL All-Star Game.
“I was surprised,” said Morgan Rielly, describing his initial reaction. “The jersey itself looks great. I think it’s a cool look. When you look at the white gloves and white pants, it’s pretty unique and pretty cool. I’m looking forward to wearing them.”
Could work to the Leafs' advantage—any time one of them skates over the blueline, they will become momentarily invisible!
— Brian Baker (@runstopwrite) February 10, 2018
The blue sweaters Toronto wore in the 2014 Winter Classic versus the Red Wings (in red) created an incredible visual spectacle, as both sides sported dark colours under snowfall. The Leafs wore blue again (with a white band) during their outdoor rematch versus Detroit at the 2017 Centennial Classic.
Toronto won both games in dramatic fashion, the first on a Bozak shootout dagger, the second thanks to an Auston Matthews OT winner.
The Leafs will camouflage themselves as they attempt to extend their outdoor winning streak against Washington, the club that ousted them from the playoffs last spring.
“It’s a bit of a unique circumstance and a unique game. It should be a lot of fun,” Kadri said. “Maybe there will be snowfall. It’ll be a nice effect.”