Lars Eller always looks like he's smelling something fowl.
Whatever Happend to Those Old Banners?
Remember what it was like before the ‘Rock the Red’ era? We now think of those days as the blue-black-and-bronze years, between 1995 and 2007. It wasn’t just the players’ jerseys that had those colors, but the banners hanging up at the Capital Centre and MCI Center. When the Caps switched back to red, the banners came down and were replaced with ones that matched the current design. Those banners are still out there, including this one at George Pappafotis’s hockey jersey shop.
Pappafotis, who makes custom hockey jerseys and apparel at Concrete Pond, acquired the 1997-98 Eastern Conference Champions banner at the first Caps Convention a few years back in a silent auction.
“Don’t let me buy anything stupid,” he told his friend when he arrived, and he didn’t. Instead, he got a banner from the Washington Capitals’ most successful season to date, the one from the same year they went to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Though Pappafotis wouldn’t say what he paid, he found that the other banners, including a non-original Patrick Division Champion banner (the original, too, had been replaced to match the color scheme) went for comparable prices. Also sold during the auction were the retired number banners that included the faces of Yvon Labre, Dale Hunter, and Rod Langway.
Pappafotis, a Caps season ticket holder, also has a framed picture of the very same banner being raised to the rafters as the Capitals looked on. Quite a collectible.
If you’re in need of custom hockey jerseys for your team, check out Concrete Pond.