Before Milt Schmidt became the first general manager of the Capitals, he played and coached with the Bruins.
Schmidt remembered his goalies saying that Bruin defenders' black pants made it hard to locate the puck.
Milt put that tidbit to use for his new team's uniform. The Capitals skated into Madison Square Garden for their first-ever game sporting white pants.
That's Milt at left in this 1974 team photo-op, gesturing to his tailor for some last-minute alterations.
Unfortunately, white pants proved an off-color choice. Why? Because...
White shows stains, duh, and...
When wet, they show what's underneath, and...
Reasons 1 and 2 made them laughably silly, hardly the competitive advantage they were designed for.
Oh, about that competition: The first-year Capitals won just one of 40 road games, and this January, 1975 cover of the NHL's "Goal" magazine reveals a clue as to why.
The players apparently skated hunched over during road contests, in a desperate attempt to hide the white shorts.
As goalie Ron Low told Evan Weiner of nhl.com, "It was a joke. The pads get rubbed against the boards and it gets really filthy. After 10 games you couldn't tell if it was white or not anyway.”
So new blue duds were hastily ordered. The NHL even overlooked its own rules to authorize an in-season change.
The kicker: the team swiched pants color again in 1995, to... wait for it... Black! We're guessing Milt was not consulted.