Wednesday, 3 March 2021

The Edinburgh Experience

This isn't a "musicians in jerseys" article, so you could be forgiven if you were guessing who the person was to the left. That's Tyler Plews from 2015 in his EIHL Edinburgh Capitals jersey before making his debut in 2015, but we're not here to talk about Tyler Plews. Instead, we're here to talk about oft-heard guest on The Hockey Show Jason Pchajek because he's allowing us to peek inside his closet to check out one of his jerseys, namely his totally-awesome Edinburgh Capitals jersey, that he proudly has in his collection. We don't see EIHL jerseys very often on this side of the pond, so what's the story behind Jason's Capitals jersey? Let's find out!

First, here's Jason's Edinburgh jersey in full, glorious colour!

As spectacular as that jersey is, there's a story behind it, so let's hear how this jersey came to be Jason's favorite jersey in his collection.
I've always had an appreciation for that one person on the ODR who wore the weird jersey. Now I get to be one.

I've always had a fascination with the aesthetics of hockey, particularly jerseys and logos. It always interested me how ownership groups and teams formed their identity, pulling from history, their city, their region, to form a look and feel that is quintessentially theirs.

I'm also the son of an English immigrant. So when I stumbled across the EIHL as a kid, my love of weird looks, and UK culture fused. Unfortunately, at the time, my mum's hometown of Surrey didn't have a club (now they have the Guilford Flames though the club is not very good), so I, being a fan of Manchester United, gravitated to the Manchester Phoenix as 'my' club. Then, imagine my heartbreak when the Phoenix left the league and eventually folded.

At that point I fell away from UK hockey. That is...until 2017. Perusing the world of hockey logos, I decided to peak at what had happened in the EIHL, finding the Edinburgh Capitals, a franchise struggling on and office the ice in the tepid and insecure world of UK hockey. Knowing the club was likely not long for this world, I decided to order an older jersey, emblazoned with the Scottish cross, and SO MANY ADS.

Ok...full disclosure...I like ads on jerseys. There are some in the world that should NEVER be desecrated (The Original 6 coming first to mind), but I like European jerseys that look like billboards. They're weird, they're unique, and I love that.

Now, every time I step on the ODR, I'm a walking billboard. Maybe I should be getting some ad dollars?
I don't know about ad dollars, but that is a sharp-looking jersey even with the ads and Jason should be proud of that one. How many people in North America have an Edinbugh Capitals jersey, let alone one with all the ads and customized with one's own name? Pretty cool by my standards!

Jason wasn't wrong about the struggles they were going through, though, as the Scotland-based team closed shop in 2018 following a history of constant ownership and management changes at the EIHL level since 2004. There was annual player changes as the locker room never seemed to have that year-to-year consistent leadership to provide chemistry, and the team's annual standings and play suffered from this lack of continuity.

Every good move the Capitals made seemed to backfire on them through to their history, though. In their final season, former NHL star Dmitri Khristich was named head coach only to leave in December by mutual agreement between himself and the club.

In another instance, Jared Staal of the famed Staal family played his 2016-17 season there only to retire at the end of the season to move back to Canada to become an assistant coach with OHA Edmonton of the CSSHL.

In one of the worst things to happen to the club, highly-touted defenceman Joe Grimaldi, who played in the AHL, ECHL, OHL, and NCAA, was signed by Edinburgh only to be released from the club after 14 games for spearing Nottingham defenceman Evan Mosey, throwing his helmet at Mosey's face, and sucker-punhcing Mosey.

Needless to say, the constant revolving door of players, coaches, management, and owners along with some bad press hurt Edinburgh's play on the ice and in the standings where they never finished higher than sixth-place.

In the end, it wasn't finances or a lack of fan support that killed the franchise despite the setbacks listed above, but it was the loss of their coveted ice time at Murrayfield Ice Rink that did the Capitals in as an ownership group led by former Edinburgh Capitals player and coach Tony Hand outbid the Capitals for their ice time! Without a home rink to play in, the Edinburgh Capitals made the tough decision to fold, ending their run in the EIHL.

There's a little background information to go with Jason's stellar Edinburgh Capitals jersey! Maybe you want in on this fun? If you do, I'm looking to feature all sorts of weird and wonderful stories about a jersey in your closet that you love! If you want to get in on this fun, please email me a front and back picture of your jersey with the story about why it's your favorite jersey. If you're not using the link above, email to "" with the subject "Jersey Project" since you might do this off your phone which has a camera to capture those images of your jersey.

A big thanks to Jason Pchajek for his submission today!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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