The 27-year-old Milano became a fan favorite after signing a one-year, $750,000 contract with Washington in October, and the Capitals rewarded the winger with a three-year, $5.7 million contract extension in February. He finished with 11 goals and 22 assists in 64 games, all while growing out his luscious locks.
“It’s a mane — an absolute mane,” teammate T.J. Oshie told the Athletic this year.
Milano, who cut his hair short before the 2019-20 season while playing for the Columbus Blue Jackets, let it grow — as a lot of people did — during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There was nowhere to get a haircut,” he told the Athletic. “And even when places did open back up, I wasn’t in a rush to get in there because of all the concerns. That summer, it was growing out and I was just like, ‘Let’s see what happens.’ Turns out I liked it, so I just kept it.”
Milano, who uses coconut oil to nourish his hair, follows in the footsteps of hirsute former Nationals Jayson Werth and Bryce Harper, whose beards were commemorated in Chia Pet giveaway form in 2015 and 2016. (Based on personal experience with the Werth and Harper beards, it’ll require a green thumb to have Milano’s chia planter looking like the digital rendering the Capitals provided. But who doesn’t like a challenge?)
Other highlights among the Capitals’ 14 all-fan giveaways for the upcoming campaign are a bucket hat (Oct. 24), fanny pack (Nov. 2), holiday beanie (Dec. 20), Hawaiian shirt (March 22) and Darcy Kuemper bobblehead (March 26).
The promotional schedule also features 19 special ticket offers, each of which comes with a gift. The best of the bunch might be four Capitals-themed crossover jerseys. The Capitals football jersey will be available with the purchase of a special ticket offer for the team’s traditional Super Bowl Sunday matinee Feb. 11 against the Vancouver Canucks. Capitals soccer (Nov. 8), basketball (March 20) and baseball (March 24) jerseys are also available, and season ticket holders will be able to purchase special ticket offer gifts without purchasing additional tickets.
The promo schedule includes more than two dozen theme nights, including Oktoberfest (Oct. 27), #Capsgiving (Nov. 22) and Pride (March 20). Theme nights will include activations for all fans throughout the game, but some theme-night giveaways, including a Capitals beer stein for Oktoberfest and a Pride-themed Capitals beanie for Pride night, require the purchase of a special ticket. The Capitals will debut several music-focused theme nights, which will include pregame concerts at the District E event space adjacent to Capital One Arena.
Capitals all-fan giveaways for 2023-24
- Oct. 13 vs. Pittsburgh: Schedule magnet
- Oct. 24 vs. Toronto: Bucket hat
- Nov. 2 vs. N.Y. Islanders: Fanny pack
- Nov. 18 vs. Columbus: Hockey Fights Cancer jersey rally towel
- Nov. 22 vs. Buffalo: Capsgiving T-shirt
- Dec. 20 vs. N.Y. Islanders: Holiday party beanie
- Jan. 11 vs. Seattle: “Chia Milano” chia planter
- Feb. 26 vs. Ottawa: Celebrating Black history rally towel
- March 3 vs. Arizona: Kids day giveaway (TBA)
- March 22 vs. Carolina: Hawaiian shirt
- March 26 vs. Detroit: Darcy Kuemper bobblehead
- March 30 vs. Boston: Blue W T-shirt
- April 4 vs. Pittsburgh: Reusable tote bag
- April 15 vs. Boston: Fan appreciation night poster
For the full promotional calendar, including theme nights and special ticket offers, see here.