The Winnipeg White Out is a hockey tradition that dates back to 1987 when hockey fans in Winnipeg were asked to wear white clothing to home playoff games in Winnipeg, creating a very intimidating effect and atmosphere. It was created as a response to the "C of Red" created by fans of the Calgary Flames, whom the home town Winnipeg Jets were facing in the first round of the 1987 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Jets eliminated the Flames in four games, and fans wore white for every home playoff game thereafter. Fans coined it the "White Out". Marketing for the team during the playoff referred to the "charge of the white brigade". When the Jets moved to Phoenix as the Coyotes, fans quickly embraced the "Whiteout" tradition for playoff games. Part of the marketing for this event at games included the modified lyrics ("Everybody wear white tonight") to Wang Chung's song "Everybody Have Fun Tonight".
Other NHL teamsEdit
The Vancouver Canucks started a tradition of waving white towels during the playoffs in 1982, three years prior to the Winnipeg Jets starting their own tradition. In a playoff game against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Canucks coach, Roger Neilson, and some of the players, waved white towels of surrender after a disputed call by the referee. The next game, Canucks fans at the Pacific Coliseum, waved white towels in solidarity with their coach, starting a playoff tradition of Towel Power that continues in Vancouver today.
Several other teams have since tried to replicate the success of this tradition. In 2002 the New York Islanders successfully attempted the white out by having their fans wear white for all their home playoff games against the Toronto Maple Leafs in their eastern conference quarterfinal match up. In 2004, the Philadelphia Flyers gave away orange t-shirts to create an "orange crush" against their semi-final opponent. It was also used occasionally during the 2008 Playoffs, mostly for Game 3 and Game 6. The Tampa Bay Lightning, who countered with a white out of their own.
Among other teams, The Anaheim Ducks (formerly the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim) fans have also attempted the Whiteout, along with fans of the Buffalo Sabres in the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Los Angeles Kings attempted to produce a "black out" — requesting all their fans wear black to playoff games — but this backfired, as it had the opposite effect of making the arena appear more empty than full.
At the request of Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins gave away white T-shirts before Game 1 of their series vs. the New York Rangers in the 2008 playoffs. A second white out event was held for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers on May 9, 2008.. The Penguins have since adopted the white out for nearly all home playoff games.
As part of their Rock the Red theme, Washington Capitals fans wore red starting with the 2008 playoffs, an idea lifted from the "Rock Your Red" campaign of former division rival New Jersey.
Also, the Phoenix Coyotes fans wore white in the 2010 playoffs. The Coyotes lost in the first round to the Detroit Red Wings. This whiteout had direct roots to that of Winnipeg because the Phoenix franchise relocated from Winnipeg