Yesterday evening, Elliot Segal, host of DC 101’s “Elliot in the Morning” talk show—-and one of the few local media personalities to care about the struggling Washington Capitals—posted an image of what could be the Caps’ much-anticipated new jersey design for next season to his Web site.

The new Reebok Edge jerseys—-which were premiered during the NHL’s All-Star game in late January—-are designed to be slimmer, sleeker, and performance-enhancing. Many Caps fans have been hoping that the organization would take this opportunity to switch from the team’s current sweaters to an updated version of the original red, white, and blue ones. But if the maroon and navy blue abomination on display at Elliot’s Web site is what the Caps will be wearing on the ice in the 2007—2008 season, those fans should prepare themselves for a disappointment.

The early verdict for the new Caps jersey isn’t good. Comments made by posters on www.washingtoncaps.com’s message boards ranged from “It looks like someone spilled Avs colors on a practice jersey” to “does it come with a bra?” Over at hockeysfuture.com’s message boards, the jersey fared even worse. “Sweet Jesus. That’s uglier than [former Caps defenseman Sergei] Gonchar on the PK,” one poster stated.

The good news is that Caps-crazy Internet detectives have reason to believe that the photo is not the real deal. Ever since images for this season’s All-Star jerseys first hit the Web, numerous Photoshopped versions featuring redesigned NHL team logos have circulated throughout the blogosphere. In fact, the photo at www.eitmonline.com has actually been making the rounds for at least a few days, and earlier this week posters at gameworn.net debated its authenticity.

“The site that hosts these images is the site of a graphic artist from [B]altimore, so that might be a clue as to if they are real or not,” one poster claims. “I’m going to make an assumption and say that these are photoshopped,” another says. “First, it’s the same template as this year’s All-Star jerseys—-the entire league won’t have the same template. Second, the Canadian flag tag in the neck on the second jersey is still in black and white—-someone forgot to color it in!”

Plan on trading in your signed Alexander Ovechkin jersey for one of these beauties?