List of NHL mascots

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Introduced in 1983, Calgary's Harvey the Hound was the NHL's first mascot.

This is a list of current and former National Hockey League (NHL) mascots, sorted alphabetically.

Teams without a mascot[edit]

The following NHL teams do not currently have a mascot.

Current mascots[edit]

Al the Octopus[edit]

Main article: Al the Octopus
Al the Octopus (Detroit Red Wings)

Al the Octopus is the eight legged mascot of the Detroit Red Wings. It is also the only mascot that is not costumed. In 1952, when east side fish merchants Pete and Jerry Cusimano threw a real octopus onto the Olympia arena ice, the eight legs represented the eight victories needed to secure a Stanley Cup in those six-team days. Since then, fans throw an octopus onto the ice for good luck. In one game in the 1995 Playoffs, fans threw forty-five onto the ice.[citation needed] Arena Manager and Zamboni driver Al Sobotka ceremoniously scoops them up and whirls them over his head, and play continues. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman forbade Sobotka from doing so during the 2008 playoffs, claiming that debris flew off the octopuses and onto the ice. Sobotka and the Red Wings have denied that this occurs, but even so Sobotka acquiesced and now twirls the octopuses once he departs the ice. In 2011 the NHL forbade fans from throwing any octopuses on the ice, penalizing all violators with a $500 fine.[citation needed] This has led to local outcry at the seemingly intentional destruction of a classic tradition. Red Wing's forward Johan Franzen has pledged to pay any and all fines as an attempt to continue the tradition.[citation needed]

Now two identical large purple prop octopi (Al), which are both named after ice manager Al Sobotka, are positioned in Joe Louis Arena for the duration of the playoffs.

Bailey[edit]

Bailey, the mascot of the Los Angeles Kings is a 6 foot lion (6 foot 4 inches with mane included) who wears No. 72 because it was Garnet "Ace" Bailey's number. He was named in honor of Garnet "Ace" Bailey who served Director of Pro Scouting for seven years before dying in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.[1][2][3] Bailey is the Kings' second mascot, the first was a snow leopard named Kingston in 1994.[citation needed]

For the 2009-10 season, the Kings partnered with Carl's Jr. to create a series of videos in which Kings organization members competed against Carl's Jr. organization members. The first installment in which Bailey appears is a spoof on Carl's Jr.'s commercials, with Bailey replacing scantily clad actresses.[4]

Bernie the St. Bernard[edit]

Bernie the St. Bernard introduced October 3, 2009. He is the Colorado Avalanche's current mascot

Bernie, the newest mascot of the Colorado Avalanche, debuted to the public against the Vancouver Canucks at Pepsi Center on October 3, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. Bernie, short for Bernard, is a St. Bernard dog. Bernie is the second mascot since Howler the Yeti who was retired early in the Avalanche franchise. Bernie's jersey is marked with a bone that resembles the #1. A fan page for Bernie was also unveiled October 3, 2009.[5]

Blades the Bruin[edit]

Blades the Bruin serves as the team mascot for the Boston Bruins. Blades the Bruin is notable because he is the only known bear who does not hibernate. Blades first took an interest in hockey when watching Johnny Bucyk play pond hockey with groups of neighborhood children. One day, he sneaked in the back of Bucyk's truck and was taken to the Boston Garden where Bucyk fed him pizza, hot dogs, popcorn, and pop from the concession stand. Blades was named by a young fan, Jillian Dempsey (now a standout for the women's team at Harvard), in attendance at that evening's game. Bucyk invited Blades to stay at the Garden and he agreed, assuming that the Bruins were bears like himself. Blades wears a XXXL jersey and size 13 skates.[6]

In January and February, Blades travels around the greater Boston area giving bear hugs to raise money for the Bruins Foundation.[7]

A former ad campaign by the Bruins also featured a more lifelike bruin, one without a uniform that walked on its hind paws. This version of the mascot still is quite popular among Bruins fans.

Carlton the Bear[edit]

Carlton the Bear is a 6'4" anthropomorphic polar bear, and the official mascot of the Toronto Maple Leafs. His first public appearance was on October 10, 1995 at the Leafs' home-opener in Toronto against the New York Islanders.

Carlton's name and number (#60) comes from the location of Maple Leaf Gardens, 60 Carlton St. in Toronto, the Leafs home arena from 1931 to 1999. They have since moved to the Air Canada Centre on Bay Street. Since his debut, Carlton has gained fame through appearances at Leafs home games. He has also occasionally travelled with the team, having made appearances at 20 different arenas in 17 cities over his career. To date, Carlton has tossed more than 8,000 shirts into the audience,[citation needed]led various cheers, and spread Maple Leaf spirit to thousands of fans. Carlton is also credited with chairing the first annual Mascot Summit in 2000, which took place at the 50th National Hockey League All-Star Game in Toronto.[citation needed]

Reports of Carlton's retirement were circulated in November 2009,[8] however the Maple Leafs, speaking through its mascot, stated that the report was false.[9]

Fin the Whale[edit]

Fin the Whale (Vancouver Canucks), wearing a tuxedo at the 2006 NHL Awards

Fin the Whale is the mascot of the Vancouver Canucks. He is an anthropomorphic killer whale. Fin is usually hanging around the Canucks, proudly beating his drum at every Canucks hockey game. His trademark move consists of steam emitting from his blowhole and his "chomping" of unsuspecting heads at Rogers Arena. Fin is one of the few NHL mascots who plays the position of a goalkeeper. He is 6'3 and shoots left.

Fin is very affectionate towards children, having been a regular at Canuck Place, a hospice in Vancouver for terminally ill children.

He is also featured in a series of animated shorts that play during games, produced by Vancouver animation studio Slap Happy Cartoons. His underwater home is known as Fin's Place in the Georgia Strait.

Gnash[edit]

Gnash is the mascot for the Nashville Predators. The saber-tooth tiger character was selected as the team mascot after archaeological excavations at the First American Cave site in downtown Nashville (in preparation for the Regions Center (Nashville)) unearthed the partial skeleton of a saber-tooth cat.[10] The name "Gnash" is a pun on the first syllable of the city's name.

The character was introduced in 1998, the same year the team was founded. His trademark includes stunts: fast rappels from the arena rafters, jumping a 4-wheel/ATV off a ramp onto the ice, and a pendulum swing that takes him under the scoreboard and just inches off the ice. Gnash also dances during intermissions and pulls pranks on fans of the visiting team, usually ending with a pie in the face.

Harvey the Hound[edit]

Main article: Harvey the Hound

Harvey the Hound is the 6-ft, 6-in tall mascot of the Calgary Flames. Created in 1983, Harvey was the NHL's first mascot.

Harvey was once involved in an incident with Edmonton Oilers Coach Craig MacTavish when MacTavish ripped out Harvey's tongue. Harvey the Hound was voted best Mascot in 2004, 3rd in 2005 and 6th in 2006. Harvey also had a long-standing feud with broadcaster Gary Green.

Howler the Coyote[edit]

Howler the Coyote is the mascot of the Phoenix Coyotes. The Number 96 on his sweater represents the year the Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix. He Wears a "M" Designation for Mascot, He was introduced on October 15, 2005. He is known to beat on a bucket to encourage the fans to cheer, and has many different outfits in games.

Iceburgh[edit]

Pittsburgh Penguins mascot Iceburgh

Iceburgh is the official mascot of the Pittsburgh Penguins.[11] He debuted for the 1991-92 NHL Season. Iceburgh was known as "Icey" in the 1995 film Sudden Death starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, filmed at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. In the movie, Iceburgh's costume was worn by one of the villains.[12] The name Iceburgh is a play on the word 'iceberg' and the name of the city of Pittsburgh. He usually wears a Penguins jersey with the number "00". The costume is almost identical to that of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' team mascot, "Tux." The only difference being that Iceburgh has an orange neck, and Tux's neck is red. Tux also wears red gloves and Iceburgh wears black. Tux wears number "99" on his back with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins logo on the front of his jersey.

Louie[edit]

Louie

Louie is the current mascot of the St. Louis Blues. He was introduced on October 10, 2007 and on November 3, 2007, the fans voted on his name on the Blues website.[13] Louie is a Blue Polar Bear and wears a Blues jersey with his name on the back.

Mick E. Moose[edit]

Mick E. Moose is the mascot of the new Winnipeg Jets. Mick debuted in 1994 for the International Hockey League's Minnesota Moose. After the franchise relocated in 1996 to Winnipeg, he became the mascot for the IHL/AHL Manitoba Moose before the franchise was moved to St. John's and became the St. John's IceCaps. Mick E. Moose was recalled from the AHL after deciding that "Ultimately, the fact that Mick E. Moose seemed to connect and resonate with so many of our young fans over the past 15 seasons kept bringing us back to our history and the possibility of retaining him as our mascot.". Mick was introduced as the Jets' new mascot on October 7, 2011. Mick is a brown moose, with two large antlers and wears a blue home jersey and a flying helmet.[14]

N.J. Devil[edit]

N.J. Devil is the mascot of the New Jersey Devils. He first appeared in 1993 and was spotted in the rafters of the then-Brendan Byrne Arena. The 7' tall mascot plays into the myth of the Jersey Devil. N.J. Devil often keeps the crowd excited, signs autographs, participates in entertainment during the intermissions, skates across the ice, and runs throughout the aisles of the arena to high five fans. N.J. wears a red Devils jersey with his name and number 00 on the back.

Nordy[edit]

The Minnesota Wild unveiled their mascot, named Nordy, on October 5, 2008. Little is known about the species of the mascot - some say he is a mix of a bear and a fox wearing hockey hair and a green "M" on his forehead.[15][16] Nordy is the newest member of the team of 18,000 and wears the jersey number 18,001.[17]

Sabretooth[edit]

Sabretooth (Buffalo Sabres)

Sabretooth is the mascot of the Buffalo Sabres.[18] He is ostensibly a sabre-toothed tiger. From 1992 to 1998, he was also the mascot of the Buffalo Bandits of the National Lacrosse League. He has a house in First Niagara Center. Before games, he rappels from the ceiling to the ice while rock music plays, and has also been known to ride a four-wheeler on the ice while followed by a spotlight. He has a t-shirt bazooka, which he uses to shoot shirts into the crowd, and plays Sabres chants on a drum. Sabretooth recently received a new blue-and-gold color scheme to match the Sabres' then-new logo. Currently, Sabretooth wears the new logo jersey and has blue stripes. Sabretooth's autograph can be obtained on the mezzanine level of First Niagara Center within his custom built playhouse. Buffalo Sabres PR Director Paul Wieland and Sabre employee Budd Bailey originally came up with the idea for Sabretooth in the mid-to-late 1980s in an effort to spur fan interest and replicate what the AAA Buffalo Bisons baseball team had done with their mascot Buster Bison. Team owners the Knox Family had suggested a mascot of their own and Wieland and Bailey obliged with Sabretooth.[citation needed]

S.J. Sharkie[edit]

S.J. Sharkie (San Jose Sharks)

S.J. Sharkie, an anthropomorphic shark, is the mascot of the San Jose Sharks. He debuted in January 1992.

On March 12, 1999, S.J. Sharkie was involved an incident during the pre-game festivities for that evening's Sharks vs. Red Wings game. During an attempted rappel from the rafters of SAP Center at San Jose, Sharkie's jersey became entangled in the rope and rappel equipment, leaving Sharkie hanging approximately 40 feet above the ice. Sharkie remained there while the starting lineups were announced and during the singing of the national anthem. The beginning of the game was delayed 20 minutes while crews worked to rescue him. He was eventually hoisted upward to a catwalk using a secondary rope.[19]

Slapshot[edit]

Main article: Slapshot (mascot)
Slapshot (Washington Capitals)

Slapshot is the official mascot of the Washington Capitals. He is a large bald eagle who wears the jersey number 00. He was officially unveiled on November 17, 1995 and is frequently accompanied at home games by secondary mascots, Air Slapshot and Hat Trick.

Sparky the Dragon[edit]

Sparky the Dragon New York Islanders

Sparky the Dragon is the mascot for the New York Islanders. He had served as the mascot for the New York Dragons Arena Football team until that league's 2009 demise. What made him unique[citation needed] was the fact that he wore two sets of colors, depending on the team he rooted for. He currently wears royal blue and orange. His original navy blue color was changed in summer 2010 to match the Islanders' return to their classic color scheme. His tail has the shape of a hockey stick. For Dragons contests, he had worn pink, red, and black. The fact that both teams were owned by computer magnate Charles Wang and both teams played at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum factored into this.

Spartacat[edit]

Spartacat is an anthropomorphic lion and the official mascot of the Ottawa Senators. He is also known to be quite an acrobat as he has been seen swinging through the Canadian Tire Centre arena to get the crowd pumped up before games. An immediately recognizable part of Ottawan society, Spartacat does his part as an active member of the community by visiting hospitals, schools, and children's hockey games. He has been involved in the "Read to Succeed" literacy drive that has been initiated by the Ottawa Senators to educate children on the importance of reading and participates by visiting schools in the Ottawa area to draw the attention of children to the literacy message.

Spartacat

Spartacat has a fierce rivalry with Carlton the Bear, the official mascot of the NHL ice-hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Stanley C. Panther[edit]

Stanley C. Panther is the mascot of the Florida Panthers. He was named in 1995 by Darrel Ambrosini.[20] He is named for the Stanley Cup. At the beginning of the 2007–08 season, the Panthers added another mascot that is half the size of Stanley, hence the name "Mini Stanley". Due to Mini Stanley's smaller size, he is a mascot that caters more to children.

Stinger[edit]

Stinger (Columbus Blue Jackets)

Stinger is the is a 6 foot 9 inch bright green mascot of the Columbus Blue Jackets. He is a yellowjacket, who was originally yellow and has been mixed with team's blue to make green, with red eyes. Stinger wears the number 00, shortened from 2000, for the year the Blue Jackets were founded.

A prominent figure at every home game, Stinger is often seen and heard banging his snare drum and giving high-fives to children. After the 2004–05 NHL lockout, the Blue Jackets adopted a new logo for their jerseys which removed Stinger from their uniforms.

Stormy[edit]

Carolina Hurricanes mascot Stormy

Stormy is the mascot of the Carolina Hurricanes. He is an anthropomorphic ice hog, who wears the number 97 (shortened for 1997- the year when the Hartford Whalers moved to North Carolina to play their first game). The reason for a hog mascot is because of the abundance of hog farms in eastern North Carolina. One of the primary figures in bringing the Hurricanes to North Carolina originally wanted to name the team the "Ice Hogs". While that idea was scratched, the ice hog was worked into the team through Stormy.

Thunderbug[edit]

Thunderbug is the mascot of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He is black and yellow and wears a jersey with the number 00. He usually walks around the stands launching T-shirts to fans.[21]

A video of the Thunderbug spraying a fan of the Boston Bruins with silly string went viral in 2012; less than a week later, a local television station confirmed the female performer was let go, but not exclusively for this incident.[22]

Tommyhawk[edit]

Tommyhawk is the mascot for the Chicago Blackhawks. He is a hawk who wears the Blackhawks' famed 4 feathers on his head, along with a Blackhawks jersey and hockey pants.[23]

Wildwing[edit]

Wildwing is the mascot for the Anaheim Ducks. He was chosen following a fan "Name the Mascot" write-in contest, where one creative fan picked a name that truly fits that Ducks mascot's personality. Wild Wing is the first mascot in National Hockey League history to descend onto the ice from the rafters of the arena. He is an anthropomorphic duck that was also featured in the animated series Mighty Ducks. When he debuted, he caught fire thanks to a stunt where he would drive an ATV through a ring of fire.

Youppi![edit]

Main article: Youppi

Youppi! (Yippee! or Hooray! in French) is the official mascot for the Montreal Canadiens. The exclamation mark is part of the trademarked name. From 1979 to 2004, Youppi! was the mascot of the Montreal Expos baseball team. When the Expos left Montreal, Youppi! was adopted by the hockey franchise, becoming the first league-switching mascot in major league sports history. Instead of endorsing a number in the back of his jersey, he wears an exclamation mark.

Former mascots[edit]

Badaboum[edit]

Badaboum was the mascot of the former Quebec Nordiques. When the team left Quebec City and changed its name, Badaboum was retired.[24]

Benny[edit]

Benny was the mascot of the original Winnipeg Jets. He was named in honour of both Ben Hatskin, the first owner of the Jets, and Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets." He wore a B on the front of his jersey, in the spot where a C for captain or A for alternate captain would otherwise go.[25]

Boomer the Cannon[edit]

Boomer the Cannon

Boomer the Cannon was a secondary mascot for the Columbus Blue Jackets next to Stinger who first appeared in November 2010. An anthropomorphic gray cannon with wheels and a large white mustache, Boomer was not well received due to his phallic appearance.[26] Boomer was inspired by the goal cannon that fired whenever the Blue Jackets scored a goal at their home arena.

Howler the Yeti[edit]

Howler the Yeti was the first official mascot of the Colorado Avalanche.[27]

Kingston[edit]

Kingston was the first mascot of the Los Angeles Kings. He was a Snow Leopard who was around for the 1994 season.

Nyisles[edit]

Nyisles was a "seafaring Islander" that the New York Islanders used as a mascot[28] prior to Charles Wang obtaining the team and soon replacing him with Sparky the Dragon.

Pete the Penguin[edit]

Pete the Penguin was the Pittsburgh Penguins' first mascot. He was an Ecuadorian-born penguin on loan from the Pittsburgh Zoo. Pete made his first appearance during the second intermission of a game against the Boston Bruins on October 19, 1968. He later died of pneumonia one month into the season. It is believed that his death was due to the ice crew at the arena keeping his nesting area too warm.

A second penguin mascot was loaned to the team and made it through the 1971–72 season.[12]

Pucky the Whale[edit]

Pucky the Whale was the Hartford Whalers' mascot. He was a green biped whale who wore a whalers jersey with a picture of himself on the front. He was also seen as a shoulder patch on Whalers jerseys in the 1970s and 1980s.

Slapshot[edit]

The Flyers debuted a short-lived skating mascot named Slapshot in 1976. It remains the only mascot in Flyers' team history. Today, the Washington Capitals use a mascot by the same name (see above). The New Jersey Devils mascot was also named Slapshot and was a giant puck until the introduction of the NJ Devil in 1993

Thrash[edit]

Thrash was the mascot of the Atlanta Thrashers. He was a 6'3" Georgia Brown Thrasher who debuted in 1999. When the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg, Thrash was retired.

Winger[edit]

Winger was the first mascot of the Washington Capitals, was their first before switching to the current mascot Slapshot. Despite being retired, Winger occasionally appears at Capitals games, usually when there is a mascot event. In the 1980s the Detroit Red Wings also briefly had a mascot named The Winger.The Detroit Red Wings mascot "The Winger" appeared when Mike Ilitch bought the team in 1982 and continued mascoting until the end of the 1987 season.

Historical tradition[edit]

Prior to the current era of the furry anthropomorphic mascot, teams usually named children or animals as the team's mascot. The children were usually children of the players or team staff. Famous children mascots include Howie Morenz Jr., son of Howie Morenz, when Morenz played for the Montreal Canadiens.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Arritt, Dan (September 11, 2011). "Ace Bailey still leaving gifts 10 years later". ESPN.
  2. ^ Olson, Lisa (June 7, 2012). "Ace Bailey’s spirit lives on in hockey and the Los Angeles Kings". Sporting News.
  3. ^ Hammond, Rich (September 9, 2011). "10 Years Later: Memories of Kings Scouts Still Strong". Los Angeles Kings/NHL.com Network.
  4. ^ "Kings Mascot Bailey Studies Carl's Jr.'s Ads". NHL Video Center. Retrieved November 3, 2013.
  5. ^ Bernie The Mascot
  6. ^ http://bruins.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=38934
  7. ^ http://bruins.nhl.com/club/page.htm?bcid=20498
  8. ^ "Bearer of bad news". sportsnet.ca. November 27, 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Reports Of My Demise...". Toronto Maple Leafs. November 27, 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2010. 
  10. ^ Deter-Wolf, Aaron (2009), "The First American Cave Site Revisited", The Courier 47 (2): 4–5 
  11. ^ Iceburgh's NHL bio
  12. ^ a b http://www.penguinjersey.com/PensPages/Mascots/mascots.html
  13. ^ St Louis Blues - Community - Name the Mascot
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Minnesota Wild - 'Nordy' unveiled as new Wild team mascot
  16. ^ KSAX/KRWF-TV Eyewitness news- Wild unveil Nordy, new mascot
  17. ^ Minnesota Wild | Nordy Official Player Page
  18. ^ Sabretooth - NHL bio
  19. ^ McKeon, Ross (1999-03-13). "Sharks mascot hung out to dry". San Francisco Examiner (Hearst Communications Inc). p. C. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  20. ^ Wenzl, Roy (December 20, 1995). "Puckish Name For Hockey Mascot Lands Boy In Rink". Sun Sentinel. 
  21. ^ Official Thunderbug page
  22. ^ "Tampa Bay Lightning eject ThunderBug after YouTube online video incident". 10 News. St. Petersburg, Florida: WTSP. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 27 January 2012. 
  23. ^ Tommyhawk's Official Page
  24. ^ Dell, Michael. "Where Have You Gone, Badaboum?". LCS: Guide to Hockey. Retrieved 11 December 2009. 
  25. ^ Photo of Benny at the Winnipeg Arena
  26. ^ Wyshynski, Greg. "Blue Jackets stand up for their new phallic mascot". Puck Daddy (Yahoo). Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  27. ^ Colorado Avalanche forum
  28. ^ Ketcham, Diane (April 2, 1995). "LONG ISLAND JOURNAL". The New York Times. Retrieved May 8, 2010.