Hockey is back babyyyy! The NHL has decided to resume the 2019-2020 season by jumping straight into a bizarre and deformed version of the playoffs in a bid to award the Stanley Cup before they hold an expansion draft to let Seattle play.
In honor of playoff hockey, which is my favorite time of year, I’ve created a definitive ranking of NHL hockey mascots. I preface this by saying that the NHL has the most horrifying lineup of mascots in any professional sport. As a collective, they are harrowing. The worst collegiate mascot in America is still bounds nicer than the best hockey mascot. But, there is a peak among the rubble, and we will run it to the top here at That Nerdy Site.
Also, Seattle just announced that their NHL team will officially be the Seattle Kraken, so there are now 32 NHL teams. However, they have yet to drop photos of a mascot, so Seattle isn’t included in this lineup; given their name, the potential for greatness is so high. I hope they don’t let me down.
31: Harvey the Hound (Calgary Flames)
Traumatic. The worst thing I’ve ever seen at a sporting event, ever. He looks dingy, like a stuffed animal at a yard sale. That tongue is almost certainly against the Geneva Convention.
30: Spartacat (Ottawa Senators)
His mane looks matted and his teeth look like that crocodile dentist game. Everything is just slightly unsettling, and he looks grungy.
29: Youppi! (Montreal Canadiens)
An anthropomorphic … Canadian? Covered in hair and not wearing pants? Questionable. Also, he has sad eyes. Probably because they adopted him from the Montreal Expos when they moved to Washington. Youppi! misses his favorite sport, baseball.
28: …none… (New York Rangers)
The New York Rangers are the only NHL team that don’t have a mascot. Still better than some of these monstrosities.
27: Stinger (Columbus Blue Jackets)
His eyebrows are hockey sticks, so you know he’s a hockey mascot. Instead of having a blue mascot for the Blue Jackets, some galaxy brain somewhere went “yellow jacket + Blue Jackets = GREEN” and now we all suffer the consequences.
26: Fin (Vancouver Canucks)
A whole ass killer whale on top of a human body. Looks terrifying head-on and he has sharpened teeth for some reason.
25: S.J. Sharkie (San Jose Sharks)
Same concept as Fin, but a shark for a head instead. Looks marginally more friendly, still has awful teeth – which we’ll see as a theme here for NHL mascots. Gets bonus points for once getting stuck hanging from the rafters before a game.
24: Iceburgh (Pittsburgh Penguins)
His head isn’t proportional to the rest of his body, and it creates an uncanny valley vibe. Plus he’s cross-eyed and slack-jawed. Looks like he just got hit between the eyes by a puck.
23: Al the Octopus (Detroit Red Wings)
I think Al is actually a really cool mascot and looks pretty dope. However, he’s a stuffed octopus hanging from the ceiling of the Little Caesars Arena. He can’t join in any mascot games, and he can’t take cute promotional photos. Zero functionality here.
22: Chance (Vegas Golden Knights)
Look, I understand that Chance is meant to be a gila monster. But his eyes look like his nostrils and the total lack of hair is jarring. And again, eerie teeth.
21: Mick E. Moose (Winnipeg Jets)
Winnipeg recruited evil Bullwinkle over here to hang out with the team. His eyebrows are clearly conniving and the teeth (always the teeth!) are very cartoon villain. He looks like he’s gonna tie me to the railroad tracks.
20: Wild Wing (Anaheim Ducks)
Ripped straight from Looney Toons, he does not belong in hockey. Probably a distant cousin of Darkwing Duck.
19: N.J. Devil (New Jersey Devils)
This is just a 40 year old man trying to hit on me at a bar. He thinks it’s awesome that I like hockey but will challenge everything I say, all while trying to buy me way too many shots. Skeevy.
18: Nordy (Minnesota Wild)
What animal is this even supposed to be?? Huge forehead, huge nose, what species of feline am I looking at? Very indicative of Minnesota though, because who knows what goes on over there.
17: Gritty (Philadelphia Flyers)
Hot take: I hate Gritty. He’s like if the Philly Fanatic had a bastard love-child with Animal the Muppet. Everything about him is bad. Trash.
16: Tommy Hawk (Chicago Blackhawks)
Looks like a vaguely concerned rooster, but black. Honestly I just hate the Blackhawks so Tommy Hawk gets a lower ranking because of that. He’s mostly inoffensive I guess.
15: Slapshot (Washington Capitals)
A bog-standard bald eagle. So patriotic. He looks exactly as smug as I expect a bald eagle to look, but he has some weird neck feathers that ruin the look.
14: Stanley C. Panther (Florida Panthers)
I can’t defend this, but something about Stanley looks like he’s trying to sell me a used car with a broken transmission.
13. Bailey (Los Angeles Kings)
Mascots with manes just don’t work. The mane gets tangled and snarled and looks out of place. Also, as a kid I had a stuffed lion that I accidentally set on fire, so Bailey reminds me of that. Bad vibes.
12: Bernie the St. Bernard (Colorado Avalanche)
His head is too long and the tongue sticking out is a bad call, but he does have the barrel of beer around his neck, so points for authenticity.
11: Thunderbug (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Has feathers but only around his eyes, which are too wide. Bug mascots are just weird.
10: Stormy (Carolina Hurricanes)
His eyes are staring into my very soul. So big and innocent. Stormy is too pure for hockey, he doesn’t belong here.
9: Howler the Coyote (Arizona Coyotes)
I have absolutely no feelings about Howler. He looks like a coyote. Gently worried about his players, tongue out, he means well.
8: Louie (St. Louis Blues)
He’s a blue bear. Innovative stuff. Love that they committed to a color though (looking at you Columbus.) Wearing a hockey helmet, which is clearly pandering.
7: Victor E. Green (Dallas Stars)
I didn’t expect Victor to be this high on my list, but as a Boston fan I have a soft spot for green freaks as mascots. Also I respect a mascot that has a hoop skirt for a waist: looking alien is ideal for a sports mascot!
6: Sabretooth (Buffalo Sabres)
Definitely Tony the Tiger’s lesser brother. Teeth sure are rounded for a sabretooth, but he looks friendly and approachable and frankly, the Sabres need a win.
5: Carlton the Bear (Toronto Maple Leafs)
A nondescript polar bear. Zero emotion in his features, basically just a snowsuit with ears. I’m sure he’s very cuddly, but he can’t be ranked any higher than this because …
4: Blades the Bruin (Boston Bruins)
… the Maple Leafs always lose to the Bruins. Blades is also a bear, but he has more personality – in that he looks like he would eat you for sport. A little crazy in the eyes, but it fits the sport. And I’m a Boston fan so I have a bias, sue me.
3: Hunter (Edmonton Oilers)
Excellent jowls and ears, outlandish without being unsettling, totally proportional. An excellent mascot, and he looks good in bright orange. Just weird that the Oilers use a lynx as their mascot.
2: Gnash (Nashville Predators)
His name is a pun?? The color scheme is superb?? Teeth that are appropriate?? We stan Gnash.
1: Sparky the Dragon (New York Islanders)
Listen, no one will ever convince me this isn’t the best goddamn mascot in sports. Why every sports team doesn’t fight for the right to use a dragon as a mascot I don’t know. His colors are flawless, he has wings outside of his jersey, his horns are great, he looks happy without looking deranged. Sparky is a perfect mascot, and weird enough to perfectly represent the weirdness of hockey. **Unless the next NHL team is the Seattle Kraken, we’ll never see a better mascot than Sparky the Dragon.**
**I started writing this article on July 19th, 2020. Looks like I’m a true psychic.**