For many hockey fans, they head to the ice to see their favorite team and players win, skate, score, and maybe even get into a fight. Then there are the fans who have a certain affinity for the team mascot, who either gets the crowd going or creates havoc (looking at you, Gritty). With a historical sport such as hockey, it makes sense that NHL fans support not only their team but also their team’s mascot.
But with a variety of mascots, all of who seemingly have unique personalities, which mascot is the best?
Is it the cute, cuddle bear…or the intimidating shark?
NY Bet surveyed over 900 NHL fans from both the U.S. and Canada to find out once and for all which NHL team’s mascot is the favorite. By the way, if you want to bet online on NHL games this seasin, use BetRivers promo code to claim your free bets or try other legal in NY sportsbook apps, like betMGM or Caesars.
Shockingly, the best mascot isn’t even necessarily a “real” mascot. Al the Octopus with the Detroit Red Wings ranks first among hockey fans. While Detroit fans know Al as the team mascot, and of course, Detroit’s history with throwing octopi on the ice is infamous, you won’t find Al walking around Little Caesars Arena or skating on the ice in between periods. Maybe that’s why he’s the favorite, he’s the only mascot that doesn’t have a physical presence.
Right behind Al is Mick E. Moose, not to be confused with Mickey Mouse, of the Winnipeg Jets. This moose is both intimidating and cute (who doesn’t love a moose?), and is followed by Wild Wing of the Anaheim Ducks who comes in at number 3. Rounding out the top 5 is Carlton the Bear with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Slapshot with the Washington Capitals.
Who are the worst mascots?
The least-liked mascot belongs to the Calgary Flames, poor Harvey the Hound comes in at number 30. Sorry, Harvey. Spartacat with the Ottawa Senators, Stinger with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Thunderbug with the Tampa Bay Lightning, and Youppi! of the Montreal Canadiens all rank among the worst in the NHL. Ouch. At least Tampa has a couple of recent Stanley Cup victories to comfort them!
Among one of the worst-ranked mascots is Buoy, the new mascot of the Seattle Kraken. Buoy is a sea troll, and was debuted by the Kraken prior to the 2022 season.
We’ll see how the Kraken do this year, hopefully, they won’t rank in the bottom of their division like Buoy has.
It’s not just about the best and the worst NHL mascots, we were also curious as to which team has the most obnoxious, the scariest, and the cutest mascots.
In the least shocking news of the study, Gritty takes first place for most obnoxious mascots in the league! The orange monster is known across social media for his antics, and among hockey fans, it’s clear his personality is well-known.
Harvey the Hound ranks second for most obnoxious (again, sorry, Harvey), and is followed by Victor E. Green of the Dallas Stars, Youppi!, and Chance of the Vegas Golden Knights.
Some mascots are meant to be the intimidators of their teams and have mean or scary appearances. Al comes in first for the scariest looking and is followed by Gritty, Harvey, Hunter of the Edmonton Oilers, and NJ Devil of the New Jersey Devils.
Of course, there are other mascots you just want to snuggle with. Carlton ranks first as the cutest and is followed by Bernie the St. Bernard with the Colorado Avalanche, Stormy of the Carolina Hurricanes, Nordy of the Minnesota Wild, and Louis of the St. Louis Blues. Awwww.
What about mascots that no longer exist?
Mascots aren’t forever, sometimes a new member is added to an NHL team and sometimes mascots retire. Sometimes teams are moved to cities and get a new name and a new mascot. We asked NHL fans about former mascots to see who is the most missed and who left the most memorable impressions.
Of the 14 former NHL mascots, the most remembered is Howler the Yeti, who used to be with the Colorado Avalanche. Following Howler is Thrash, Pucky the Whale, NYiles, and Pete the Penguin.
Who’s the most missed?
Pete the Penguin (an actual penguin, how can you top that?) ranks first, and is followed by Howler, Boomer the Cannon, Pucky the Whale, and Thrash. Petition to bring some of these back?
Is having an NHL mascot worth it?
78% of hockey fans like mascots in general, and 78% like their own team’s mascot.
The majority of fans (66%) say mascots add to the overall experience of an NHL game, especially liking how mascots interact with fans (especially children) during a game.
The fact that most mascots skate as well is an impressive feat, and not all professional sports mascots can claim to have additional skills such as ice skating! There’s just something about seeing a dragon or coyote skate that can make an NHL game that much better.
In September and October 2022, we surveyed 914 NHL fans from the U.S. and Canada to get their feedback and opinions on NHL mascots. Respondents were 42% female and 58% male, with an age range of 18 to 76 and an average age of 38.