I’ve been a hockey fan since my middle school choir sang the national anthem in 2012. Cheering on the Iowa Wild and the Pittsburgh Penguins through their battles and games with the hope of seeing a little violence on the ice has been something that I have enjoyed doing for a long time. As someone who’s been going to a university with the best mascot ever, I have put together a list of my favorite hockey mascots:
Self-declared 2018 Time Person of the Year, Gritty is a seven-foot tall, googly-eyed furry creature of the Philadelphia Flyers. Career highlights include getting arrested for punching a child, being an internet sensation and appearing on talk shows. In his official biography (come on, you have to love this thing even more now that it has a biography), the construction of the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout, so he came out to see what all the ruckus was and became the mascot of the Philadelphia Flyers. I can only hope that when I die, I get reincarnated as Gritty.
2. S. J. Sharkie
The most ADORABLE little shark to ever skate the ice. I personally think that he’s just the cutest mascot, and that’s why he’s earned his place at number two. The oversized puffy ice skates and the fin on the back of the jersey is worthy of a chef’s kiss for attention to detail.
3. Wild Wing
Wild Wing is not only a pretty face. He’s also a movie star. Appearing in “The Mighty Ducks,” Wild Wing is the mascot for the Anaheim Ducks. He got his name from a “Name the Mascot” contest. I just love how he looks like an angry Freddy Krueger duck on skates. His little alien-like eyes sort of stare into my soul, but I still think he’s adorable.
4. Al the Octopus
This “mascot” is not someone walking around in a suit but rather an inflated octopus that descends from the rafters. Unfortunately, Al came around from a very sad tradition – Detroit Red Wings fans of the past, and some to this day, throw dead octopi onto the ice after the playoff games. Somewhere, they decided that the number of octopuses thrown on the ice symbolized the number of games the Red Wings needed to win the Stanley Cup. Now, when the Red Wings do well and make it to the playoffs, Al makes his glorious descent.
5. Iceburgh, the penguin
As a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, he HAD to make the list. I think that he’s so silly looking. He’s almost cute. He kinda looks like the Cookie Monster and a penguin had a baby, with his big goofy eyes. I really like how he wears a Penguins jersey with a fierce penguin on his belly while he has such a goofy look on his face.
6. Viktor E Ratt
Viktor is the mascot of the Florida Panthers and comes with his own unfortunate story. The abridged version of the story behind the rat is that one was in the locker room before a game and the team captain picked up a stick and hit the little guy against the wall. Later that night, the captain scored a few points and someone coined the term “scored a rat trick,” and the rest was history. I just like how goofy this little guy looks.