Best and Worst NHL Mascots, According to Sports Fans
From bees to bears and just about everything in between, NHL mascots are arguably the most diverse in sports. (Yup, there’s even an alien).
With so many different mascots in the league, it can be challenging to rank the best and worst, so we decided to find out what hockey fans had to say about their favourites.
Whether they’re cuddly, ugly, menacing, or just plain “meh,” here are sports fans’ most and least favourite NHL mascots.
While there are several bear mascots in the league, like those of the St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins, Carlton the Bear of the Toronto Maple Leafs takes the crown for the best mascot in the NHL, according to hockey fans.
Carlton scored an average 3.81 out of five and was the only Canadian mascot to rank in the top 10. Elsewhere, Hunter of the Edmonton Oilers ranked 13th, and Mick E. Moose of the Winnipeg Jets came in at 17. Unfortunately, other Canadian NHL mascots ranked pretty low on the list, but we’ll get to that later.
Coming in at No. 2 is Sabretooth of the Buffalo Sabres, with an average rating of 3.74. Rounding out the top five are Howler the Coyote of the Arizona Coyotes (No. 3), Louie of the St. Louis Blues (No. 4), and Slapshot of the Washington Capitals (No. 5).
Two California NHL teams just barely missed the top five. Bailey of the Los Angeles Kings and Wild Wing of the Anaheim Ducks ranked 6th and 7th, respectively, while S.J. Sharkie of the San Jose Sharks ranked No. 16.
Of course, no NHL mascot ranking would be complete without mentioning Gritty.
Love him or hate him, you can always count on Gritty to stir up strong feelings, but according to respondents, Gritty is closer to the bottom of the list and lands 21st out of 30. Ouch, we’ve got a feeling Gritty is not going to be happy about that.
Worst NHL Mascots
Speaking of the worst mascots, Gritty might find some solace knowing that Stinger of the Columbus Blue Jackets ranked last on our list with an average of 2.83. Canadian NHL mascots round out the bottom five with Harvey the Hound of the Calgary Flames, Spartacat of the Ottawa Senators, Youppi! Of the Montreal Canadiens and Fin the Whale of the Vancouver Canucks coming in at No. 5.
Most Obnoxious NHL Mascots
While Gritty’s appearance might not be the worst in the league, fans have different feelings about his behaviour. According to respondents, Gritty is the most obnoxious mascot in the league. From his impression of Kim Kardashian to bodychecking Flyers employees on the ice, fans are apparently not impressed with Gritty’s antics.
But misery loves company, so Gritty is not alone when it comes to obnoxious mascots. Coming in at No. 2 is Al the Octopus of the Detroit Red Wings, followed by Harvey the Hound of the Calgary Flames, Youppi! of the Montreal Canadiens, and Bailey of the Los Angeles Kings.
Will these five duke it out for most obnoxious once the 2022 NHL season begins? Only time will tell, but there’s plenty of time to practice during the offseason.
To determine our ranking, we surveyed more than 2,000 NHL fans across Canada and the U.S. to ask them to rate every official NHL mascot on a scale of 1-5. Ratings were then averaged for each mascot.
Among respondents, 57% were male, and 43% were female, with an average age of 37. Note: the New York Rangers do not have an official mascot, so they were not included in this list.
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