Nick and Connor review the Vegas Golden Knights draft history, praise Carter Hart’s NHL debut, talk about Scott Gordon’s introduction as interim head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, as well as the Patrik Berglund situation, Whalers Night and a teaser 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship preview.
I never thought I’d be doing this again, yet here we are. It’s time to begin the continuation of a now annual tradition around here at DTFR. It’s time to rank the NHL mascots.
For the first time since January 2017, here’s the latest look at things. Be sure to check out yesterday’s ranking (31st-21st) and stay tuned for tomorrow’s top-10.
20) Tommy Hawk (Chicago Blackhawks) Last year’s ranking 14th
The Blackhawks jersey is a timeless classic, but time has been catching up on Tommy Hawk. First of all, he’s a hawk that looks more like a penguin and second, he’s now been traded to the Arizona Coyotes for cap relief purposes, I’m being told by my producer.
19) Gnash (Nashville Predators) Last year’s ranking 17th
Gnash isn’t that bad looking, but Nashville’s home jersey lost its edge in the transition from Reebok EDGE 2.0 to ADIZERO technology. Because of that, we get a pretty average looking mascot that has many talents including entertaining the Tennessee Titans when they aren’t chugging beers and swinging catfish around at a playoff game.
18) Thunderbug (Tampa Bay Lightning) Last year’s ranking 15th
Thunderbug may lay claim to having a dominant team on the ice in front of him, but that doesn’t ignore his electrifying averageness. That’s right, Thunderbug is average. He’s cute and cuddly, but he’s cuter in cartoon form on one of those pamphlets at the All-Star Game promoting the mascots game or whatever.
17) Wild Wing (Anaheim Ducks) Last year’s ranking 3rd
The Ducks introduced their one-year only third jerseys for 2018-19 and it cost them. Not necessarily on the ice– as a regular season game has yet to have been played– but it cost them in this mascot ranking because Wild Wing shouldn’t have to wear a sweater that screams “all 25 years of the franchise in one shirt”. Next!
As you all know, we play plenty of Sunday games during the season.
Wild Wing has something VERY special planned for those nights.
16) Mick E. Moose (Winnipeg Jets) Last year’s ranking 11th
Winnipeg may be flying high, but like the Anaheim Ducks, the Jets introduced some sub-par alternate sweaters to the world this season. Now, they aren’t as bad as Anaheim’s, but something tells me Thrasher would look better in baby blue rather than Mick E. Moose.
15) Stinger (Columbus Blue Jackets) Last year’s ranking 27th
After careful consideration, Stinger’s moved up above a lot of the competition, but still has higher to climb. Another year has passed since Boomer working the mascot tandem with Stinger and the Blue Jackets brought back their quality third jerseys (albeit with the new-age number font and everything that they currently have on their home and road sweaters). It’s a redemptive year for Stinger, even though Columbus has still yet to win a playoff series.
14) Louie (St. Louis Blues) Last year’s ranking 12th
There’s nothing to complain about a plain looking bear, but Louie is kind of a Carlton the Bear knockoff. Nobody tell the Toronto Maple Leafs that though. It’s just another average year unless the Blues really wow him on the ice and finally win a Cup. Regardless, Louie puts on a smile every night and goes to work knowing one of these years Doug Armstrong will probably trade him and take the offseason to make the team that much better.
13) N.J. Devil (New Jersey Devils) Last year’s ranking 16th
Taylor Hall won the Hart Trophy last season as one of the hottest players on the ice, but there’s something even hotter in Jersey. It’s the Devil himself. Well, the N.J. Devil, that is. He’s on the rise and could be in the top-10 in 2019’s rankings depending on how he takes care of division rival, Gritty, trying to steal his spotlight. We’ll leave it up to his devilish plans.
12) Victor E. Green (Dallas Stars) Last year’s ranking 19th
A star is rising in the big-D and it’s not just Tyler Seguin’s cap hit beginning in the 2019-20 season thanks to his extension he signed with the Stars this month. Victor E. Green’s starting to take on more of the role of a veteran mascot, what with Chance and Gritty having been introduced after him now.
The following is a continuation of the ranking of all of the mascots in the NHL, based on the list of NHL mascots Wikipedia page.
15. Thunderbug- Tampa Bay Lightning
If it weren’t for Tampa’s third jerseys (which, thank you very much, adidas for doing something about them, even though I’m usually a fan of alternates), Thunderbug might be higher up in my rankings, but unfortunately even Thunderbug can’t pull off looking stunning in those “Bolts” jerseys.
Look, Tampa actually did a great job coming up with a mascot that works in more ways than one. Thunderbug’s name implies both the sound that occurs after lightning in a thunderstorm, as well as a synonym for “lightning bug”, or as normal people call them, “fireflies”. Thunderbug’s aesthetics might seem a little outdated, however, but I’ll let it pass since it could always be worse.
14. Tommy Hawk- Chicago Blackhawks
Not bad, but not great either. Tommy Hawk is okay, but I’m sure we’ll all be giving him some points for feeling bad about what happened in Minnesota the other night. Actually, come to think of it, Nordy, you’ve been retroactively downgraded to last place in these rankings. That’s right, Stormy, you’ve been called up. Don’t get used to it.
13. Carlton the Bear- Toronto Maple Leafs
Pure. Simple. Classic. Carlton the Bear is like a basic cup of coffee that Starbucks “dresses up” and charges you more for. Then again, what do I know, I’m more of a Dunkin’ guy myself and I drink coffee about one or two times a year. Anyway, the point is this, the Toronto Maple Leaf’s mascot is a classic. Named after the street the old Maple Leaf Gardens sat on, Carlton the Bear ties in the history of the Maple Leafs with the culture of hockey (and Canada) so elegantly.
Bonus points for being a polar bear, as well.
12. Louie- St. Louis Blues
Say what you will about Louie, but again, the polar bear theme is always a win (to me anyway). He’s fuzzy, he’s friendly, Louie is a decent mascot and a great representative of the game. I mean, seriously, what little kid wouldn’t want to cozy up with Louie for a hug or a photo?
It’s not always about having menacing mascots that will bit your opponent’s head off, you guys. Louie is chill. Louie is laid back. St. Louis, you’ve outdone yourselves, as usual.
11. Mick E. Moose- Winnipeg Jets
Mick E. Moose would have made my top-ten, if it weren’t for his creepy, gigantic, smile.
Other than that, Mick E. Moose is a delightful call up from the AHL’s Manitoba Moose. Aside from my vendetta against Mick E. Moose’s smile, I don’t have much else to say for you, Winnipeg. Nice job overall, Jets.