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NHL Mascots: The Good, The Bad And The Non-Existent

Sara Ramsey |
November 10, 2010 | 12:45 p.m. PST

Staff Writer

Hockey, unlike other sports, doesn't exactly lend itself to cheerleaders, national anthem singers or mascots. With no field, sideline or courtside space, mascots especially need to find a way to keep fans engaged.

Now not all mascots are created equal. Some are awesome, others are so-so and some just don’t make sense at all.

S.J. Sharkie is one of the best in the league. The San Jose mascot has been a staple of the team since its debut in January 1992 and has been chomping on unsuspecting fans and rappelling from rafters ever since.

Even “The Daily Show with John Stewart” did a segment on the mascot’s near death experience.

Sharkie has been selected as a part of 13 NHL All-Star games and even dropped the puck in 1997 when San Jose hosted the match.

The anthropomorphic shark is also known to get around on a Segway. So, that pretty much seals the deal.

Harvey the Hound is best known for being the NHL’s first ever mascot or “first pound draft pick." He calls Calgary home.

The Flames’ 6-foot-6, 200-pound hound was introduced in 1983 and has since been invited to seven All-Star games.

Most notably, Harvey was involved in a hairy situation (pun intended) when Edmonton Oilers head coach, Craig MacTavish, ripped out the dog’s signature red tongue after a little harmless taunting. 

Harvey doesn’t shy away from extreme entertaining either, which earns him points in my book.

The Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers are all teams that have never had a mascot. The Montreal Canadiens may want to take note.

Youppi! is just plain weird. The Montreal Canadiens adopted this giant “thing” after it was orphaned by the Montreal Expos' baseball organization, a team that later became the Washington Nationals.

The Canadiens’ big, hairy, orange monster may be the first mascot to ever switch between major league sports or be considered an unofficial inductee of the Baseball Hall of Fame, but I just can’t take it seriously.

In lieu of a number on its sweater, Youppi! ("Yippee!" or "Hooray!" in French) sports an exclamation point! And the googly eyes have to go. This half man, half Muppet in a blue helmet is not only random but a joke. Sorry Montreal.

You may as well dress someone up as a big tree and have him prance around. 

Oh wait.

Never mind.

To reach writer Sara Ramsey, click here.

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