NHL Mascot power rankings

A look into the best mascots the NHL has to offer

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NHL Mascot power rankings

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Since the origins of human interaction, teams of all kinds have often chose an animal or symbol to represent them while they compete or perform whatever they do as a group. Whether it be Brutus the Buckeye, the Notre Dame Leprechaun, the iconic Lamborghini Bull, or the disturbing Charmin Bears, mascots have given teams and companies something that is often hard to create: personality.

The National Hockey League is no exception. Although many changes have been made over the years, most team mascots have done a great job at representing their teams as well as being entertaining and giving each organization a sense of personality. Here are the best.

5. Chance (Vegas Golden Knights)

The Golden Knights are the newest team to the NHL, playing first in in the 2017-2018 season. The knights, however, wasted no time making themselves known. Reaching the Stanley Cup Finals in their first season, the Knights proved to be a powerhouse

chance meets one of his many admirers

rather than a carpet, and they have remained a challenging opponent to enemy teams ever since. Their mascot, Chance, is an icon on par with the Stratosphere Casino and Hotel. Chance takes the shape of a Gila Monster, a local lizard species, often found in nearby Red Rock Canyon. The Golden Knights’ website describes his emergence: “He emerged from his underground burrow at Red Rock Canyon and made his way to City National Arena in Summerlin to see what all the excitement was about. Once there, he learned how welcoming the hockey community is. Despite being shy and not knowing anyone at the rink, he was invited to come onto the ice and skate. Like many newcomers to the sport, he fell in love with hockey and the Golden Knights. Because of hockey, he gained confidence and made new friends.

Chance represents the inclusive culture of hockey. Everyone is welcome. He demonstrates how important life skills can be developed by playing hockey, such as strong character, dedication, fitness and teamwork. Like the city of Las Vegas, he is strong.”

Gnash rappels into Bridgestone Arena

4. Gnash (Nashville Predators)

Since the 1998 NHL debut of the Predators, Gnash has been their biggest fan. Coming in the form of the ancient Sabre-tooth tiger, many were upset when his appearance was announced, claiming that Nashville’s new mascot was a rip-off of the Buffalo Sabres’ Sabretooth. Although, in Gnash’s defense, his appearance was created in response to one of the first Sabre-tooth skeletons being found in Tennessee. Despite his controversial debut, Gnash is beloved by those supporting Nashville, who are noted as some of the most loyal and energetic fans in the league. Gnash’s costume is probably one of the most visually appealing suits in the NHL, displaying a cool blue and yellow mix, along with gnarly fangs hanging from his mouth. Doubtless, Gnash will continue to provide Smashville with one of the better mascot experiences in the league for years to come.

3. Youppi! (Montreal Canadiens)

Serving the Montreal Canadiens, the oldest team in the NHL, Youppi! has delivered for the city of saints for decades. At first, Youppi! served as the mascot for the Montreal Expos, a now defunct MLB franchise. After the baseball team’s demise in 2005, Youppi was adopted by the Canadiens. Youppi! has always been known to have a strong personality. During his time working for the Expos, Youppi! was even kicked out of a game once for being a nuisance to rival coaches and players alike. It appears, however, that Youppi! plans to stay with the Canadiens for a while. Despite struggles in recent years, the Canadiens continue to pull crowds for each home game, and maintain a strong fanbase, with Youppi! leading the Habs through thick and thin.

 

2. Slapshot (Washington Capitals)

The iconic bald bird of the Washington Capitals, Slapshot has been a staple in the franchise since 1995, helping them win their first and only Stanley Cup title in 2018. While he is a fierce-looking and intimidating bird, he also doubles as the great symbol of America, being a perfect choice for the hockey team located in the nation’s capitol. Slapshot is probably the most intimidating mascot on this list; he truly looks scary and I would definitely fear him as an enemy player in Capital One Arena. Slapshot celebrates Washington goals like no other, and may be the inspiration for Evgeny Kuznetzov’s iconic winged celebration.

Slapshot grins next to Stanley

As the Capitals are looking as though they may have another shot at the cup in 2020, all Washington fans are getting excited for the conclusion of the season, but none more than Slapshot himself.

 

1. Gritty (Philadelphia Flyers)

Yes, Gritty.

If anyone has heard of one sports team mascot, it was probably Gritty. Gritty, with googley eyes as unpredictable as his character, has become either an icon or horrifying nightmare to hockey fans nationwide. Gritty’s origins are somewhat complicated. From what we know, he had a rough, possibly even abusive childhood which most likely explains his often strange behavior. For the most part, Flyers fans describe Gritty as “lovable” and everyone else best details him as “nightmare fuel”. Gritty has even had his own beer named after him. Regardless, Gritty has made a name for himself as the prankster of the NHL, messing with announcers, other mascots, and fans on both sides countless times. However, he still support the Flyers unconditionally. Despite being terribly creepy, and often times a nuisance, Gritty pulls fans into the Flyers experience, and gives Philadelphia something to rally behind, or against.