Your Complete Guide to All of the NHL Mascots | LeoVegas

NHL Mascots Guide

Key for promoting their team, entertaining fans between periods, and offering a direct connection to the franchise, NHL mascots have long been a staple of the game-day experience. Legends like Harvey the Hound, beloved community contributors like SJ Sharkie, and the downright crazy Gritty are very popular in the NHL, adding hype and extra excitement to each game.

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History of NHL Mascots

NHL mascots are a feature of almost every franchise, but which crazy characters were the pioneers who paved the way for the likes of Mick E. Moose, the Spartacat, and Gnash?

Origin of Mascots in Sports

Mascots date back to the 1880s, with the concept seemingly forged in the French opera “La Mascotte”, which centered on a good fortune symbol. In the late 19th century, live animal mascots began to rise to prominence, with Yale University’s bulldog, Handsome Dan, being around since the Class of 1892. It wasn’t until 1964 that the original costumed major league mascot came to the fore, with that character being Mr. Met of the New York Mets.

Introduction of Mascots in the NHL

After the Atlanta Flames relocated to Calgary in 1980, ownership was keen to bring in a mascot to serve both the Calgary Flames and the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Introduced in 1983, the first official costumed mascot of the NHL would be Harvey the Hound, created and performed by Grant Kelba.

Evolution of NHL Mascots

Since Harvey the Hound took Calgary game days by storm, all but one NHL franchise has adopted its own mascot. It’s said that many teams contacted Kelba to try to get him to make mascots for them after his Siberian Husky for the Flames proved so popular. From animals to costumed animals, there are now aliens, mythical beasts, and whatever Youppi!, Gritty, and Buoy are meant to be!

Iconic NHL Mascots

From the oldest to the most popular, these are the NHL mascots who can count themselves as iconic nowadays.

The Oldest Mascots in the NHL

The NHL mascots who’ve stood the test of time will always have a special place in the league’s history, and it all begins with Harvey the Hound.

Harvey the Hound – Calgary Flames

Taking the form of a Siberian Husky with a big floppy tongue, Harvey the Hound was the first-ever NHL mascot and remains a game-day mainstay for the Calgary Flames. Famously, in 2003, the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers, Craig MacTavish, pulled the taunting mascot’s tongue right out.

Youppi! – Montréal Canadiens

Named as the French translation of “Yippee!”, the Habs mascot was actually the face of the Montréal Expos in the MLB. Performing since 1979, when the baseball team left in 2004 and picked a new mascot, Youppi! was snapped up by the Montréal Canadiens.

The Newest NHL Mascot

As you may assume, the newest team in the NHL also has the newest mascot, but once again, they kind of fumbled their options.

Buoy – Seattle Kraken

When the new Seattle franchise announced that its name would be “Kraken” and its colours were revealed to be a superb deep blue highlighted by dark red and aquamarine, fans were very excited to see how the rest of the franchise would look. With all of this potential, they went with an “S” for the logo and a kind of sea troll for the mascot. Buoy is a bizarre-looking mascot who, at the very least, is very memorable and unique.

Most Famous NHL Mascots

Mascots earn fame through crazy antics, and these two NHL mascots have certainly ticked that box.

Gritty – Philadelphia Flyers

Gritty is one of the newer NHL mascots, but through its absurd aesthetics and sometimes quite evil stunts, it’s rapidly become one of the most popular mascots in all of North America. Seen as being chaos incarnate, Gritty, with its swirly belly and googly eyes, has even earned its own section of the Wells Fargo Center. If the Flyers ever beat the [Stanley Cup odds and win the title, it’d be best to flee into your nearest doomsday bunker.

Bailey – Los Angeles Kings

Bailey the Lion has famously had an X (formerly Twitter) feud with pro wrestler CM Punk, who’s an avid Blackhawks fan. When the teams met in the 2014 Playoffs, the mascot and wrestler beton their team to win, ending with CM Punk wearing a Kings jersey outside of the United Center, enshrining Bailey as a fan-favourite.

These are the mascots who continue to prove to be known and remembered as some of the NHL’s best mascots.

Howler and Bernie – Colorado Avalanche

Howler the Yeti was a big favourite for the Colorado Avalanche, but he faded from the limelight by 2001, following a 1999 incident with a fan. It took until 2009 for Bernie the St Bernard to rise to the fore. He remains a very popular NHL mascot and even has his own little companion, the miniature Lil’ Bern.

Stinger and Boomer – Columbus Blue Jackets

A bright green yellowjacket, you’d think that Stinger wouldn’t be that appealing, but the mascot’s game-day antics have earned the love of the fans. Boomer came to join Stinger in 2010, but the duo didn’t last long. The distinctly phallic-looking cannon didn’t land too well.

Victor E. Green – Dallas Stars

Crazy fuzzy green alien, Victor E. Green, came into the league in 2014 and is easily one of the most eye-catching mascots around.

Nordy – Minnesota Wild

While they do look like the bear of the team logo, it’s said that Nordy is just some kind of unknown animal, being a blend of bear, fox, and puma.

Gnash – Nashville Predators

Easily one of the coolest NHL mascots around, Gnash is a smilodon inspired by the excavations in downtown Nashville that found fossils of a sabre-toothed cat. Around since 1998, Gnash has performed many grand and memorable stunts for Predators fans to enjoy.

Badaboum – Québec Nordiques

Created for Rendez-vous ’87, which would pit the NHL All-Stars against the Soviet Union, the Québec Nordiques adopted the blue otter mascot known as Badaboum. When the franchise moved to Colorado, the mascot was released into the wild.


How many NHL mascots are there?

There are 31 primary NHL mascots, but some teams have had two mascots at once in the past.

How many NHL teams don’t have a mascot?

Only one NHL team doesn’t have a mascot. That team is the New York Rangers.

Do NHL mascots get paid?

NHL mascots do get paid. They earn a salary paid by the NHL team, and many also earn extra cash for turning up to events beyond their home arenas and working on social media.

What NHL teams don’t have a mascot?

The New York Rangers don’t have a mascot, making NYR the only NHL team without a mascot.

Do NHL mascots travel to away games?

NHL mascots don’t typically travel with the team on road games, with the exception of special events, such as when Gritty soared in from the roof at Lincoln Financial Field for the 2019 Stadium Series.

How many NHL mascots are animals?

In total, 25 NHL mascots are animals. However, two of them are extinct animals (both are smilodon) and another is a mythical beast – Sparky the Dragon of the New York Islanders.

What happened to Howler the Yeti?

Howler the Yeti was the mascot of the Colorado Avalanche, standing as the state’s “friendliest bigfoot.” However, in 1999, 9News reported a scuffle with a fan outside of the McNichols Arena in which the fan pushed Howler after he’d bonked other fans and hit them on the head with a poster roll. The mascot just kind of faded away over the next couple of years, and for several years, the Avs were without a mascot entirely. Howler’s still honoured by the Avs, though, via their white footprint badge on the shoulders of some jerseys.

Why is the Hurricanes mascot a pig?

The Carolina Hurricanes have a pig as a mascot, called Stormy the Ice Hog, because the then-owner was considering the name Ice Hogs and sought to draw from North Carolina’s pork industry. Instead, the team was named Hurricanes, and the pig mascot became the team’s tie-in to the local industry.

Do the Boston Bruins have a mascot?

The Boston Bruins do have a mascot. The team’s mascot is Blades the Bruin, which is an anthropomorphic brown bear.

What is the Oilers mascot?

The Edmonton Oilers mascot is a Canadian lynx called Hunter the Lynx.

Who is the Anaheim Ducks mascot?

Wild Wing is the Anaheim Ducks mascot. It sports hockey gear and a duck head that draws from the classic design of hockey goalies.

Who is the Maple Leafs’ mascot?

Clearly inspired by a Coca-Cola advertising campaign, the mascot of the Toronto Maple Leafs is Carlton the Bear. The mascot is a fluffy polar bear that’s always smiling.

What is the Pittsburgh Penguins mascot?

The Pittsburgh Penguins mascot is a big, goofy-looking penguin named Iceburgh.

What is the Buffalo Sabres mascot?

Playing on the “Sabres” part of the team’s name, the Buffalo Sabres mascot is a smilodon or, as they’re commonly known, a sabre-toothed tiger that goes by the name Sabretooth.

What is the New Jersey Devils mascot?

The New Jersey Devils mascot is a devious devil character that goes by the name of NJ Devil.

What is the Habs mascot?

The mascot of the Montréal Canadiens is probably best categorized as a giant Muppet. Youppi! was designed for the Habs by former Muppets character designer Bonnie Erickson, and given its aesthetics. It’s tough to say exactly what the mascot is beyond a pale-faced, ginger-furred humanoid.

What is the Calgary Flames mascot?

The mascot of the Calgary Flames is a Siberian Husky. Known as Harvey the Hound, the big dog always has its tongue wagging out of its mouth.

What is Oregon’s mascot?

The mascot of the University of Oregon, representing the Oregon Ducks athletic program, is, predictably, a duck. The Oregon Duck has white feathers, an orange bill, and a little green cap.

What is the Tampa Bay Lightning mascot?

The Tampa Bay Lightning mascot is a yellow-and-black lightning bug or firefly. Its name is ThunderBug.

Who is the San Jose Sharks mascot?

The San Jose Sharks mascot is SJ Sharkie, a great white shark who skates around in the famed teal jersey of the team.

What is the Blackhawks mascot?

The Chicago Blackhawks mascot, Tommy Hawk, is a black, feathery hawk whose name draws from the famed Native American weapon, the tomahawk.

What is the Colorado Avalanche Mascot?

The Colorado Avalanche mascot is a big St Bernard dog called Bernie the St Bernard.

What is the Minnesota Wild mascot?

The Minnesota Wild mascot is said to be an unknown kind of animal, but if you were to pick something, you would probably call Nordy a bear whose design draws from the team’s logo.

What is CU Denver’s mascot?

The mascot of the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) is Milo the Lynx.

What is the mascot of the New York Rangers?

The New York Rangers don’t have a mascot, making NYR the only team in the NHL that doesn’t employ a mascot.

Do the Arizona Coyotes have a mascot?

The Arizona Coyotes do have a mascot. The mascot of the Yotes is Howler the Coyote.

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