Best Mascots: NHL Edition
Mascots have been a big part of the NHL since they began to gain popularity in the 1990s.
Mascots are seen at basically every venue now, and are commonly very involved with the crowd and during intermission.
They are also commonly involved with the All-Star festivities, where all the mascots take to the ice.
There is also the annual mascot awards given out at the end of each season.
Sabretooth (Buffalo Sabres)
The ever-mysterious Sabretooth has unknown origin. He is believed to have been found under the ice at the old Aud in 1988.
He is the Al MacInnis of NHL mascots, with his left-handed slapshot commonly reaching 100 mph on the radar gun. He performs in hundreds of shows and signs thousands of autographs for the Sabres faithful.
Skills: Big slap shot, hug-able nature
Rivals: S.J. Sharkie, Carlton the Bear
Harvey the Hound (Calgary Flames)
Created in 1983, Harvey was the NHL's first mascot.
Harvey burst onto the national stage in the 2002-03 in a game between the Flames and the Edmonton Oilers.
While the Flames lead 4-0, Harvey taunted the Oilers bench. Edmonton Head Coach Craig MacTavish reached up and ripped Harvey's signature red tongue out and tossed it to the crowd.
Skills: Great culinary skills. Best dishes are Buffalo Wings, Roast Duck and Shark Fin Soup.
Rival: S.J. Sharkie
Al the Octopus (Detroit Red Wings)
Although Al is not a moving mascot, he is inflated and only appears during the playoffs.
He is named after ice manager & Zamboni driver Al Sobotka, as any time octopi are tossed onto the ice, Al ceremoniously picks them up.
N.J. Devil (New Jersey Devils)
First seen in 1993, the Devil appeared in the rafters of the Rock, throwing peanuts down on the crowd.
He wears No. 00 and commonly is very active with fans during games.
Skills: Riding his ATV across the ice and doing tricks.
Rivals: Every other mascot
Spartacat (Ottawa Senators)
Spartacat is known for his acrobatics, swinging through the Scotiabank Place.
He fears CAT scans.
Skills: Comedy and acrobatics.
Rivals: Carlton the Bear
Iceburgh (Pittsburgh Penguins)
Iceburgh made his debut in the 1993-94 season, but was originally known as "Icey".
He appeared in the 1995 movie "Sudden Death" with Jean-Claude Van Damme. He wears Penguins jersey No. 00.
Skills: Wicked backhand and a terrific array of kickboxing moves.
Rivals: S.J. Sharkie, Slapshot
S.J. Sharkie (San Jose Sharks)
Sharkie made his debut in the 1992-93 season and is known for being a very fluid skater.
His finest (or most forgetful) stunt was attempting to rappel from the rafters of the HP Pavilion, but he got tangled up and had to be rescued. He was also a ringbearer at a wedding.
Skills: Taking bites out of opponents.
Rivals: Harvey the Hound, Iceburgh
Carlton the Bear (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Carlton made his debut at the beginning of the 1995-96 season against the New York Islanders.
He commonly wears Maple Leafs' jersey No. 60, coming from the address of the Maple Leaf Gardens (60 Carlton St.). He is the archrival of Spartacat.
Skills: His un-bear-able slap shot.
Slapshot (Washington Capitals)
Slapshot is the son of Sam the Eagle and Betty Bird.
He made his stylish debut in 1995, when the bird finally hatched from it's egg before the puck drop. He now nests at the top of the Verizon Center.
Skills: Swooping down on the crowd from above.
Rivals: Iceburgh, Stanley C. Panther