How lame is that? Mascots in professional hockey

The Dallas Stars in recent years have become one of the more exciting up and coming franchises as they have seen new ownership, a new general manager, head coach, color scheme, logo, uniform, and a completely retooled line-up that saw the Stars return to the post season for the first time since 2008 with only one player on the roster from that 2008 team. They are gaining traction as the twitter world and hockey blogger communities sweetheart and generally believed to be returning to the glorious team they were in the mid to late 90’s. But they are missing one key component to become a true NHL power house, and I’m not talking about a #1 defenseman.

What the team that brought ice-girls to the hockey world sorely lacks is a horribly cheesy, cringe-worthy mascot.

But it appears that is about to change. The winners of the 2014 off-season are poised to introduce their first ever mascot, and all we know is that it will have over sized sneakers to walk on and a cowboy-boot-hockey-skate-hybrid for on the ice.

So how does a team like the Stars come up with a mascot? Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst that the NHL has to offer, and see what the stars can learn from them.

Before we start, can we all agree that the Montreal Canadians win the greatest mascot of all times with Youppi! He is a furry guy, his name is the french word for Yippee!, he has an exclamation point in his name and his jersey number is also an exclamation point! It does not get any better than that.

The runner up is obviously Wild Wing of the Anaheim Ducks, but they really had an unfair advantage as a Disney originated sporting franchise. Disney has a history of successful mascots, and the Ducks were able to pluck theirs directly out of the Mighty Ducks cartoon that is based off of Disney’s the mighty ducks movie.

But the stars do not have a disney cartoon to draw from, and the glory of Youppi! cannot be replicated. Additionally, it is not as easy for the Stars as it is for a team like the penguins, who obviously made their mascot a penguin, and the coyotes understandably have a coyote.

The following is a list of do’s and don’ts for selecting a mascot

DO

  • Crawl into the crevasse, the cheesier the better, embrace it. See Harvey the Hound
  • Draw upon your teams name-sake. See SJ Sharkey
  • Draw upon your city or states culture. See Gnash the saber tooth tiger drawing upon the first archaeologically excavated cave site in America which is near Nashville.

DON’T

  • Make your mascot a bear if you are not the bruins. See St. Louis, Toronto
  • Change your mascot to a St. Bernard when you have a perfectly good Yeti a la Colorado
  • Have your mascot be a green colored bee when your team is called the blue jackets
  • Anthropomorphize a whale. Hartford did it perfectly the first time. There can be only one, and his name was Pucky.

So where does this leave the stars? Obviously they need a big ugly star with boots on, a la this lovely toddler costume except with cowboy boots.

Please feel free to post your thoughts on a future Dallas Stars mascot, or who gets your vote for the best mascot in professional hockey.

*update*

The stars have selected their mascot. Victor E. Green, and from what I can discern, he’s a fuzzy green Nerds candy, with cowboy boots and hockey sticks coming out of his head. Something for everyone.

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