We like to take an occasional look back at some significant moments in NHL history. This is the PHT Time Machine. Today we follow up on our previous look at doomed jersey and mascot ideas by remembering some of the wildest mascot meltdowns, from S.J. Sharkie to Wild Wing.
Wild Wing Plays With Fire
The Anaheim Ducks are no stranger to mascot mishaps.
In their very first game (which featured the most insane pre-game introduction in the history of the NHL) they tried to introduce the Mighty Ice Man, an idea that was so poorly received that he was pretty much canceled before the end of the opening game.
Then there is Wild Wing, their actual mascot, who might be one of the most intimidating mascots in the league.
His big blunder came just before the team’s home-opener during the 1995-96 season when a pre-game stunt went horribly wrong.
From the Los Angeles Times, describing the scene:
“Wild Wing,” who gets dropped from The Pond rafters via guy wire like a bloated Halloween pinata before every Ducks home game, was handed the assignment of a lifetime, so to speak, before this one: Take a flying leap over a hellish wall of flames without the aid of a safety or a single cheerleading Decoy toting a cute purple and green fire extinguisher.
“Wild Wing” had completed the course without a hitch during practice but under the spotlight, with the pressure on, he stumbled on the trampoline that was supposed to propel him to safety and instead bellyflopped onto the flaming gas jets.
There is really not much else to add as that pretty much captured the spirit of the whole thing.
The person inside the mascot costume was fine and was back out in the stands mid-way through the first period.
S.J. Sharkie Gets Stuck
Let’s go back to March 12, 1999, when a game between the Detroit Red Wings and San Jose Sharks had to be delayed because S.J. Sharkie, the Sharks cuddly mascot, ended up getting stuck high above the ice surface.
As part of the pre-game routine the Sharks had attempted to lower him from the rafters when the entire thing went horribly wrong and left him dangling precariously above the ice surface.
The entire ordeal can be seen here, and while the video is more than 10 minutes long it is well worth watching just to hear the commentary.
N.J. Devil Goes Through The Window
I will always have a fond memory of N.J. Devil because I witnessed him fire some sort of T-shirt gatling gun into a crowd of people before Game 1 of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final in New Jersey. What is that you ask? Imagine a T-shirt cannon, but on steroids. He made real headlines a couple of years ago when he made an appearance a kids party and literally ran through a glass window for … reasons?
Harvey The Hound Loses His Tongue
The Battle of Alberta is so intense that it doesn’t just stay on the ice with the players. It also extends to the coaches and … mascots?
Former Oilers coach Craig MacTavish had seen enough of Harvey The Hound’s tongue and ripped the whole thing out of his mouth.
Careful On The Ice
This attempt at filming a commercial for a Minnesota Golden Gopher sponsor was derailed by a lovable polar bear unable to maintain its balance on the ice.
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Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.