COLUMBUS, Ohio – The National Hockey League will host the inaugural NHL Mascot Showdown™ during the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus, with 13 Eastern Conference Mascots, under the helm of Columbus Blue Jacket's own Stinger™, facing off against 13 Western Conference Mascots in two days of friendly but fierce competition at both the 2015 NHL Fan Fair™ at the Greater Columbus Convention Center and just before the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition at Nationwide Arena.
The newest part of the NHL's midseason celebration, the NHL Mascot Showdown™, marks the first time that all 26 NHL Mascots™ (not every NHL has its own mascot) will compete during NHL All-Star Weekend to show off their hockey skills and athletic "prowess," offering family-friendly fun for fans of all ages.
The action will begin at NHL Fan Fair™ on Friday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. ET with the NHL Mascots going head-to-head in Broomball and Dodgeball matches on the NHL Fan Fair Street Hockey Rink presented by York. On Saturday, Jan. 24, the NHL Mascots™ will be back in action at 1 p.m. ET for a "Mascot Dance-Off," relay races including a three-legged challenge, wheel barrow race, leap frog, a balloon relay and tug-of-war, and more. Both days' match-ups at NHL Fan Fair will be hosted by Columbus Blue Jackets in-arena announcer Mike Todd.
On Saturday evening, just prior to the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™, the NHL Mascots™ will face-off at Nationwide Arena for two 10-minute periods of their own NHL® All-Star Game, Eastern Conference Mascots vs. Western Conference Mascots. Stinger will excite the hometown crowd as Eastern Conference Captain while Bailey™ from the Los Angeles Kings will serve as Western Conference Captain. The Showdown will conclude with the presentation of the inaugural "Most Valuable Mascot" award to the game's top performer along with the NHL Mascot Showdown Trophy to the winning team.
"We're very excited about our first-ever NHL Mascot Showdown™, which is set to offer something new and entertaining for fans of every age," said Dave McCarthy, Vice President of Consumer Products Marketing. "NHL All-Star Weekend is a true celebration of hockey and our NHL Mascots are terrific ambassadors for their teams – and the sport. They can't wait to join in the fun and get on the ice, just like the NHL pros that they'll be cheering on in Columbus."
The NHL Mascot Showdown™ teams will feature:
Sabretooth™ from the Buffalo Sabres
Sparky™ from the New York Islanders
Thunderbug™ from the Tampa Bay Lightning
Iceburgh™ from the Pittsburgh Penguins
Slapshot™ from the Washington Capitals
Carlton™ from the Toronto Maple Leafs
SpartaCat™ from the Ottawa Senators
Blades the Bruin™ from the Boston Bruins
NJ Devil™ from the New Jersey Devils
Stormy from the Carolina Hurricanes
Stanley C. Panther™ from the Florida Panthers
Youppi!™ from the Montreal Canadiens
Stinger™ from the Columbus Blue Jackets (Captain)
Wildwing™ from the Anaheim Ducks
Bernie™ from the Colorado Avalanche
Gnash™ from the Nashville Predators
Louie™ from the St. Louis Blues
Harvey the Hound™ from the Calgary Flames
Nordy™ from the Minnesota Wild
Fin™ from the Vancouver Canucks
Tommy Hawk™ from the Chicago Blackhawks
Victor E. Green™ from the Dallas Stars
Howler™ from the Arizona Coyotes
S.J. Sharkie™ from the San Jose Sharks
Moose™ from the Winnipeg Jets
Bailey™ from the Los Angeles Kings (Captain)
Fans will be able to meet their favorite mascots for photos and autographs at the NHL Mascot Clubhouse inside NHL Fan Fair. The Clubhouse will serve as the central location for all mascot appearances and exclusive merchandise from the NHL Mascot collection, including mini-sticks, pucks, pennants, hats, t-shirts, cozy fleece blankets, pillow pets, and children's books.
Hockey fans can follow all of the live action from the NHL Mascot Showdown™ on Snapchat and Twitter and access a handy list of NHL Mascot Twitter handles. The NHL's Facebook page will include an album with photos, bios and Twitter handles for each NHL Mascot. To join the conversation, fans should use the official hashtags, #NHLAllStar or #NHLFanFair.