Try to imagine the reaction the Philadelphia Flyers' remarkable mascot Gritty would get had he/it walked into the Flyers' dressing room of the 1970s, take-no-prisoners Broad Street Bullies.
Legendary goalie Bernie Parent can imagine the scene. And Parent figures that Gritty would be welcomed.
"He would have looked like some of our players," Parent said with a laugh. "We'd have embraced him because that's the way we were in those days."
Parent played a key role in the Flyers' consecutive Stanley Cup victories in 1974 and 1975, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each time. Whatever mascot the team might have in those days would likely have worn a few yards of bandage.
"At the beginning, I didn't care too much for Gritty. He looked like (Flyers forward) Jakub Voracek a little bit," Parent said, grinning. "I wasn't too crazy about him and I think a lot of people felt the same way.
"But we've done a couple of promotions together at hospitals not long ago, and they were beautiful. He's on TV. He's everywhere. Everyone wants to use him. He's as popular as they come. It shows the importance of marketing in today's NHL. That's what made him as popular as he's become."
Parent figures that Gritty would have fit right in with the expansion Flyers of the late 1960s because of the team's outreach into a community in a bid to stir interest in the game.
"This guy Gritty would have been great for us when the Flyers were born in 1967," he said. "When we came into the League, we had to get out into the community to promote our team. He would have a perfect ambassador to join us. He would have been awesome."