MLive’s Brendan Champion reports something a little strange on this Wednesday in late August:
Al the Octopus is a beloved symbol of passion, tradition, and a whole lot of winning for Detroit Red Wings fans.
But apparently fans of the NHL’s 31 other teams aren’t as enamored with the longtime purple mascot named for former Joe Louis Arena building operations manager and current Little Caesars Arena building operations manager Al Sobotka.
According to a recent survey of more than 2,000 hockey fans in the U.S. and Canada conducted by Play Canada, Al the Octopus is the second most “obnoxious” mascot in the NHL behind only the Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty.
Harvey the Hound (Calgary), Youpii! (Canadiens) and Bailey (Los Angeles) rounded out the top 5 most obnoxious mascots, according to the survey.
It wasn’t all negative though. Overall, Al was ranked as the 14th best mascot in the NHL, just behind Hunter of the Edmonton Oilers and just ahead of Sparky the Dragon of the New York Islanders. Carlton the Bear of the Toronto Maple Leafs took the top spot.
Al is not obnoxious, he’s endearing.