Some teams have wiggle room: The Toronto Maple Leafs didn't want a cartoon version of fallen foliage hugging kids or Rakey, the Dancing Garden Tool, so they opted for the beloved Carlton the Bear. But the Wild clearly have some sort of animal in their logo, so logic dictates that the team mascot would be inspired by it. Which brings us to Nordy.
Nordy was formally added to the NHL's fraternity of mascots over the weekend. He wears No. 18,001, which is a clever nod to the "Team of 18,000" label given to Wild fans who pack the arena. At least a few of the "Team of 18,000" are a tad underwhelmed by Nordy:
The Wild Times: "It's really pretty hokey, and having never not sold out a game I'm not sure that this was a necessary move, but we have a mascot now..."
Minnesota Wild Times: "Who do you think the kids would rather see? Nordy, or Boogey, Gaby, Bruno, Burnzie? Do you think if you tell the kids that Brent Burns couldn't be here, so here's Nordy, they are just going to be all geeked up?"
Our first reaction: Never name a mascot after the dude who helps women try on shoes at Nordstrom. Our second reaction: Does the fact that this thing has a mullet counterbalance the fact that it has a green "M" apparently tattooed on its forehead, like Darth Maul on St. Patrick's Day?
KSTP in Minnesota was there for the unveiling of Nordy, and captured some reactions. By far the best line: "While he may be warm and fuzzy, down to his haircut, he's all hockey." They say the same thing about Ryan Smyth. (Here's the direct link; the station's video embed doesn't seem Yahoo! friendly.)
So as you can see, it's ... uh, sort of a bear. But also a raccoon, or a really fuzzy dog. Minnesota calls it a "Wild." Whatever that is.
But it has a Mullet. In our opinion, that buys the Wild a ton of slack and street cred. Hell, not even the Blues gave their bear a mullet, even though at least 40 percent of Blues fans have worn one within the last decade.
Puck Daddy approves of Nordy, the Minnesota Wild mascot. Even if we'll always believe the team's true mascot is Derek Boogaard.