The Hockey News - - BUZZ - – BEN SHEL­LEY

HE MAY HAVE AN un­o­rig­i­nal name, but S.J. Sharkie has be­come one of the most rec­og­niz­able mas­cots in the NHL. De­but­ing in Jan­uary 1992, Sharkie has been a ring bearer at a wed­ding, a date to se­nior prom and was even run into by The­o­ren Fleury af­ter a game. He also took cen­ter stage in one of the most mem­o­rable mas­cot mo­ments of all-time. Be­fore a game against Detroit in March 1999, Sharkie was tasked with pro­pel­ling down from the arena rafters to hype up the fans. It was a great stunt – un­til his jer­sey be­came en­tan­gled with the rope and equip­ment. Sharkie was stranded 40 feet above the Wings’ crease, dan­gling. But even as rub­ber mats were be­ing stacked be­low to pro­vide a cush­ion if the rope gave way, the sit­u­a­tion didn’t stop Sharkie from throw­ing his arms in the air in an ef­fort to ex­cite the crowd. The game was de­layed for 20 min­utes as the arena crew worked to help him get down, while Sharkie re­mained sus­pended in the air as the start­ing line­ups were an­nounced and Steve Yz­er­man, among oth­ers, laughed be­low. Even­tu­ally he was raised back up to the cat­walk and un­tan­gled, which gar­nered cheer­ing from the crowd, but not be­fore cre­at­ing one of the strangest pre-game events in NHL his­tory.

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