Calgary Flames

Using AI to redesign all 32 NHL mascots

The recent surge of artificial intelligence tools that have recently popped up has allowed us as a society to experiment with of AI in many new ways. So far we here at The Win Column have asked Chat GPT about the Calgary Flames, and even gotten AI to create us a unique piece of artwork almost every single time the Flames win a game.

Now we are back with our biggest AI experiment yet. We have challenged Midjourney with generating a new mascot for each of the 32 NHL teams. So without further ado let’s begin to breakdown the results of this mad venture.

The Pacific Division

The Calgary Flames

Let’s begin with Gritty’s cousin in Calgary, who I’m naming “Fireball” in honour of Pitbull who will be headlining the 2023 Calgary Stampede. He seems to be a flaming mix of Bowser from Super Mario, and a Puffle from Club Penguin.

Rating: 9/10 — He’s cute, furry, and the kind of weird people seem to love in mascots.

Is this an improvement: Yes. Sorry Harvey.

The Edmonton Oilers

Up in Edmonton, Hunter the Lynx has been replaced by well, some kind of terrifying yet endearing Oil Patch worker who appears to be made from rock or clay. I’ve gone ahead and named him “Patchy”

Rating: 5/10 — He’s both not cute or scary enough to get a high score. He’s average.

Is this an improvement: No, but only barely

The Vancouver Canucks

I can’t tell what kind of aquatic animal this is supposed to be, and I’m quite disappointed its not just a giant skate.

Rating: 2/10 — Fin got the Shark Tales treatment and this fresh new look just isn’t it.

Is this an improvement: No

The Anaheim Ducks

It seems Donald Duck must have gotten lost on the way to Disneyland. Or maybe this is one of Huey, Dewey or Louie?

Rating: 6/10 — Love the jersey he came with.

Is this an improvement: No, Wild Wing is just too elite

Seattle Kraken

I guess Midjourney hasn’t discovered the Seattle Kraken’s branding yet. But it doesn’t really matter cause today we learned that Cthulu and Sully from Monsters Inc. would have rad children.

Rating: 9/10 — Try and tell me you wouldn’t want a picture with this.

Is this an improvement: Yes

The Los Angeles Kings

The new king of Los Angeles looks like a monster ripped right out of a Tim Burton claymation feature.

Rating: 8/10 — I think this is new look is excellent, but it might be a bit too scary for some of the kids.

Is this an improvement: Yes, animal mascots for non-animal themed teams are lame.

The San Jose Sharks

Sharkie gets a photo realistic makeover, and becomes the most biologically accurate mascot to date.

Rating: 4/10 — Mascots shouldn’t look like real animals.

Is this an improvement: Yes…

The Vegas Golden Knights

Go go Power Rangers.

Rating: 2/10 — This looks more like an eccentric fan than a mascot.

Is this an improvement: No.

The Central Division

The St. Louis Blues

I guess this is a Blue? What is a Blue? He sure is going through the Blues. Even the kids are sad to be around him…

Rating: 10/10 — He’s the perfect kind of awful.

Is this an improvement: Yes.

The Nashville Predators

This is the perfect balance between realism and cartoon. Bonus points that the fan posing has matching hair.

Rating: 8/10 — This can get the fans roaring in Smashville.

Is this an improvement: Yes.

The Chicago Blackhawks

Who doesn’t love muppets, right?

Rating: 4/10 — This is more of a pigeon than a hawk.

Is this an improvement: No.

The Arizona Coyotes

I love that this one is at a university campus. I also love that he looks like he would fit in with Sonic the Hedgehog and friends.

Rating: 9/10 — This is the perfect mix of menacing and cute.

Is this an improvement: Yes.

The Dallas Stars

Have you ever felt like Smiley Fries would make a good mascot? If your answer was just yes, then Smiles the Cowboy is the mascot for you.

Rating: 6/10

Is this an improvement: No, Victor E. Green rocks.

The Winnipeg Jets

I have a soft spot in my heart for this one. He reminds me of the Build-a-Bear I had growing up that wore a Buzz Lightyear costume.

Rating: 6/10 — He’s a bit too tame to be top-tier.

Is this an improvement:  No, Mick E. Moose is perfect.

The Colorado Avalanche

Is it a dog? Is it a bear? Or is it a monkey? I can’t tell. What I can tell though… This creature has seen things.

Rating: 2/10 — This is hardly a mascot.

Is this an improvement:  No.

The Minnesota Wild

When you think of animals that live in the vast wilderness of the Midwest your first think of spotted felines right?

Rating: 7/10 — Kids would absolutely love this mascot despite the geographic issues.

Is this an improvement: Yes.

The Metropolitan Division

The New York Rangers

This reminds me of the TMNT movies that came out in the 90s. I don’t know what this is supposed to be but I think it’s safe to assume it originated in the depths of the New York sewer system like those very same ninja turtles.

Rating: 6/10 — Something about it just doesn’t scream New York Ranger.

Is this an improvement: Yes, the Rangers don’t have a mascot.

The New York Islanders

The only thing I like about this Crazy Frog looking thing is how nicely it pairs with the Rangers mascot.

Rating: 4/10 — It barely makes sense.

Is this an improvement: No.

The Philadelphia Flyers

Hey! It’s Baby Gritty!

Rating: 3/10 — This is too pedestrian.

Is this an improvement: No, Gritty is already perfect.

The Pittsburgh Penguins

Those eyes are completely devoid of life.

Rating: 2/10 — This is the stuff of nightmares.

Is this an improvement: No.

The New Jersey Devils

For some reason this is how I imagine an alien would look if Disney made an animated Star Trek movie.

Rating: 7/10 — This mascot was forged from the darkness.

Is this an improvement: Yes, Devils should be scary after all.

The Washington Capitals

Outside of Baby Gritty, I feel like this mascot is probably one of the closest ones to the actual team mascot. But this version of Slapshot definitely has more life to it.

Rating: 8/10 — A solid mascot overall.

Is this an improvement: Yes, this one has prettier eyes.

The Columbus Blue Jackets

This mascot is giving me serious Hidy and Howdy flashbacks, and I don’t like that.

Rating: 3/10 — It just doesn’t make sense.

Is this an improvement: No, not even close.

The Carolina Hurricanes

If you were ever curious what a furry anthropomorphic cloud might look like you need not look any further than here.

Rating: 5/10 — It could have had more characteristics of a hurricane.

Is this an improvement: No.

The Atlantic Division

The Detroit Red Wings

Al the Octopus finally lives! This one is so exciting. I do feel bad for the person inside this costume though as they wouldn’t have any usable arms.

Rating: 8/10 — It has potential to reach Gritty levels of infamy.

Is this an improvement: Yes, Detroit does not have a current mascot.

The Boston Bruins

I was hoping we’d get something a bit more akin to the Meth Bear for Boston, but honestly we’re pretty close with this. I also feel like this is the most huggable mascot yet.

Rating: 8/10 — There’s something very inviting about him overall except for those eyes…

Is this an improvement: Yes, think about how amazing this mascot would work as a stuffed toy!

The Tampa Bay Lightning

It’s been a couple of days since I first generated this mascot. It’s still in my nightmares.

Rating: 10/10 — This is the epitome of what a mascot should be.

Is this an improvement: Yes, mostly cause of that solid jersey that it’s wearing.

The Florida Panthers

This mascot is absolutely adorable, and also feels like it could easily be the team’s actual mascot.

Rating: 10/10 — The perfect panther does exist.

Is this an improvement: Yes, but only over Stanley C. Panther. Viktor E. Ratt should never be replaced.

The Buffalo Sabres

I’m glad the Sabres didn’t end up with a boring Buffalo mascot. But I’m even happier they got this satanic Pelican/Goat hybrid somehow.

Rating: 10/10 — The marketing behind this mascot could reach unfathomable heights.

Is this an improvement: Yes… but also no.

The Ottawa Senators

This Baby Centurion goes well with the constant influx of young talent Ottawa has as the Senators continue to perpetually rebuild forever.

Rating: 5/10 — Not the best, but not the worst.

Is this an improvement: Yes, Spartacat is the worst mascot.

The Montreal Canadiens

The Habs were once known as The Lions in Winter. That moniker is fully realized here by a polar bear/lion hybrid.

Rating: 7/10 — This mascot will generate plenty of buzz as people will debate on what it is for years to come.

Is this an improvement: Hot take coming, but Yes. Gritty does Youppi’s thing but better in every way and this Winter Lion is just adorable.

The Toronto Maple Leafs

Carlton the Bear has nothing to do with Toronto or the Maple Leafs. This Leaf troll does.

Rating: 7/10 — This one is for the kids.

Is this an improvement: Easily, Carlton is boring.

Imagining new worlds with AI

Clearly, AI can make some good and some not so good mascots. However, if the NHL did an full 32-team change up of mascots, that’d generate so much real talk even ChatGPT won’t know what to do with it.

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