Howler the Coyote has been hyping up fans since the 2005 season, and it’s clear his popularity hasn’t waned, according to a recent survey from Play Canada that ranked him the third-best mascot in the NHL.
Play Canada surveyed more than 2,000 NHL fans across the United States and Canada and asked them to rank each NHL mascot on a scale of 1 to 5. Only the New York Rangers are without a mascot, so there were 30 mascots to rank.
Carlton the Bear from the Toronto Maples Leafs took first place with a 3.81 rating. Sabertooth from the Buffalo Sabers was voted second with a 3.74, and coming up just short was Howler the Coyote with a 3.73 rating.
Coyotes fans say Howler should have ranked higher, but they’re content.
“Start with the wiggly ears, move to the sassy attitude, overall expressive body language and keep going,” Coyotes fan David Cobb said via Facebook.
Cobb has been a hockey fan for more than 50 years and has supported the Coyotes since they became a franchise in 1997. Previously, they were the Winnipeg Jets before they moved to Phoenix to become the Coyotes. In 2003, the team moved from Downtown Phoenix to Glendale.
“Howler knows how to play the crowd, the enemy’s fans. The character is just so well taught and scripted,” Cobb said.
The survey revealed that Anaheim Ducks fans rated their own mascot the highest with a 4.07 rating, followed by the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Philadelphia Flyers and San Jose Sharks to wrap up the top five.
Ironically, none of the mascots who received the highest rating from their own fan base cracked the top 6 overall.
Howler does more for the community than beat a drum to pump up a crowd. He is often out in the community during charity events, various awareness runs and walks, and festivals. It’s clear he was voted so highly because his actions on and off the ice have benefited the Valley for more than 15 years.
Coyotes fans can see their team and mascot back in action at Gila River Arena on Monday, Oct. 18, during the 2021-22 season home opener against the Blues, whose mascot, Louie, was ranked fourth on the list, right behind Howler.