Flyers executive Paul Holmgren, a former hard-nosed player, once joked that the franchise had such a history of gritty players that the team should have a mascot named Gritty with “sandpaper hands.”
“That name kind of stuck,” said Joe Heller, the Flyers’ vice president of marketing, told USA Today.
“When we got something on paper, coupled it with the name, it all started to take shape from there.”
What the Flyers ended up with is the most talked-about character in the NHL this season.
Many people are buzzing about Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson, but Gritty’s notoriety has extended beyond the bounds of the hockey world.
The googly-eyed, orange and fuzzy mascot debuted on Sept. 24.
He has been on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and was the subject of a skit on “Conan.” Gritty also was mentioned on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” and “Saturday Night Live.”