In the most important gathering of fuzzy, pantsless animals since the breakup of the Banana Splits, all 16 NHL mascots met in Toronto last Friday for the league's first Mascot Summit. Rarely in sport—except perhaps at baseball's winter meetings—have so many clowns gathered in one room.
Participants traded serious talk about funny business. Topics ranged from pratfalls and pantomime to how to remove nacho cheese from fur. (Solution: Stick the costume in the wash.) The session also marked the first time in parliamentary history that someone said, "I yield the floor to my esteemed colleague from San Jose, S.J. Sharky." Presiding at the affair was Carlton, the furry face of the hometown Maple Leafs. "This was a way for all the mascots to exchange ideas," said the smiling 6'6" polar bear. "We brought a bunch of our scoreboard videos. We also talked about rappelling. After all, Sharky got stuck last year."