A Valley News Publication

The Philadelphia Flyers have a new mascot, and everyone hates it

The Philadelphia Flyers on Monday announced they had added a new mascot to their hockey family. The team introduced the world to “Gritty,” an orange … thing that most closely resembles some kind of monster. It’s unclear if he’s related to the Phillies’ Phanatic, which I just today found out is not a monster but instead a large green flightless bird.

Here’s what the team had to say about Gritty, who you can follow on Twitter, if you’re into that sort of thing:

He’s loyal but mischievous; the ultimate Flyers fan who loves the orange and black, but is unwelcoming to anyone who opposes his team. Legend has it he earned the name “Gritty” for possessing an attitude so similar to the team he follows.

He claims that he’s been around for a lot longer than we know it, and recent construction at the Wells Fargo Center disturbed his secret hideout forcing him to show his face publicly for the first time.

Gritty apparently is a little rough around the edges, a bit quirky, and a huge fan of hot dogs. OK, sure.

Despite all his charm, however, Gritty was not as well-received as the team presumably had hoped. I scrolled pretty far down through the replies to the Flyers’ announcement tweet and didn’t see anything positive. Here are some selected reactions:

I feel like I need to warn you about the next photo. Sorry in advance.

Valley News sports reporter Josh Weinreb even weighed in on Gritty’s unveiling.

Says it all, tbh.

The Philadelphia Flyers mascot, Gritty, takes to the ice during the first intermission of the Flyers’ preseason NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins, Monday, Sept, 24, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)

Accountant plays goalie for Chicago Blackhawks, absolutely crushes it

The Chicago Blackhawks’ hottest player right now isn’t a player at all – he’s an accountant.

Scott Foster, a 36-year-old Chicago accountant, is the internet’s Darling of the Day thanks to his performance as goalie in Thursday night’s game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Winnipeg Jets.

Foster was signed to the team in an emergency backup role shortly before the game. The last time he played hockey was in 2006, while he attended Western Michigan University.

He figured he’d be warming the bench all night, but he soon found himself in goal as the backup’s backup after the team’s first two goaltenders were hurt. (Goalie Corey Crawford is out with an injury; the team’s other goalie, Anton Forsburg, was injured in practice on Thursday; and Forsburg’s backup, Collin Delia, was hurt in the third period, leaving no one but Foster to guard the net.)

The Blackhawks were up, 6-2, when Foster stepped in, and he made sure to keep it that way. He blocked each of the seven shots that came at him, prompting the hashtag #FosterOfThePeople to start circulating on Twitter, as well as chants in the stadium. The team left with the W.

People were loving it.

Foster, meanwhile, was in awe of the entire situation. (Check out his postgame interview, above. There are some great quotes in there.)

So good.

Apparently there’s a long history of average Joes being dressed and put into NHL games: The Coyotes, the Blues, the Penguins and the Hurricanes, among others, all have had randos moonlight on their squads, according to my very scientific review of previous Deadspin pieces. Sports!

Double the wins: Two Upper Valley Schools claim historic victories

Woodstock boys hockey and Sharon boys basketball teams each won a state championship on Monday night. Congratulations, y’all!

Sharon’s victory was especially sweet — it was the first time the school had won in any sport, and the win rounded out an undefeated season. Wow.

Dartmouth alum and pro hockey player Ben Lovejoy will donate his brain for science

New Jersey Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy (12) clears the puck as Vancouver Canucks left wing Loui Eriksson (21), of Sweden, tries to get his stick on it during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

New Jersey Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy (12) clears the puck as Vancouver Canucks left wing Loui Eriksson (21), of Sweden, tries to get his stick on it during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Friday, Nov. 24, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Dartmouth College graduate and Stanley Cup champion Ben Lovejoy has announced he will donate his brain for concussion research after he dies, according to The Hackensack Record.

The move makes the 33-year-old defenseman the first active National Hockey League player to pledge such a donation.

Lovejoy won the 2016 Stanley Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He now plays defense for the New Jersey Devils. In August 2016, the Orford native chose to spend his day with the Cup in the Upper Valley, going from his summer home in Enfield back to his old Dartmouth stomping grounds, all with the Cup in tow. Valley News sports editor Greg Fennell accompanied on his Upper Valley victory tour. Read about Lovejoy’s homecoming here.