Stanley C. Panther of the NHL Florida Panthers was awesome as a late addition to the Wawa Mascot Games line-up in 2015, captaining the Truly Nolen Yellow Team.
Impressive. this agile cat led his team to a runner-up finish each day of the two-day event.
A year later, Stanley looks to reach the top of the mountain, ready for the 2016 version of the Wawa Mascot Games, benefiting New Hope for Kids.
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Q&A with Stanley C. Panther
Note: Mascots can not speak, so he answered questions via written word through email.
JV: What have you been doing to prepare for this year’s Mascot Games?
SCP: I took a few days off after the playoffs but have been training hard every day. I want that trophy coming home with me this year.
JV: Last season, you showed well, but what will it take to bring home that trophy to the Florida Panthers?
SCP: I think it comes down to getting a few calls going my way and making sure I give it my all, even if that means leaving one of my nine lives behind.
JV: Do you have any plans for the trophy, like what to do (photos with it at the practice facility, by the pool), i.e. a Stanley Cup?
SCP: I am pretty sure eating catnip out of it is at the top of the list, but of course I would have to take it on a tour around South Florida with my buddy Jagr.
JV: If your team does win, will you share the trophy with Panthers players and staff, like a Stanley Cup?
SCP: Of course, this is not just a hockey team; it’s family. Each member of the organization will get a moment with the trophy, after I finish my catnip of course.
JV: If so, who would be the first person you would pass the trophy to?
SCP: Viktor, without a doubt, he is probably the most underrated Rat in the business.
JV: What do you think of this event, this gathering of talented mascots from North America, and New Hope for Kids?
SCP: It’s an amazing few days… there is nothing better than spending time making kids laugh and smile. New Hope for Kids does some amazing work, and I am proud to be able to be involved with them and this event.
JV: Do you have any rival mascots at the Games?
SCP: ThunderBug (Tampa Bay Lightning) is my biggest rival but we tend to put a lot of that aside for the Games. However, sometimes it can come back up, and we will have to deal with that then.
JV: Are there any mascots you would like to team with?
SCP: Carlton (Maple Leafs) and N.J. Devil (New Jersey Devils) would be ideal. You get a good balance of fun and mischievous with those two.
JV: Do the NHL mascots stick together at something like this to show the world that the NHL mascots are the best mascots of the best compared to our other great sports and great sports mascots?
SCP: One thing I love about the NHL is how inclusive the sport is. We welcome mascots of all levels and leagues into the family. We all have the same goal of helping our team win and making sure our fans are still smiling regardless of the score. It’s truly the best job on earth (and ice).
About the Mascot Games
The Mascot Games is returning to the Amway Center in June for two entertaining shows – 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 17 and 2 p.m. Saturday, June 18 – in Orlando.
Hosted by New Hope for Kids, the 23rd annual event is presented by Wawa, the prominent convenience retail store chain now with 85 locations in Central Florida.
All proceeds from the Mascot Games Presented by Wawa benefit New Hope for Kids, which provides support to children and families grieving the death of a loved one, and grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses in Central Florida.
Mascot Games Event Manager Gloria Capozzi said: “Wawa has demonstrated what a perfect partnership can be. They have been involved with the Mascot Games since they opened their first store in Orlando. We celebrate their growth in our community and commitment to New Hope for Kids.”
Twenty-four of the best and most popular mascots from across North America will join Orlando Magic’s STUFF, the event’s host mascot and recently honored as one of the best mascots in sports, for the annual competition.
Mascots from MLB, NFL, MLS, NBA, NHL, and NCAA will be divided into four teams as they compete against each other in wild and zany games to determine the true champions of the mascot world.
The participating mascots will be introduced through the Mascot Games social media channels.
Follow along on
and Instagram @Mascot_Games.
Participating mascots include:
Albert and Alberta - NCAA University of Florida
Baxter the Bobcat - MLB Arizona Diamondbacks
Captain Fear - NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Champ - NBA Dallas Mavericks
Chomps - NFL Cleveland Browns
Franklin the Dog - NBA Philadelphia 76ers
Fin - NHL Vancouver Canucks
Howler Coyote - NHL Arizona Coyotes
Jaxson De Ville - NFL Jacksonville Jaguars
Kingston - MLS Orlando City Soccer Club
Knightro - NCAA University of Central Florida
Lil Red - NCAA University of Nebraska
Louie - NHL St. Louis Blues
NJ Devil - NHL New Jersey Devils
Rowdy - NFL Dallas Cowboys
Rumble the Bison - NBA Oklahoma City Thunder
Sebastian the Ibis - NCAA University of Miami
Shades - ECHL Orlando Solar Bears
Stanley C. Panther - NHL Florida Panthers
Stuff the Magic Dragon - NBA Orlando Magic
Thunderbug - NHL Tampa Bay Lightning
Tommy Hawk - Chicago Blackhawks
Since its inception, the Mascot Games, presented by Wawa, has raised more than $400,000 for New Hope for Kids.
Tickets for the Mascot Games are now on sale. General admission tickets start at $12 and can be purchased through amwaycenter.com, Chase Box Office at Amway Center, Ticketmaster retail locations, charge-by-phone at 800-745-3000 or at Ticketmaster.com.
On Saturday (June 18) only, a limited number of VIP “Mascot Huddle” tickets, which include a Mascot meet and greet and reserved seating, are available for $35. Reserved seating is available for $20. Group seating for Summer Camps is available by downloading a form from the event website at www.mascotgames.org under the “Summer Camps” tab.
Limited sponsorship opportunities are still available. Companies interested in sponsoring the event, highlighting their brand to more than 15,000 Central Florida residents, can contact Ron Kaplan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About New Hope for Kids
Celebrating 20 years of hope and healing, New Hope for Kids has been helping Central Florida children in need. Its purpose is to bring hope, healing and happiness to children and families suffering from grief, loss or life-threatening illnesses.
New Hope for Kids achieves this through two programs: The Center for Grieving Children helps children and families cope with the feelings of grief and loss after the death of a loved one. Wishes for Kids grants wishes to children up to the age 18, diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
For more information visit www.newhopeforkids.org.