Tampa Bay Lightning’s ThunderBug ranked No. 12 in ESPN poll of NHL mascots

The team’s goalies ranked a little higher.

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click to enlarge ThunderBug (R) at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on August 17, 2018. - Ray Roa
Ray Roa
ThunderBug (R) at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida on August 17, 2018.

Its goaltending duo of Andrei Vasilevsky and Louis Domingue was ranked No. 4 by the same sports writers, but the Tampa Bay Lightning's mascot didn't fare so well.

ThunderBug — the Lightning's antennaed, wide-eyed goofy ball of fun — was ranked No. 12 in a poll of 31 mascots compiled by ESPN

"Thunderbug is straight up adorbz, combining two of the greatest mascot attributes: giant eyes and bouncy antennae," the sports website said about our friend. "Much better than what we assume was Option B for Tampa: a passed-out 40-year-old man in an ill-fitting Gasparilla pirate costume."


ThunderBug ranked higher than the Florida Panthers' Stanley C. Panther, who sat at the No. 20 spot. Wish we would've known that before the Bolts beat the Cats in their home opener on Saturday. The Philadelphia Flyers' new, co-opted by the left, mascot Gritty was No. 5 while the Los Angeles Kings' Bailey the lion took the top spot.

The Lightning takes on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at Tampa's Amalie Arena. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are available via amaliearena.com. Follow Thunderbug on Instagram (@thunderbugtbl).

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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