NHL teams are as thrilled to acquire a cute dog these days as they would be landing a scoring right wing.
Ten teams now boast official team dogs, and that number may grow because team dogs are becoming as popular as players.
“I can't tell you how many selfies our little dude (Smash) is a part of in the course of a game,” Nashville Predators chief operating officer Michelle Kennedy told USA TODAY Sports. “You always see him on the concourse snuggled up with someone taking a picture."
The Predators, Arizona Coyotes, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals are teams with dogs.
“The guys have loved our dog,” Capitals forward Nic Dowd said. “There’s not much you can’t like about a puppy. And he’s really well behaved for how young he is. The guys have enjoyed him.”
The Capitals’ new 11-week-old puppy named Captain walked on the opening-night red carpet with team captain Alex Ovechkin and he was an instant crowd-pleaser. Captain is a Labrador-Golden Retriever mix.