After five years of exile in Glens Falls, N.Y., the Phantoms are returning to Pennsylvania this year. The team, which played at the Spectrum from 1996 to 2009, will become the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for the 2014-15 season. They’ll play in the brand new, 8,500-seat PPL Center. And the Flyers’ minor league affiliate will have a terrifying new mascot.
— WFMZ-TV 69News (@69News) August 12, 2014
The Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ mascot will be known as MeLVin. (Get it? Get it??) According to the team, he was found in a basement vault of the historic Dime Savings and Trust Company in July. Will the person who put him there be brought to justice? Are there other mascots with LV-puns — ELVis; SyLVia; ELVira, Mistress of the Dark — sitting in basement bank vaults in Allentown?
Anyway, MeLVin is almost seven feet tall, communicates by whistling and will wear number 55 (“LV” in Roman numerals). Oh, yeah, and his nose is a hockey puck.
“Mascot specialist David Raymond discovered MeLVin loves popcorn,” 69 News reports, “but has a great distaste for chocolate bars and penguins.” Raymond is the original Phillie Phanatic, and the new mascot has a fluffy, Phanatic-like quality to him. (I would also call the Phanatic “terrifying.”)
You may remember three and a half years ago when Phlex, the Phantoms muscular former mascot, retired from being a mascot in order to “travel the world and seek out new adventures.” No word on what he’s up to.