Flyers

Flyers

Gritty considers himself essential.

Most of us do in the Delaware Valley.

So, naturally, the furry orange fella is wondering why he's not with the boys in the Eastern Conference's hub city Toronto for the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.

Inevitably, the Flyers' mascot has found ways to make his presence known — in Toronto and back home in Philly. The guy is staring down on a highway up in Canada. He also saluted the Flyers from the roof of the Wells Fargo Center as they departed for Toronto (how did he get up th- ... we're not asking questions).

As you might expect, this has not been easy on Gritty. The poor guy planned on rooming with his best friend Claude Giroux despite the fact that the Flyers all have separate rooms.

Gritty at least has an answer now for why he is not permitted in the Toronto bubble.

"Testing him," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Friday in an interview with NBC Sports' Liam McHugh. "I don't think we have a nasal swab that goes up his beak far enough."

Fair point.

Something tells us, though, that Gritty is getting his fingers on a nasal swab as he reads this article.

You definitely don't want to put him to the test.

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