Tappen, Moore play with dogs up for adoption in latest episode of YouTube show
by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer
The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin Monday and what better way to celebrate than with some Stanley pups?
More than a dozen puppies who are up for adoption were on hand at the NHL offices in New York on Wednesday and some even got screen time on "NHL Mash-Up," one of the League's newest shows.
"Very early on when we first started the show, we were told we are going to have an episode with puppies," said Kathryn Tappen, who hosts "NHL Mash-Up" with former NHL player Dominic Moore. "We've been teasing it all season. It will certainly bring light to the shelters in the area and really throughout the country. I mean, these dogs today were from Mississippi, they're at Lucky Dog Refuge in Connecticut. They're local pups and they're available for adoption. And I think that's huge, especially this time of year in spring and summer when people want to get outside, what better way than with a new puppy?"
"NHL Mash-Up," is a bi-weekly magazine show created by NHL Original Productions which airs on the League's YouTube Channel. Hosted by Tappen and Moore, the series showcases the week's best content across the League, including player features, mic'd up moments, uplifting stories and more.
"Dogs and adorable animals are very popular on social media," Moore said. "And I think it's a good mix. Our show is all about social content and personality and dogs also have a way of bringing out the personality of the players and there's been other stuff done throughout the season as team's have been doing with dogs and other animals and it's really fun so we just thought we'd enjoy playing it up today with our dogs joining us in the studio."
So how did the idea come about? Kirstin Mende, who founded Lucky Dog Refuge with her mother in 2020, had some NHL connections and put two of her passions together.
"I worked in communications at the National Hockey League from 2010 to late 2013," Mende said. "I've stayed in touch with the National Hockey League family. A lot of my friends still work here. When I was working at the NHL, you know back in between 2010 and 2013, I kept saying we should have a dog do puck drop. How great would it be if we had a dog do the puck drop. And 10 years later, here we are with our dogs and the NHL is just doing such wonderful things embracing dogs and the need for rescue and finding them forever homes. And I'm just so happy that my two worlds have collided."
Since 2020, over 700 dogs have been adopted from Lucky Dog Refuge in Connecticut, which focuses on finding homes for stray and sick or injured dogs.
"One of our personal dogs was a medical case that everybody said just euthanize the dog because his injury was so severe and we gave him a chance and he is now perfectly healthy four or five years later, you would never know there was anything wrong," Mende said. "And so that really taught us that every single dog deserves that chance."
Mende even used her hockey passion to name some of the puppies, including Twig, Biscuit, Mitts and Puck, among others. So far, no dogs have been named Aleksander Barkov, Barclay Goodrow, Jay Beagle or Lindy Ruff.
"It's definitely a team effort," Mende said. "I got to use some of my favorite hockey lingo and give them to the different dogs based on their personalities. Otherwise, we collectively work together as a team (to name them) and we've adopted out 740 dogs since June of 2020 and we try not to duplicate names, so we're starting to get very creative with names because we've run through all your normal names. So now we're getting creative with "Chirp" and "Twig" and "Apple", and you know all those favorite names that we have the back of our mind, they eventually become a dog."
Rescue City in New York City also had puppies on hand for the show.
"They definitely trumped the Cup which is hard to do," Tappen said of filming the episode with the dogs. "I liked Hattie. I grew up with a black lab and she was black, and I have a black pet now. And she was sweet at the end and playing with us."
Three of the puppies were even adopted by NHL staff members who couldn't help but fall in love with the adorable animals.
"There was a lot of chaos," Moore said. "Not from the dogs, but from the NHL. They were so excited to meet the dogs. When I showed up here this morning, there were like 35 people excited for the dogs. It was very fun."
The fifth episode of "NHL Mash-Up" is now available on YouTube.
"It got started with a phone call to both of us that the League was thinking of doing this and wanted to really bring light to all the social media content that each team does such a great job producing and put it all in one place so that everyone could see it and enjoy it," Tappen said. "Because there's so much out there and you end up missing some of it so the idea was just to have fun, come in relax, wear your jeans, wear sneakers, have fun out there with it. And it's really been fun."