Despite the 24 Stanley cups won by the Montreal Canadiens, the history and passion of the Detroit Red Wings pan is top top par through Montreal"s. Hey, they don"t speak to Detroit, Michigan "Hockeytown USA" because that nothing. The Red Wings have actually won an impressive 11 Stanley Cups, good for 3rd in the NHL all-time. However the Detroit Red Wings pan base most well known for a wacky tradition.
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It was April the 15th, 1952, also known as "Tax Day" throughout the joined States. The NHL was still in the original Six era and also the Detroit Red Wings were making a deep playoff operation for their fifth Stanley Cup. Stand in their method were the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. In stimulate to victory the cup, the Red Wings had actually to victory eight games, in two "best of 7 series". As a prize of great luck, season ticket holders Jerry and Pete Cusimano threw one Octopus ~ above the ice at the old Detroit Olympia Stadium, likewise known together the "Old Red Barn". Not only did the Red Wings victory the video game that day however they perfect the playoffs undefeated and won two of their next three Stanley Cups. The Octopus became the Red Wings" unofficialize mascot and also has been thrown top top the ice every season since; generally during the national anthem or complying with a goal. Below is a photo of Detroit"s east Market, wherein the Cusimano brother operated your market. This is where most of the Octopi came from.
Image Credit: M Canzi (CC by 2.0)
As the tradition continued to grow and become an ext well known throughout hockey, many much more Octopi to be being thrown top top the ice. On opening Night at Joe luigi Arena in 1979, the game was interrupted countless time as result of fans cram Octopi onto the ice. In 1995, Bob Dubisky and also Larry Shotwell who were additionally workers in the Meat and also Seafood industry, tossed a 38 lb. Octopus right into the rink. This specific Octopus was the largest ever thrown in Detroit Red Wings history until the duo win again in 1996 through a 50 lb. Octopus.
Flash forward to 2015 and also there is a figure who serves together the challenge of the "Octopus throw" perhaps much more so 보다 the founding Cusimano Brothers. His name is Al Sobotka. For more than 30 years, Joe has actually been the head Zamboni driver in ~ Joe louis Arena. His official title is operations Manager for Olympia Entertainment, i m sorry owns and operates both Joe luigi Arena and the Cobo facility (home the the Detroit Auto Show).
Al is known for twirling the Octopi over his head after retrieving that on the ice; an activity in in which the has battled the NHL over on more than one occasion. The linesmen are able to issue a delay of game penalty if an Octopus is thrown top top the ice and interrupts the game however never do. Later, the NHL endangered the Red Wings with a $10,000 good if Sobotka twirled one Octopus in the waiting after retrieving it. The slimy residue was obtaining on the uniforms of the football player and likewise on the ice. The NHL has actually retracted this risk and allow Sobotka to twirl the Octopus as long as the does so close to the Zamboni door at the edge of the rink. Follow to Sobotka, an mean of 25 Octopi space thrown throughout Red Wings home playoff games. Exactly how he had the ability to come up with that number is unknown.
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Image Credit: JPowers65-Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
In honor of Al Sobotka, the Red Wings had two gigantic Octopi props created and also named after ~ him. They hang from the Joe louis Arena rafters and also are used almost exclusively used throughout the NHL playoffs. And since the Red Wings have made the NHL playoffs a league record 24 year now, "Al the Octopus" has become a familiar face and mainstay about Joe luigi Arena. Periodically the prop is dressed in a gigantic number "8" Red wing jersey. The Red Wings created a 2nd Octopus prop to stand for the 16 playoff wins compelled for the Red wing to success the Stanley Cup.
Image Credit: JPowers65-Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
As you can imagine, there room a number of NHL franchises that have duplicated the Detroit Red Wings with a toss of their own. Every toss having actually it"s own neighborhood element. The Nashville Predators fans consistently throw catfish top top the ice throughout games (began in 2002). A variety of sharks have actually been thrown onto the ice cream at the SAP Center, house of the san Jose Sharks. Vancouver Canucks fans have been well-known to litter salmon top top the Rogers Arena ice as result of British Columbia being a haven for salmon fishing. The Edmonton Oilers and Florida Panthers fans are in the prop cram mix as well. Edmonton Oilers fans will generally throw Alberta Beef in ~ Rogers Place throughout games. Florida Panthers fans will throw toy rats onto the ice complying with hat tricks. This quirky tradition began after a former player killed a rat in the team"s locker room prior to scoring a cap trick. The legacy is called the "rat trick".
If you ever before get the possibility to watch a Detroit Red Wings video game at tiny Caesars Arena, you should take advantage, hockey fan or not. I was fortunate enough to visit and see an Octopus thrown on April 7th, 2013 vs. The St. Louis Blues. In all honesty, the Octopus gift thrown created the loudest roar of the day from the Detroit Red wings crowd. Strangely, the Octopus was thrown during a random stoppage in the game and also the Red wings did not score a goal that day.