The End of the Octopus
Just a little tidbit from Joe Louis Arena: The NHL has decided octopus twirling doesn't fit in with league image, or something to that effect.George Malik has a good roundup of all things octopus twirl.
The Wings have been told by the league that if Al Sobotka (or anyone else) twirls the octopus that's thrown onto the ice before playoff games, it'll cost the team $10,000.
The NHL has very few distinct traditions like the Motown mollusk toss, so it's unfortunate to see an attempt at ending this one. Here's hoping they're out in full force should the series head back to Detroit for Game 7 on Tuesday.
Go dressed as an octopus and go to town.
The 1952 playoffs featured the start of the tradition—the octopus throw. The owner of a local fish market, Peter Cusimano, threw one from the stands onto the ice. The eight legs were purportedly symbolic of the eight wins it took to win the Stanley Cup at the time. The Red Wings went on to sweep both of their opponents that year en route to a Stanley Cup championship. The NHL has, at various times, tried to eliminate this tradition but it continues to this day.Tom Benjamin has more, including his thoughts that maybe the team arranges for the creatures to get tossed.
I guess he hasn't read the 'octopus etiquette' section of above Wikipedia entry.