Blog Entry

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

Posted on: April 15, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 5:40 pm
For all of downtown Detroit’s troubles, the NHL apparently wants to address what it sees as a major scourge. 

The tradition of tossing octopi on the ice. 

Matt Saler of the blog On the Wings reports the NHL has asked Detroit to enforce a city ordinance, which apparently caused one fan to be ejected from Wednesday’s Game 1 and put him on the hook for a $500 fine:
"Officer Bullock informed me that the enforcement of Municipal Code 38-5-4 is at the request of the NHL. Evidently, police supervisors were informed Wednesday night, either before or during the game, by League representatives that they don’t want anything thrown on the ice. An officer has to witness the throw and nab the thrower on the spot, but it’s something they can and will enforce. Apparently, distance from players is not an issue: any octopus on the ice is grounds for ejection and a fine."

The interesting part is that the Wings are not the ones asking for it. According to Officer Bullock, they’re fine with the tradition, and even like it. And I gather the police aren’t big fans of enforcing it either. It’s up to the officer’s discretion, so it’s possible fans may still get away with it at times. But with NHL officials pushing for it, it’s less safe to throw than it ever has been. Previously, it may have been a bit of an empty threat. Now it has teeth.

According to Yahoo! hockey blog Puck Daddy , NHL spokesman Frank Brown wouldn’t confirm that the league is asking for police to enforce the city code: 
"I don't believe it's anything new, but I'm waiting to hear back from our security. It's a safety issue. You throw stuff on the ice, people get their skates caught in it, they fall down and hurt themselves. It's wrong. That's a problem," said Brown, in a phone interview this afternoon.

The NHL then sent out this statement: 
"NHL security did not direct that this person be arrested or ejected. We do have a prohibition against throwing things to the ice surface since this may cause a delay in game or injury to players or others working on the ice surface."

This eight-legged controversy began to swirl when Deadspin reported an account from the fan who allegedly was the target of police:
All of a sudden, a guy from there said, "You're going to jail. Come with me." Granted, not a thing happened to the prior folks, or any other game. I went down and was charged. Really, it's AN octopus in Detroit in a hockey game! They kick me out, fined me $500 and I have to go to court. I paid $150 for my ticket [but] now will pay $500 more. That's $217 a period.

Although the tradition of throwing an octopus on the ice dates back to 1952, opponents have complained for years that chunks of the sea creature are often left on the surface. That could create a safety concern, although there have been no reports of that any player was injured because of it. The Red Wings were threatened with a $10,000 fine three years ago if famed Zamboni driver Al Sobotka swung any octopi he picked up off the ice. 

-- A.J. Perez

Since: Feb 4, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2011 7:27 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

I am not a fan of it but as things go there is no need to even eject a person for it let alone arrest and fine them.  yes i know that if you throw anything onto the ice it could happen.  But this is the tradition in detroit it is not like they do it wile play is going on.  (Not that i ever seen and i think Detroit fans are smart enough)  

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2011 7:20 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

well since gary Buttman has basically tried to stop the great tradition of the original six by not having the Wings have home/home with leafs, Bruins, habs etc so the Wings can travel to great hockeybeds like Atlanta and Florida. I see no reason why he should attempt to stop this tradition as well.Yes and everyone wonders why the commish gets booed in Detroit.

Since: Oct 20, 2008
Posted on: April 15, 2011 7:12 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

Sorry Detroit fans- but this is your own fault.

This used to be a great tradition- it used to be that at Detroit home playoff games, the octopus would be thrown onto the ice after a goal or win.  Now, idiot fans toss the octopi during regular season games, away games, even if it's a loss.  (I guess if you have to sneak in some nasty rotting fish, you damn well want to get rid of it.)  It's a meaningless symbol now, and its only association is for the Red Wings.  It'd be as though fans threw their hats onto the ice after a single goal- any goal was made.

Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: April 15, 2011 6:31 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

I think the plastic Rat tossing during the Panthers stanley cup run put more pressure on the league to tighten up this rule.However whats wrong tossing some  cephalopod's on the ice?

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2011 6:07 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

Just for is the offending municipal code:

Sec. 38-5-4. - Same—Throwing of bottles, cans, etc., prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person to cast, throw, hurl or fling any bottle, can, receptacle, or any other object which could cause injury or damage in the spectator area where any athletic contests or exhibition is conducted or into or upon the area used for the conduct of such contests or exhibition while the same is in progress and during intermissions and delays of such contest or exhibition.

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2011 6:04 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

Can't wait to see what the argument is for allowing fans to continue throwing hats onto the ice after a hat trick, which also causes a delay in the game.  Are they going to throw that tradition out the window too?  Or are they going to capricously and arbitrarily enforce the rule?

Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: April 15, 2011 5:58 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

 Stupidest thing I've ever seen, ranks right up there with hell night. 

Since: Aug 25, 2009
Posted on: April 15, 2011 5:57 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

Throw them 8 legged freaks all you want guys.  Cool hockey tradition and adds a bit of humor to the game.  No need to take all the fun out of things,  a few sea creatures won't hurt anything.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: April 15, 2011 5:49 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

It's never actually CAUSED a problem on the ice.  It's just a bunch of bureaucratic nimrods with a hockey stick shoved too far up their butt that actually give a crap about this ordinance. 

Fans of Hockeytown, USA....I expect to see 10,000 Octopi thrown on to the ice for game 2 in protest.

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