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: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: April 16, 2011 2:23 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

I want to in general ask why people think hockey is on the decline anyway?  Where are your statistical facts showing this?  We are in a recession, or I guess they are saying that's over but still, with a slight dip due to the economy, the NHL has seen no different decline then other leagues.  Furthermore, the NBA is in a financial crisis, the NFL is on the verge of a lockout, in my eyes, if North American's weren't so slow minded, it would be much more popular.  Soccer is the most popular sport in teh world yet not even in the top 4 in the US and why?  Because there is no stoppage.  American's like stoppage in play so they can go to the bathroom, get a beer, get food etc without missing action....thus why they like baseball, football etc.  People claim it's because soccer/hockey is boring but realistically there isn't much more scoring in a football game where teams average about 40 points, equivalent to about 4 touch downs and 4 fgs a game.  Furthermore, as I mentioned below, in the US alone, there is a year in and year out increase in the number of American's in the sport because of bigger emphasis on youth programs and overall more interest in the youth of the sport.  So please, when you make comments like, this is why the sport is on the decline, try having some facts to back it up rather than your unwillingness to follow a sport too fast for your slow mind

Since: Aug 22, 2007
Posted on: April 16, 2011 2:16 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

phishmet, you can take your "anti-christ" comment and SHOVE IT!!!  Hockey is not popular in parts other than the lake region of the country because most people south of PA don't have the facilities year round to be good enough at hockey to play it well into their college careers.  It's pretty obvious that people generally like things they are good at, for the most part, and you don't often see a kid from Texas on a hockey team.  There is an ever growing increase in the number of American's in the NHL, and most of them come from the NorthEast, where in a lot of cities hockey is second to none.  Please keep your stupid religious and downright stupid comments to yourself.  There is nothing "barbaric" about hockey.  It's no different than a LaCrosse game, a football game, etc etc.  

Since: May 4, 2009
Posted on: April 16, 2011 2:03 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

This is not why hockey is on the decline.  Hockey is on the decline because man is beginning to once again have values and morals.  The way hockey is played is barbaric and anti-Christ, and folks are getting fed up with how fellow humans disrespect one another. 

Since: Apr 16, 2011
Posted on: April 16, 2011 2:00 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

Just saying that your comments are stupid, I don't know you so I can't make the call about you...
Yah, you're right, I can't comprehend a single sentence, I should go to more school... Thanks...
Now please be quiet, I'm trying to watch the game... Notice what was thrown onto the ice right before the game...? Did you cry about it?

Since: May 4, 2009
Posted on: April 16, 2011 2:00 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

This is not why hockey is on the decline.  Hockey is on the decline like man's mentality and morality is on the decline.  You show that decline with your choice of "words".

Since: Sep 8, 2008
Posted on: April 16, 2011 1:57 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

This is why hockey is on the decline! Thow a 70 year tradition out the window? This league is BS and will have no fans soon!

Since: Feb 27, 2007
Posted on: April 16, 2011 1:36 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

Boiler Wing, Just where in your definition of coward does it say anything about defending an opinion?  It mentions only fear-related definitions.  You may want to consider studying up on how to understand and interpret a definition, instead of just copying and pasting it.  Anyone can do that. Now to address your 'stupid' comment; that sounds pretty intolerant and cowardly.  Sounds like you might be hiding your fear behind harsh words, and of course, being intolerant of someone else's opinion. 

Since: Sep 24, 2008
Posted on: April 16, 2011 1:32 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

clearly you have no idea about the significance of the octopus to detroit and the red wings organization. Otherwise you would not hve made the stupid statement that a hat trick is significant but the octopus is not.
I'll tell you the significance in one word: TRADITION. 
Do you value history and tradition at all? Funny.
You are probably also the one arguing tradition is disappearing in professionl sports, yet here you are trying to devalue one of the best playoff traditions in sports by calling it 'not significant". I suggest you do a little homework on the subject before making a naive statement like that.
The octopus is thrown on the ice before a game or in intermissions, usually when no one is skating. A hat is thrown on the ice immediately following a goal when both teams are still on the what is more dangerous to skaters?

The real problem is bettman....not an octopus being thrown on the ice, like we have been doing since 1952, yet only now is our tradition coming under fire....
The simple fact is bettman hates the red wings for some reason, has no understanding of tradition in hockey as clearly indicated by alignment, scheduling, and now this....when he should be embracing a team like the wings since they basically keep the western conference afloat with attendance figures at our OPPONENTS arenas.
Bettman sucks. he needs to go away so hockey can actually grow and thrive. he holds it back with his lack of undertanding the fan base.

That is the true danger to hockey.

Since: Apr 16, 2011
Posted on: April 16, 2011 1:26 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopi tossers?

A_NY_Outlaw...yes they are checked, but since being harmless they are accepted. they know its NOT a big deal at all, and the NHL should see that as well

Since: Feb 28, 2008
Posted on: April 16, 2011 1:25 pm

NHL behind push to eject, fine octopus tossers?

One octopus.  Two or more, octopi or ocotopuses.  It is possible to throw octopi and make a bigger display, but it is impossible to throw AN octopi.  (Pet peeve of mine.)

That aside, I think it is insane to just jump on a fan an put an additional fine for this specific activity.  If the league is befind this (like the silly rat tradition that was squashed in Florida), then I say we fans should just get more selective and more sneaky about it. If you are coy enough, you can not get caught.  And, if you do get caught, make sure you get on camera as you are hauled away.  We fans appreciate the price payed to add fun and excitement to the game.   Just add $500 to the ticket if you want the priviledge of tossing AN octopus. 

And one more thing; It is a Red Wings tradition.  So throwing an octopus on the ice is great fun at a Red Wings game.  At a Flyers vs. Caps game?  Not so much.

Go Wings!

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