Charlie Graves, a resident of Farmington, Mich., was arrested at Game 1 of the first-round series against the Phoenix Coyotes on April 13 after he tossed the octopus onto the ice, a tradition for Detroit playoff games that stretches back decades. He was fined $500 fine and was charged with disorderly conduct.
Police said afterward that the NHL had requested them to clamp down on octopi tossers.
A defiant Graves, who was in court on Tuesday, explained to WDIV-TV why he pleaded not guilty:
"It is a 50-something-odd-year tradition," Graves said. "I feel the city of Detroit takes pride in their tradition, and if the (NHL) commissioner thinks we are going to go down without a fight, he is wrong."
Graves said he will fight the charge in support of the tradition. .
"I pleaded not guilty, of course," Graves said. "I'm going to fight for this tradition. And so, I have to come back in July for a trial, and I'll be lawyered up."
-- A.J. Perez