Why Do They Throw Octopus on the Ice? | Red Wings Octopus History!

Why Do They Throw Octopus on the Ice

Throwing Octopus on the ice is a good luck gesture from the fans to wish their team to win a Cup. Some countries consider it disrespectful to animals, and many animal rights organizations have protested against it.

This Tradition began in 1952 when a fan threw an octopus on the ice to celebrate the victory of the Red Wings as they were on the way to winning the Stanley Cup. The fans in the past threw things such as hats, fish, sharks, and many more. What does throwing squid on ice means? It means that a team needs eight wins to get a Stanley Cup. It began in Detroit when a Red Wings fan threw an Octopus on the Ice.

Let’s have a look at Squid on Ice Hockey in detail.

History of Octopus Celebration In Hockey

Pete and Jerry Cusimano were the first to throw an octopus on the ice to wish their team good luck, as they were fans of the Red Wings and needed eight wins to get a Stanley Cup at the Detroit Olympia Stadium, which is also known as “Old Red Barn.”

History of Octopus Celebration In Hockey

Octopus is thrown to wish the team as they need eight wins. Eight legs of Octopus show eight games. The team scored 24 goals in that playoff series which was a stunning victory.

Methods of throwing an Octopus

Fans should follow these things before throwing the Octopus. They must buy fresh Octopus as the old ones can be problematic; they must be boiled for 20 minutes with lemon juice and garlic to remove their smell. Put the Octopus in a double zip lock bag to less the lingering scent of the Octopus, and choose the best movement to throw it to avoid hitting anyone behind you.

Largest Octopus Thrown

In 1979, a game was interrupted as the fans threw too many octopuses on the ice. Giant Octopus was thrown in 1996 with a 50 lb. in the duo struck before that; it was 38 lb. tossed by Larry Shotwell and Bob Dubinsky during the Detroit Red Wings.

How NHL Fights for the Octopus Tradition?

How NHL Fights for the Octopus Tradition

Al Sobotka has engaged in numerous legal battles with the NHL over his practice of tossing the Octopus over his head after collecting it from the ice. If an Octopus is thrown on the ice and the match is interrupted, the match officials can call a delay of game fine. Later, if Sobotka threw an Octopus in the air after receiving it, the NHL promised to fine the Red Wings $10,000 as the sticky buildup was spreading to the ice and the player’s uniforms. The NHL has withdrawn this threat, and Sobotka is free to spin the Octopus if he stays at the gate in the rink’s corner.

Another fan was fined $500 and arrested by the police when he threw Octopus on the ice.

The History of throwing 35 Octopuses in Hockey

Before 1979, the Farewell game was played by Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena as it was their home, and they moved to their new home at Little Caesars Arena. Fans have made many memories in that arena. While celebrating, fans threw many things on the ice, including Octopus. It was more than an ordinary celebration; the fans threw thirty-five octopuses on the ice as they bid farewell to Joe Louis.

Events Inspired by the Octopus

In 1945 the fans threw octopuses and other things like hats on the ice. After this, they also start throwing other creatures like fish, sharks, lobsters, and more.

Events Inspired by the Octopus

Reg Wings fans threw a catfish in 1999 during a game between Detroit Red Wings and Nashville Predators. In 2006, a match between Red Wings and Edmonton Oilers had held in which fans threw Alberta Beef on the ice.

In 2007 during a game between Detroit Red Wings and San Jose, Leopard Sharks were thrown by the fans in celebration. And a game between Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators was held in 2017 when a fan threw a duck on the ice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What hockey team throws squid on the ice?

Red Wings fans started this Tradition of throwing squid on the ice.

How do you sneak an octopus into a hockey game?

An octopus is boiled on high heat for 20 minutes with lemon juice and white wine to remove the odor. After that, fans can throw an octopus into a hockey game.

Who was the first to throw an octopus on the ice?

Two brothers and storeowners, Jerry and Pete Cusumano, were the first who throw the Octopus in Olympia Stadium.

Do you get kicked out for throwing an octopus on the ice?

It was allowed during the Red Wings games, but now it is not permitted, and a fine of $500 is charged.

Do the Detroit Red Wings still throw Octopus?

Fans can not throw octopuses as animal rights groups have protested for this, and people who do so are arrested and have to pay fines.


Many NHL Arenas are there worldwide; some of them allow their fans to celebrate their team’s wins while others do not, and they also put a fine on the fans who throw an octopus on the ice. The red Wings have the most dedicated fans; they always love and support their team and analyze each game. Red Wings are also responsible for this Tradition, which has become a part of hockey. If you like it, please give it a thumbs up.

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