If there is one thing anyone who has ever read Hockey Wilderness knows, it is that I dislike the Detroit Red Wings. It is a hatred borne of jealousy and envy. Why lie about it, right? I also dislike them because of a portion of their fan base that believe everything the league does is intended to screw the Wings and take away their candy.
Now, that said, the NHL has made a huge, massive, stupid mistake in their latest attempt to, I guess, do what the feel is the right thing to do. Once again, what this ruling has led to is a massive uproar by the fans across the league showing just how out of touch with their fans the NHL must be.
For their latest foray into ineptitude, please make the jump.
Every hockey fan knows the tradition in Detroit. The fans get excited, they don't have much else to be happy about, and they throw an octopus on the ice. I'm sure the tradition has an explanation and a justification. I don't really care what it is. All I know is that they have doing it longer than major corporations have been screwing them.
The Wings do something worthy of praise? Octopus. The Refs blow a call? Octopus. Someone buys a hot dog? Octopus. It is what it is, and people around the league expect it. No one has any issue with it, from the best I can tell. It's a harmless way for the fans to show their support. I haven't been around the league for the duration of the octopi sling, but I am fairly certain no one has ever been injured due to an octopus on the ice. Even the delay to the game is minimal. The people in Detroit know they are coming, and have a plan to deal with the issue.
Still, the NHL, in all its infinite wisdom, has asked the police monitoring NHL games involving the Red Wings to arrest and fine any slinger of squid $500. Yes... FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Are you kidding me?
The NHL says it has asked that anyone caught throwing anything on the ice to be be fined. As Hockey Joe Yerdon from NBC's Pro Hockey Talk pointed out on Twitter:
Let's just hope that police across the NHL rinks are standing by with citations for rogue hat tossers for hat tricks. No octopi, no hats.
The NHL cannot go another direction here. If people can throw hats, they can throw an octopus, or a rubber snake, or a waffle, or a snake. Just so long as no one gets hurt, I really don't see the issue. The delay is minimal, and after all it is just a game. It is ridiculous to think throwing an octopus on the ice is a crime.
History shall no longer be made. Instead, it shall be fined.
Free the Octopus.