The long-standing tradition of throwing an octopus out on the ice at Joe Louis Arena came to a head last night when the Wings played their final game at the famed arena. A total of 35 octopi were thrown out onto the ice last night to bid farewell to the Red Wings' home for the last 38 years.
While the tradition is normally saved for the playoffs, that did not stop fans from getting one last chance to throw on octopus out on the ice (I guess the $500 fine and risk of being ejected from the game didn't stop them, either).
Red Wings fans generally love the tradition, but many animal rights activists think otherwise. PETA sent a letter to the Red Wings over the weekend asking them to crackdown on the tentacle-tossing spectacle.
The owner of Superior Fish Co. in Royal Oak (where fans can get an octopus for the game) told the Free Press
over the weekend that the octopi are not endangered and come frozen and already dead from the Pacific Ocean.
“Everyone's allowed to have their personal opinion," Dean said Friday. "But I compare the octopus in the Red Wings tradition to the pumpkin for Halloween. You don’t consume them. You use them for tradition,” he said.
Granted, an octopus is a living sea creature and not a jolly ole pumpkin in a pumpkin patch waiting to be made into pie, but to each his own, hey?