Michael DeNicola


I realize I'm more late on this story than Anna Renee Duggar and her menstrual cycle, but I figured I'd press my opinion upon the hockey world's collective ear drum.

In Game 1 of Detroit's first round series against the Phoenix Coyotes, a Red Wings fan by the name of Tom Balish hucked the traditional octopus onto Hockeytown's ice in the beginning of the 2nd period. 

Prior to doing so, he entered Joe Louis Arena with the sea creature in plain view of security but (as he claims) was never told to lose the slimy beast before his admission. 

In fact, the Canton, MI native was even encouraged by some arena ushers just seconds before he high tailed down the arena steps to commit his "crime".



This once Original Six tradition dates back to 1952 when two brothers who owned a food market decided the octopodes' symbolism. And since then it's been cherished by every fanatic who bleeds red burned tires & wing feathers. 

But now all of a sudden it's become a friggin ice hazard, and the yuppie suits upstairs in the league's main office have created every excuse to have the legend of the octopus banned from the Playoff events. 

Balish was detained, arrested and fined $500 for doing what thousands have done since before the NHL's expansion, before the curve was introduced to the stick blade, before the slapshot was invented, and just under two months before Gary Bettman squeezed his way into this Earth. 


Where am I going with this?

There's been a ton of change to this league since the lockout. So much so that legal, old time hits are being mistaken for penalties. Why? Because the officials haven't seen these hockey plays in years due to the relatively recent NHL crackdown on potential injury prone hits. 

I only mention all of that to get to my next point; The league's turning so soft on us that now an entire fanbase can't even celebrate a custom so dear to them that it's associated with their city almost as much as American bred muscle cars. 

I understand that throwing objects on the ice can spell havoc for the ice surface, but these fans aren't tossing anvils, wooden barrels filled with bees, flaming tridents or molotov cocktails. They're throwing a squishy dead thing that does less damage than your baby sister.


PhillyReign writer, Sir Joseph Bogle, told me how the league's warned fans that the "juices from the octopus could get in the eyes of the players"


These players are slapping a puck around each others faces at 80 - 100 miles an hour, and the league's worried that some slime off a suction cup is going to damage Lidstrom's contact lens. 

Give me a goddamn break. 


I bet in the next ten or so years, the league will ban playoff-bearded fans from entering arenas because the hair on their face could possibly fall out and fly onto the ice from excessive loud cheering. 

That's when NHL fans unite.