Sunday, 14 November 2010

Not An Octopus

There is a history and a tradition of tossing octopi onto the playing surface at Joe Louis Arena for Detroit Red Wings playoff games. This tradition goes back to when the playoffs only required eight wins to secure the Stanley Cup, thus the eight legs of an octopus made sense as the team embarked on that eight-win challenge. Of course, there were the plastic rats that fans in Florida tossed to the ice thanks to Scott Mellanby. Mellanby had killed a rat in the Panthers' dressing room with his stick, and the legend of the rat began circulating. Soon, opposing teams in the playoffs against the Panthers were pelted with thousands of plastic rats as Mellanby's extermination of the pest grew to mythical proportions. There are lots of interesting items that have made it to the ice surface in various arenas, but last night was a whole new experience for me in terms of seeing a strange item on the ice.

A fan in Winnipeg decided to add the Manitoba Moose to the list of on-ice oddities found when he or she tossed this item on the ice:
Yes, that's a moose leg. Ok, it might be a larger deer's leg, but deer and moose are all from the same family. For some strange reason, someone decided that it would be appropriate to toss that leg pictured above onto the ice at MTS Centre.

Last night's game against the Rochester Americans saw the Moose hammer their North Division rivals by a 6-2 score, so it's not like the Moose were destroyed. Unfortunately, there is one moose who has been destroyed, and that moose's leg is now part of hockey lore.

I'll have more about this on Antler Banter next week, but it's probably a good time to remind fans to not throw items like this on the ice. It's dangerous and could seriously hurt someone if it were to strike a player or official. Please use some common sense, and don't bring a leg of your favorite Cervidae to the rink. Ok? Ok.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Anonymous said...

I hope this tradition carries on... It must have worked because the Moose scored right after!

Eric W said...

This is actually a tradition used commonly for junior teams in Northern Manitoba. It's been used in Flin Flon for our hometown team, the Bombers, for decades.