DETROIT (CBS Detroit) – As the Red Wings prepares for tomorrow’s season opener at the new Little Caesars Arena, one animals rights group is hoping to end a storied Detroit tradition.

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, wants fans NOT to bring octopuses to the arena to throw onto the ice.

The group says they had not received a response to a letter they sent the Illitch family in April about keeping octopuses off the ice. They want the arena to check incoming fans for concealed octopi, and the National Hockey League to punish fans who bring octopuses to the arena with a lifetime ban.

“Octopuses are intelligent, sensitive animals who feel pain, and it’s no more acceptable to kill one for such a disrespectful, frivolous, and stupid purpose than it is to throw dead bear cubs onto the ice during a Bruins game,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said. “Please levy a $5,000 fine against those who bring an octopus into the arena or are caught throwing one on the ice. In addition, immediately eject them from the game and permanently ban them from all future Red Wings games.”

The tradition dates back to the Detroit Red Wings’ days at Olympia Stadium, where the team played from 1927 until 1979. The eight tentacles represent the eight wins needed to win a Stanley Cup Championship in the early days of the NHL.

PETA will hand out toy octopuses to fans before Thursday’s home opener, printed with the words “Respect Animals.”

Comments (10)
  1. Aaron Hipple says:

    STOP WITH THE BS HEADLINES, where in this story did the Ilitch’s give a “cold sholder”?! It’s entirely a story about PETA being PETA and looking for free publicity, which you’re giving them, and spending all of their non-profits on their legal teams to waste tax-payers money with ridiculous cases that ultimately give them more free publicity and make no actual difference in our world…like when they sued a photographer on behalf of a monkey that took a selfie. Landmark case, bravo

    Seriously though enough of the clickbait, that’s why nobody trusts the media anymore. Get real or GTFO

  2. PETA is right — and that’s coming from a Wings fan from way back. Throwing dead octopuses on the ice is cruel and … well, stupid. Detroit can do better. Let’s start a new tradition.

  3. Kim Marie says:

    Surely Wings fans are more evolved than tossing dead octopuses onto the ice. That kind of behavior is callous and disturbing.

  4. Paula Renee says:

    Octopuses are clever and curious animals who should be celebrated, not made to suffer for hockey props or calamari.

  5. That guy waving around the dead octopus … it’s sick. It’s twisted. As are those who throw them on the ice. It makes Detroiters seem demented.

  6. What a smart assertion–there is no need to use dead octopuses for this. They are smart animals and should be respected.

  7. Amy Donovan says:

    Any “tradition” that involves animals should be chucked.

  8. Uh….if they bought and paid for the octopus. What difference does if they eat them or throw them on the ice? and maybe then someone else eats them…let’s not be wasteful.

  9. The “tradition” is not very sporting to animals and I don’t really get the point anyway, but if fans are going to throw things, I’d rather it be toys than actual octopuses.Compassion won’t kill anyone.

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