Fan banned for life from Little Caesars Arena for octopus toss

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NHL: Detroit Red Wings octopus 1
Apr 21, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; A octopus outside of Joe Louis Arena prior to game three of the first round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Detroit Red Wings. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Well, this is certainly an odd and unexpected development in Red Wings fandom.

The octopus toss has been a long and cherished tradition for Red Wings fans attending home games at Joe Louis Arena, and naturally, they wanted it to continue at the brand new Little Caesars Arena. Nick Horvath of Windsor, Ontario did just that, but received a punishment that’s leaving just about everyone scratching their heads – a lifetime ban.

Now, typically that sort of response is reserved for Red Wings fans who visit opposition NHL buildings. But at the brand new home of the Red Wings? That’s taking the punishment way too far, according to the fan who now can only watch Red Wings home games on television.

“The crowd was going nuts,” Horvath told CBC News. “As they were escorting me out people were booing them, ‘Let him go!’ People were high-fiving me, giving me spanks on the butt, slaps on the butt … everyone loved it.”

Horvath was promptly escorted to police by Arena security and then he was charged with a misdemeanor.

“The two supervisors of security told me I’m done,” Horvath said. “I think it’s very stiff. If they want to fine me I understand, if they wanted to ban me for a year … I can deal with that, but to get banned forever? That can’t happen.”

Horvath says that his calls and emails to Arena representatives have gone unreturned, and he’s now appealing for help from CBC hockey legend Don Cherry.

“Grapes … I need you to chime in for me, please,” he said. “I want Don Cherry, I need him, I need you, Grapes. Help the boy out!”

Throwing the octopus has been a tradition since 1952 in Detroit, back in the days when it only took eight wins to take home the Stanley Cup. The eight legs represented the number of victories needed.