They threw what? The weird NHL tradition of tossing items onto the ice

They threw what? The weird NHL tradition of tossing items onto the ice

The Nashville Predators are responsible for starting an incredible hockey tradition: the throwing of a fish onto the ice. It all began back in 2003 with Craig "Catfish" Hutton, who threw a catfish during their first-ever playoff game against the Detroit Red Wings. 

It's important to recognize that the Predators are not alone in the tradition of hurling objects onto the ice at hockey games. Other teams, like the Red Wings and Panthers, have their own beloved traditions. During playoffs, Detroit fans throw an octopus on to the playing surface while Florida supporters often hurl toy rats. It's part of what makes these games truly special.

Who else enjoys throwing objects on the ice? Here's a short list: 

1. The Detroit Red Wings have a strong tradition that dates back to 1952, when two local brothers threw an octopus onto the ice during a playoff game. This tradition continued from then on, and is seen as a sign of dedication and love for the team by its fans. The octopus symbolizes the number of wins it took to win the Stanley Cup at the time, which was eight. It's amazing to see such deep fan loyalty in Detroit over all these years!

2. Calgary Flames: Flames fans are known to throw their hats onto the ice when a player scores a hat trick (three goals in one game). This tradition is not unique to Calgary, but it is particularly popular among Flames fans.

3. On behalf of the Winnipeg Jets, I'd like to take a moment to thank all of the wonderful Jets fans. Over the years, they've demonstrated their team spirit by throwing special items onto the ice such as hats for hat tricks, teddy bears for charity during the Teddy Bear Toss game, and even once an unfortunate live cat (which led to a lifetime ban for that fan). We're so grateful for your dedication and unwavering support!

4. The Florida Panthers have some of the most dedicated fans in sports. When the team scored a goal during the 1996 playoffs, Scott Mellanby famously killed a rat with his hockey stick before going out and scoring two goals. The incredible moment inspired fans to start throwing toy rats on the ice every time the Panthers score, and that tradition continues to this day. It's just one of the amazing things about being a Panthers fan!

5. The Vancouver Canucks and their devoted fans have a special bond. Since 1982, Canucks fans have thrown towels onto the ice during playoff games to show their support for the team and protest calls by the referees. This memorable tradition continues today, even during the most difficult times. We thank all of our supporters who've taken part in this inspiring display of loyalty over the years.

When did it all begin? 

Throwing stuff on the ice during hockey games been a thing since the '50s, when two bros Pete and Jerry Cusimano decided to chuck an octopus onto the rink during a playoff game between Detroit Red Wings and Montreal Canadiens. The NHL had only 6 teams then and 8 wins were needed for nabbin' the Stanley Cup – 8 legs meant 8 wins! As you can guess, this quickly caught on with Red Wings fanbase and it's become as much part of their sports culture as beer consumption or fighting. 

Have a favorite thing to throw during games or a story to indulge us in? Share in the comments. 

- Kristina 


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