Home HockeyBuzz Register Login
Up North, MI • United States • 5 Years Old • Female

Don't Penalize Tradition

Posted 6:09 PM ET | Comments 5
Tomorrow night the Detroit Red Wings organization will give everyone a free red t-shirt with the Winged Wheel logo on the front to, "Make the Stars see Red."

On the back the shirts have the official cartoon of "Al" the octopus as though he were in a police line-up. The actual purple octopus hanging from the ceiling of Joe Louis Arena and let down before the games is over 6' tall and so, appropriately, the height lines behind the mascot indicate this. To complete the characterization of "Al" as a criminal, an I.D. number tag for his mug shot appears around his neck stating, "Est. 4-15-1952." The caption below is in large block lettering as one would find on a "Wanted" poster and says, "Don't Penalize Tradition." I'm sure the home office will love it.

The announcement of the free shirt giveaway yesterday was followed up late today by a report in the Detroit Free Press that the NHL indicated a probable modification to the "Al Sobotka Rule" that will probably allow the real Al to twirl the octopi again during the Western Conference Finals.

Organization-initiated involvement by the NHL in this level of trivia - which has no direct effect on the outcome of a game - is prima facie evidence of a dysfunctional organization. Stating that an ill-advised ad hoc rule is suddenly going to be "modified" is nothing more than an attempt to save face for a bone-headed decision.

One wonders if during the past few days the Linesmen actually had time to read through their Collective Bargaining Agreement and realize that the NHL mandate to them to suddenly pick up boiled cephalopods hadn't been thoroughly discussed in their last contract talks.

Or maybe there is something to that superstition stuff and once the Octopus got angry the Avs got swept - with the tentacled reminder in Game 4 of 8 goals against.

Regardless, if Al can twirl the octopus tomorrow, then All is Well in Hockeytown!
Filed Under:   Wings   Stars   Avs   NHL   Al Sobotka   Octopus  
May 7, 2008 8:07 PM ET | Delete
I wish I was going to that game just for one of those shirts...I don't care why the NHL is going to allow Al to twirl octopi again as long as they do. You don't grow a league by messing a fan-favorite and long-time tradition at an arena with the name "Hockeytown" at center ice. It's just wrong on so many levels. Great stuff Anne, any information on this rule needs to be heard!
May 7, 2008 9:25 PM ET | Delete
More Bettman BS. Good Stuff, Anne. A tentacle could land on the ice and cripple a player? Here's hoping we see Mr Sobotka swinging an octipus around before game one of a Flyers-Wings final!
May 7, 2008 9:34 PM ET | Delete
May 8, 2008 12:29 AM ET | Delete
It would seem that there are more important things to deal with than a simple tradition such as Detoit's Octopi Roundup. Glad they relented and at least gave back part of what was not theirs to take in the first place. I'd bet that the decree came from a less than top tier functionary and when someone pointed out the ridiculousness of the edict, along with the fact that a slung octopus is a significant actor in a current NHL promo, I imagine that immediate strategies for retreat were planned.
May 8, 2008 9:19 AM ET | Delete
Awesome move by the Wings organization. Shove their foolishness in their faces.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to leave a comment.