Dear NHL Officials,
As you know, the Detroit Red Wings have been a NHL franchise since 1926. Over the years, the Red Wings organization and fans of the Red Wings have developed many traditions. One of these traditions began 56 years ago when a Red Wings fan threw an octopus on the ice to celebrate a playoff goal that was scored by Gordie Howe.
From that point on, the Wings won eight straight playoff games and went on to win the Stanley Cup. Starting in 1991, Al Sobotka, added to this tradition by going out onto the ice before the last regular season game vs. the Chicago Blackhawks and swung the octopus around as he left the ice. The fans were excited by this act and cheered wildly.
This brings us to the reason for this petition. A story was written and published in the April 19, 2008 edition of The Detroit News explaining that NHL League Office had recently issued a new rule that would prohibit Al Sobotka from coming out onto the ice during the game to even retrieve and/or swing the octopus if one was thrown on the ice.
On behalf of all Red Wings fans in the City of Detroit, the rest of the country and even the world, we feel that Al Sobotka swinging the octopus before the playoff games has no adverse effect on the game itself and should be allowed. The swinging of the octopus before the Red Wings playoff games is a FUN thing and really gets the fans excited for the game to begin!
In conclusion, it is no secret that since the NHL lockout, the NHL has had a really hard time getting fans interested in the game in every market in the NHL, including here in HOCKEYTOWN. Please understand that the fans that are still interested in the NHL go to see the games to have FUN!!
Taking away long standing traditions such as the octopus here in HOCKEYTOWN will go a long way in taking the FUN out of the atmosphere at the game and will eventually lead to fans turning to other means of entertainment for a good time. Please take the time to rethink this new rule since it causes no harm to the players or the quality of the game.