Wings: Octopus-tossing fan not banned from LCA

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Red Wings super fan from Windsor who chucked the first octopus onto the ice at new Little Caesars Arena is not banned for life from the stadium, despite what security guards may have told him.

Nick Horvath was escorted out of the arena during the regular-season opener, last Thursday, after his octopus toss.

He told CBC this week, “The two supervisors of security told me I’m done. 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.”

Turns out, it won’t.

Kyle Kujawa, a spokesman for the Red Wings, told The News on Wednesday, “It is not true that he was banned from LCA. He was ticketed and then released.” Kujawa said he was ejected, and added it's the NHL's rule that nothing be thrown onto the ice. Anyone caught is subject to a misdemeanor ticket from the Detroit Police Department. It's the same policy that was in place at Joe Louis Arena, Kujawa said.

The tossing of the octopus has been a staple at Red Wings games since the 1950s, though there’s been a crackdown on it in recent years — with fans really having to work to sneak the slimy species into the arena. And if they’re caught throwing them onto the ice, tickets can be expensive, running hundreds of dollars. To many, it’s still worth it, their 15 seconds of fame.

Horvath also claims to have thrown the last octopus onto the ice at Joe Louis Arena, during that building’s finale in April.

PETA came out this fall with a campaign aimed at getting Red Wings fans to toss fake, toy octopus — they even gave some away at the opening game — rather than the real thing, even though the real thing is deceased. Horvath scoffed at that notion, during his interview with CBC.

“The store is selling it to get eaten. But I made him famous,” he said. “He can be famous or cut up into pieces.”