There are many strange traditions in hockey, some would call us superstitious. From Wayne Gretky's tucked-in jersey
to Octupi at Detroit Red Wing
games it is no wonder people think hockey players are nuts.
The Octopus first appeared on April 15, 1952. At the time there were only the Original Six
teams in the NHL:
As there were only six teams the play-offs for the Stanley Cup
were short - two best-of-seven
series. In the 1951-1952 season the play-off pairing were:
- Montreal Canadiens v. Boston Bruins
- Detroit Red Wings v. Toronto
The Montreal Canadiens battled Boston through game 7, with game 6 going into double overtime.
Detroit on the other hand breezed past Toronto in 4, with Terry Sawchuck
only allowing two goals in the series.
The stage was set for a tough final series for Montreal, they hadn't won since 1946. While Detroit had just blown out the champion - Toronto Maple Leafs. Detroit came out on fire after a nine day rest. Easily handing Montreal three straight losses.
At game 4 two brothers, Pete and Jerry Cusimano, owners of a fish market, threw one of the eight-legged creatures on the ice. Each leg was meant to represent a win needed to claim the Stanley Cup
. Montreal lost game four to Detroit - they had one the Stanley cup in eight games and a tradition was born.