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Throwing Catfish Onto the Ice Is an NHL Tradition

NHL fans have traditions of throwing strange things onto the ice at games. Things thrown onto to the ice can be celebrations or frustrations toward their team or a specific player. Sometimes they are thrown to distract a player, or even for unknown reasons.

Detroit Red Wings fans started throwing octopuses on the ice in the 1950s to celebrate the team. The Nashville Predators decided to emulate the Red Wings’ tradition but substituted catfish. It’s still unclear why the tradition started.

In the 1990s, Florida Panthers fans started throwing fake rats on the ice to celebrate their team. The rat tradition started after player Scott Mellanby killed a rat in the locker room before going on to score two goals.

These are only a few of the many weird items that fans have thrown onto the ice. The ice barrages often end up disrupting play as the objects, and sometimes the fans that threw them, are removed.