The whole animals-onto-the-ice gimmick started in 1952 when Detroit Red Wings faithful "honoured" their team by throwing octopods onto the ice during the playoffs. Apparently there was one game in 1995 when 36 octopi were sacrificed to the hockey gods.
The some San Jose Sharks thought it would make sense to kill their namesake and throw them on the ice--including, once, a shark with an octopus in its mouth. In Boston, lobster. In New Jersey, a fish. In Edmonton, steaks. In Vancouver, salmon. In Anaheim, a dead duck. Now, it's fans the Nashville Predators who partake, tossing catfish onto the ice during games (so that ice girls retrieve them, sometimes with pizzazz).
Personally, I'm thankful all of these teams are now out of the playoffs, because throwing dead animals onto the ice is ridiculous. Yeah, it's supposed to be fun, and something that the fanbases of these teams pride themselves on, but it's just an absurd and disrespectful waste of life. Many shark species are endangered (although not the leopard shark, which was tossed in the first San Jose shark-toss), but that's not why I care; catfish are far from endangered in any measure, and I'm no more in favour of them being thrown onto the ice. Where does it end? How about a dead coyote in Phoenix? A dead St. Bernard in Colorado? A dead cougar in Florida? It's just a stupid tradition that needs to end, because killing an animal for a couple of seconds of snickering before it's tossed in the garbage is a terrible waste.
I could go on about the cruelty, hubris, ignorance, and stupidity with which humans treat non-human animals ad nauseum, but I'll restrain myself. If only the idiots tossing dead animals onto the ice could restrain themselves, too.
Links after the jump
- Missed this yesterday, but no one else did: The Erik Karlsson contract negotiations will likely take time, and will not likely end in a cheap contract. I still think it'll come between $6-6.5M for six to eight years, but we'll see. (Sun)
- Stephane Da Costa is beefing up this off-season, and is honing his game while playing for France in the IIHF World Championships right now. (Senators)
- Erik Karlsson scored the game-winning goal for Sweden in their IIHF WC game against Germany yesterday afternoon. (Senators)
- Crozier took a look at whether or not the Sens should bring back Filip Kuba. (SenShot)
Around the league(s):
- If you've got some mini-sticks hanging around your place, send them to young "Mikko" Gegen, a five-year-old who's been diagnosed with neuroblastoma. (Hockey Wilderness)
- I'm a big fan of the playful ribbing between the Fort Wayne Komets and Journal Gazette beat writer Justin Cohn, demonstrated in this video. Awesome. (Puck Daddy)
- Safe to say that Jaromir Jagr enjoyed his time in Philadelphia. (Broad Street Hockey)