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First of all, it is not a squid. It is an octopus. And secondly, the octopus is NOT in ALL of hockey. It is used EXCLUSIVELY in connection with the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL. It started during the 1952 Stanley Cup Playoffs. At that time there were only 6 teams, and to win the Stanley Cup required 8 playoff victories (two best of seven series). The owner of a local fish shop in Detroit threw an octopus onto the ice claiming that the 8 tentacles represented the 8 games that the Red Wings would win to get the Stanley Cup. The Wings won the Cup, and the tradition of using an Octopus to rally the Red Wings was born. Now there are 30 teams in the NHL, and it takes 16 victories to win the Stanley Cup, but the original playoff symbolism remains. Which is why the octopus toss is rarely seen during the regular season (except for the last few games when the Playoffs are very near). No team in the NHL has more fans attend AWAY games than the Detroit Red Wings, so an octopus may be seen in any city in which the Red Wings are competing. However, the throwing of ANY object onto the ice in ANY arena (including Joe Louis Arena - home of the Detroit Red Wings) is ALWAYS prohibited, and therefore runs the risk of getting kicked out of the game. This risk is obviously much lower at Joe Louis Arena where the behavior is not only tolerated, but (unofficially) encouraged, as long as certain rules are followed. First of all, the octopus should be boiled prior to the game to prevent it from sticking to the ice, and to eliminate any residue from the outside of the octopus flying off of it as Al Sabotka swings it around over his head to fire up the crowd when he removes it from the ice. Secondly, NEVER thow it onto the ice while the game is being played. This will assuredly give the Red Wings a penalty for delay of game. The acceptable times for throwing an octopus onto the ice is right after the Red Wings score a goal, OR right after the singing of the National Anthem, OR at the conclusion of the game (although most fans can't wait that long).

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Q: What is the origin of the squid in hockey?
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