DETROIT, MI — Tossing an octopus on the ice has been a revered
 Detroit Red Wings tradition for 65 years, but People for the Ethical 
Treatment of Animals says it must go. The first octopus was thrown 
on the ice in 1952 during the Red Wings’ Stanley Cup playoff run, 
and PETA wants the practice stopped as the team prepares to play 
its final game in Joe Louis Arena on Sunday.
In a letter to Ilitch Holdings, which owns the team, PETA said it 
wants the organization to penalize any fan who brings an octopus
 to The Joe Sunday when the Red Wings play the New Jersey Devils, 
and ban them from future games. The Red Wings move to the Little 
Caesars Arena this fall.
“Octopuses are intelligent, sensitive animals who feel pain, and it’s
 no more acceptable to kill one for such a disrespectful, frivolous, and 
stupid purpose than it is to throw dead bear cubs onto the ice during a
 Bruins game,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. 
The organization suggested checking Red Wings fans at the door for
 concealed octopuses at the door and, if they’re found, imposing fines
 from $500 to $5,000.

PETA noted that octopuses are highly intelligent and adept tool users
 that communicate with one another using patterns of light and color
 and form romantic social bonds.
In the letter, PETA asked the Red Wings to consider celebrating the
 team with “cruelty-free plush octopus toys instead.”
The Red Wings did not immediately respond to Patch’s request for 
Photo: Al Sobotka swings an octopus thrown to the ice of Joe Louis 
Arena in 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)