The Nashville Predators catfish chucking tradition is over a decade old.
A Predators fan threw a catfish onto the ice during Game One of the Stanley Cup Final in Pittsburgh, was escorted out of the arena and later reportedly charged with disorderly conduct, disrupting a meeting and possessing instruments of a crime and it truly has been the biggest storyline of the Final thus far.
While throwing catfish onto the ice is foreign to most, it’s a tradition in Music City going all the way back to 2002.
The story behind it all, albeit weird, is actually a pretty basic one.
The story really starts in Detroit with Red Wings fans tossing dead octopuses onto the ice. During the 1952 Stanley Cup Playoffs, a Detroit fan threw an octopus over the glass and back then there were only six teams in the league and only four made the postseason. An octopus has eight legs and those eight legs represented how many games the Red Wings needed to win to hoist the ’52 Cup. They won the Cup that year so it has been a tradition ever since.
As for Predators fans throwing catfish onto the ice, it all began on October 26, 2002 when the Preds were hosting the Red Wings of course. The 2002-03 season was just the Preds fifth season in franchise history and there really wasn’t a ‘tradition’ so to speak with Nashville hockey so a fan mimicked the Red Wings and decided to toss a catfish over the glass.
The catfish doesn’t have a backstory like the octopus and its eight legs does, but it is a very familiar fish to everyone in the South and gave Predators fans their own, and very unique, tradition. The catfish is Nashville’s own southern draw on Detroit’s octopus tradition.
Preds fans have always amped up their catfish throwing particularly against the Red Wings and during the playoffs.
Don’t be surprised if you see two, three or maybe in four catfish tossed onto the ice during Game Three in Nashville on Saturday night.