Nick Horvath has retired from octopus throwing forever.
The Red Wings superfan arrived in a Detroit courtroom Tuesday morning wearing a bright red jacket covered in his favourite team’s logo and forked over the $225 U.S. he was fined for disorderly conduct — the price he paid for the dubious honour of throwing the first octopus on the ice at Little Caesars Arena.
“The judge said ‘Stay out of trouble, don’t do it again. This was a very expensive octopus,'” he said with a laugh.
The court appearance came months after the 30-year-old saran wrapped a large cephalopod to his stomach and smuggled it into the brand new arena under a Gordie Howe all-star jersey.
After hurling the octopus onto the ice Horvath said he was nabbed by security and told he wasn’t welcome back. A few days later, after Horvath’s cries for help from his hero Don Cherry drew media attention, he was contacted by arena security staff and told he wasn’t facing a lifetime ban after all.
Still, the fan said he’s learned his lesson when it comes to octopus tossing.
“Those are the last two,” he said. “I threw the last one at the Joe and the first at the home opener and I’m retiring on top from octopus throwing.”
Horvath’s special suit did draw some looks when he arrived in court, but he said most people in Detroit seemed to appreciate it.
He’s hoping that goodwill continues when he heads back to the arena for a game, but he’s planning to wait a year before going back — just to play it safe.
‘Octopi will forever fly’
A post on Facebook showing Horvath proudly holding up his paid ticket and asking who wants to come with him has already drawn more than 60 ‘likes.’
“It’s going to be awesome to set foot back in that place. I’m going to be happy,” he said. “Honestly I’ve missed it. It’s only been two months but I can’t wait.”
The dedicated Wings fan added his enthusiasm for “the boys” hasn’t been harmed by the whole experience.
“I f–king love the boys man. It’s got nothing to do with the team,” he explained. “I’m still a diehard fan. Nothing changes with that.”
Fans have been throwing octopuses on the ice at Red Wings’ games for 65 years. The Legend of the Octopus began during the 1952 playoffs, when the creature’s eight wriggling appendages symbolized the number of wins necessary to capture the Stanley Cup.
Even though he’ll never throw another octopus, Horvath said he’s sure other fans will continue the 65-year ritual.
“Octopi will forever fly,” he said. “The tradition lives on brother.”