The NHL Playoffs are filled with traditions and superstitions, some stranger than others. But maybe none are as strange as the tradition during Nashville Predators playoffs games where fans throw gigantic catfish on the ice.
The latest came courtesy of Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan.
The Predators advanced to their first Stanley Cup Final with a 6-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 on Monday night. The big goal came with about six minutes to go when Colton Sissons netted his third of the game. However, because of some confusion over who scored his second goal, it took the crowd about five minutes to realise he had scored a hat trick.
So during the next break, hats rained down on the ice. That is one of the more traditional traditions in the NHL. But it wasn’t just hats, there was also a large catfish.
It turns out this one was thrown by Lewan, who had been spotted at an earlier game with a large catfish.
Lewan can be seen throwing the fish in this fan video:
The tradition dates back to 2003 when the Predators made it to the playoffs for the first time and is a tradition that is likely derived from the similar tradition in Detroit where Red Wings’ fans throw octopi on the ice during home playoff games. Fans throw them onto the ice prior to the game or after big moments.
While Lewan might have had an easier time getting his catfish into the arena and his suite through a VIP entrance, David Ammenheuser of The Daily News Journal recently spoke to another fan who went to great lengths to sneak his in.
Using plastic wrap, Collins sealed the catfish to his body. He then pulled on an extra-large Predators jersey to conceal the bulge.
Collins, a Williamson County medical supplies salesperson, and his buddies Austin Casselman and Jonathan Hardin walked through security and to their seats. As the national anthem began, they left their seats and got into position for the dump.
Collins’ biggest worry?
“I didn’t want to hit Carrie (Underwood) singing the national anthem.”
The fish aren’t cheap either. According to the fan Ammenhauser spoke to, the fish weighed 20 pounds and cost $US40.
Lewan, who also took a catfish to Game 3, recently spoke about the experience to “The Rich Eisen Show.” Lewan was asked what happened to that catfish.
“The fish is probably still in the suite,” Lewan said two days later. “It made a new home, just stinking up the place.”
Here is Lewan holding that fish while being introduced to the crowd.
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