Mirror Staff Writer
With the Detroit Red Wings advancing to the final round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, fans are eager to get their hands on tickets.
At Superior Fish Company in Royal Oak, owner Kevin Dean is just as interested in landing the biggest octopus.
The sea creature is the traditional mascot of Red Wings playoff runs, its eight tentacles signifying the number of wins it once took to win a Stanley Cup.
Each time the Wings reach the finals, Dean fills the Superior showcase with the biggest octopus available on order.
Its biggest on record, weighing 52 pounds, with a height of 7 feet, 2 inches and wingspan of more than 12 feet, was aptly named “Octo-zilla,” Dean said. Also dropping by have been “Octo-Al,” named after the octopus swinging Zamboni driver Al Sobotka, and “Oscar the Octopus,” according to Dean.
The name for this year's import?
“We're toying with the idea of calling it ‘Octo-dad,'” Dean said.
Superior Fish, at 309 E. 11 Mile Road in downtown Royal Oak, has gained notoriety over the years as the place to go for octopi.
Dean said the National Hockey League called in advance to find out Superior's plans to hype the Stanley Cup finals. In the past, the octopus/Wings connection has led to televised spots locally, nationally and internationally, he said.
Throwing octopi onto the ice at Wings games is a tradition rarely observed anymore, though one landed in Wednesday's Game 5 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, clinching the NHL's Western Conference championship.
Dean prefers Wings' fans eat their octopi. An Octopus Taste Fest was planned before Game 1 of Saturday's final round at Superior, he said.