Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Are we sure we want an NHL Team?

Apr 2, 2024, 7:00 PM

Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy, right, lands a punch on Carolina Hurricanes left wing ...

Washington Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy, right, lands a punch on Carolina Hurricanes left wing Drayson Bowman during the third period of an NHL hockey game in 2013. (Alex Brandon, Associated Press)

(Alex Brandon, Associated Press)

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — Are we sure we want an NHL Hockey Team in Utah? The state will spend as much as a billion dollars to welcome this strange sport. In all likelihood, you’ve never played hockey, you don’t own a stick, I’d guess you’ve never shot a puck and you’ve probably never been in a streetfight while wearing ice skates which is very much a part of the sport.  

When two burly guys go at it, first of all, it’s like Disney on Ice, with blood. Second of all, when a fight breaks out listen to the announcers. This is a bare-knuckle brawl — jerseys are getting stained red. These play-by-play guys are just like, “Yep, another night at the office.”

Even when the players behave, the fans get weird. Especially in Detroit, where Red Wings fans celebrate big goals by throwing a dead octopus onto the ice.


Picture this, an octopus is a boneless eight-legged blob about 18 inches long. You have to sneak the octopus into the arena in your backpack. It’s starting to smell. You have to get enough of a grip on this slimy blob to throw it over the plexiglass and onto the ice.

If you don’t throw it hard enough, it’ll land on some kid’s head four rows up.  

But if it does plop onto the ice, an arena worker skates out, grabs the dead octopus by the arm and swings it over his head. The crowd goes wild and you’re a hero.

Why an octopus? Back in the day you needed eight playoff victories to win the Stanley Cup. Eight legs on a dead octopus — there you go.

Other teams imitate the tradition. In Nashville, it’s dead catfish.  In Pittsburgh, plastic rats — honoring a player who once killed a rat with his stick.

So are we sure we want a hockey team? And if we get one what are we gonna throw? Jello?

Jeff Caplan hosts Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Facebook and X. 

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Are we sure we want an NHL Team?