NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tossing catfish onto the ice has been a popular hockey tradition in Music City, and the Nashville Predators finally have their own catfish tank inside the arena.
President Sean Henry unveiled the new tank hours before the Predators opened the NHL postseason against the Colorado Avalanche in their first-round Western Conference series.
The Predators put the first of four catfish into the tank Wednesday. The second will be added just before Game 1 on Thursday night.
“Good symbolism with those four catfish,” Henry said. “Four wins per series, four series gets you to the ultimate prize.”
The Predators named the first catfish Gill and the second fish will be named Ben in honor of a longtime fan that died in 2017. Fans will name the other catfish by a social media poll.
The catfish tradition was a response to Detroit fans tossing octopi on the ice to symbolize the number of wins once needed to win the Stanley Cup.
Bob Wolf, who owned a restaurant across the street from the Predators arena, takes credit for tossing the first catfish Jan. 26, 1999, during a visit by the Red Wings with a catfish chosen in honor of the nearby Cumberland River.
A fan even tossed a catfish onto the ice during the Predators’ first Stanley Cup Final game in Pittsburgh.
Henry said these catfish will stay in the tank.
“No one’s going to rip it out, no one’s going to be throwing it on the ice,” Henry said. “But it will be something that is going to be fun.”