Bob Wolf, who formerly owned a bar near the Predators’ arena, told the Tennessean this month that he was the first person to hurl a catfish onto the ice during the team’s inaugural season in 1998-99. Upset at the large number of octopus-throwing Detroit Red Wings fans who would pack the stadium for games in Nashville between the division rivals — the city apparently had an influx of former auto-industry workers from the Motor City — Wolf and the bar’s patrons decided they needed a seaborne tradition of their very own. Inspired by the Cumberland River that runs through the city, they settled on a catfish, with Wolf wrapping a nine-pounder in newspaper and stuffing half of it down his pants and half up his shirt ahead of the next game against the Red Wings. When the Predators scored their first goal, over the glass and onto the ice it went.
As of Friday, the Tennessean had counted nine catfish on the ice during the team’s playoff push, with two of them getting tossed before the puck had even dropped that night in the Predators’ second-round series against the Jets. One of them was adorned in a team shirt.
Lewan took to social media for help in obtaining a catfish before Game 2 on Sunday.
In stepped Jake Deveral, a.k.a. “Catfish Jake,” who garnered much acclaim during the Predators’ run to the Stanley Cup finals last season.
Deveral once again took his act on the road during the playoffs this season — he travels with the catfish in his carry-on bag, subjecting it to TSA X-rays as one would a laptop — this time hurling a catfish onto the ice in Denver during the Predators’ first-round series against the Avalanche. He received a beer shower for his efforts and an ejection from the game.
Deveral took it quite well, however.
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