Longtime Detroit Red Wings Zamboni driver Al Sobotka fired

Sobotka was fan favorite at Red Wings games

Building operations manager for Olympia Entertainment Al Sobotka collects an octopus during a timeout at the last NHL game at Joe Louis Arena between the New Jersey Devils and Detroit Red Wings on April 9, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Gregory Shamus, 2017 Getty images)

DETROIT – Longtime Detroit Red Wings Zamboni driver Al Sobotka has been fired.

Sobotka, 68, was a fan favorite at Red Wings games for decades. He was best known for twirling an octopus to help ignite crowds during playoff games at Joe Louis Arena.

He also worked for the team after the move to Little Caesars Arena, until his firing. In total, he was with the Red Wings organization for 51 years.

“I loved my 51 years with the Detroit Red Wings, and would have been happy to stay 51 more,” Sobotka said in a statement to Local 4 through his PR representative.

No additional details have been confirmed.

Longtime Detroit Red Wings zamboni driver Al Sobotka has been fired. Sobotka, 68, was a fan favorite at Red Wings games for decades. He was best known for twirling an octopus to help ignite crowds during playoff games at Joe Louis Arena. He also worked for the team after the move to Little Caesars Arena, until his firing. In total, he was with the Red Wings organization for 51 years.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.