Football season is just about over, and soon it will be time for those of us who like Detroit sports to turn our focus either to basketball or hockey … until baseball arrives in the spring.

This made me wonder: How many Jews are playing in the National Hockey League, are there any Jewish members of the Red Wings, and does the Detroit Jewish community follow the team? So I did a bit of research into the Davidson Digital Archive and other sources.

First, it appears at least five Jewish professional hockey players play in the NHL in 2017, but there are no Jewish Red Wings. However, I found a story in the Feb. 9, 2006, issue of the JN on Red Wing Mathieu Schneider. He was with Detroit for only a few years, but had a long career and is generally considered the top-scoring Jewish player in NHL history.

In the June 23, 1995, issue of the JN, there is a very interesting article, “Shlugging Octopi,” about whether the Detroit tradition of throwing octopi onto the ice during playoff games violates Jewish law. Another story in the June 13, 1997, issue of the JN is about the love that Russian Jews had for the Red Wings, since the team featured several of their countrymen at that time.

So, Jewish Detroit does indeed like its hockey. Maybe we’ll see Josh Nodler, the 15-year-old hockey player featured in the JN two weeks ago, on the Red Wings in the future? 

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at