It is, more or less, a counter to Detroit's octopus on the ice. While I know the octopus used to signify the 8 wins it took to win the Cup, this has no other true significance (even though other teams try to imply that it means we are "bottom feeders" -- which, simply, is not true).
Since there is a big following of Red Wings fans down here (they were "America's Team" leading up to the time we got a team in '98 PLUS there are so many Detroit transplants down here thanks to GM and Nissan), they would always launch an octopus on the ice at our arena. We started to counter it with our own tradition. Which, in my opinion, makes fun of their tradition.