Zamboni Driver Fired For Peeing In A Drain Sues The Detroit Red Wings Over His Termination

Detroit Red Wings
Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

When ya gotta go ya gotta go.

Unfortunately for a Zamboni driver for the Detroit Red Wings, he had to go in the garage while he was on the job resurfacing the ice for the team – so instead of going to the bathroom, he decided to just pee in a drain between two Zambonis.

70-year old Al Sobotka was a Zamboni driver for Red Wings for 51 years, starting when he was just 17 years old. And over the years, Sobotka was a fixture at NHL games at Little Caesars Arena, being known for spinning an octopus over his head after it was thrown onto the ice by fans.

But in February 2022, Sobotka was caught by a fellow employee taking a leak into the drain in the garage, and was fired soon after.

Sobotka even wrote the president and CEO of the Red Wings, Christopher Illitch, to ask the team to spare his job:

“Chris, I’m sure you heard that I was terminated. I don’t think I deserve it. After 50 seasons of hard work, countless hours, holidays, missing out with the family…

I would hope you had it in your heart for another chance.”

But when that didn’t work, Sobotka decided to go a different route – and sued the team.

In his lawsuit, Sobotka claims that employees of the Red Wings parent company, Olympia Entertainment, engaged in a cover-up to fire him based on his age and his disability.

Sobotka says the peeing incident was the result of benign prostatic hyperplasia, a condition that makes it difficult to regulate urination.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like the Red Wings have any intention of giving Sobotka his job back anytime soon, but he remains adamant that he didn’t deserve to be fired:

“They all know I was done wrong.” 

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock