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NHL Team Theme Songs - Let the music do the talking

In the modern era, sports have become much more exciting than the yesteryears, and a lot of flavours have been added to the sports world. Besides the actual game, the glamorous cheerleaders, colourful display screens and music have added more attraction to the game. The theme songs of teams, especially, have become an essential part of every game. Almost in every sport, the players and teams have distinctive theme songs which give them a unique character and personality.

Quite similarly, National Hockey League (NHL) teams are better known for their exclusive rock-oriented goal songs. There was a time when teams used to play live organ music during the games, but that routine was changed when recorded music themes took over and got more famous than live music.

70s hit English glam-rock singer Gary Glitter’s songs were often used in this regard. Rock and Roll, Part 2 or ‘The Hey Song’, which was released in 1972, was a huge hit and was frequently played in stadiums for fans to hum along to.

In 1990, Gary was convicted with child pornography in U.K. and committing obscene acts with minors in Vietnam. In the year 2006, he received a three-year prison sentence for child molestation. As a result, the song “Rock and Roll, Part 2” fell out of favour with NHL teams.

The Islanders, the Vancouver Canucks, the Calgary Flames, Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild banned the song during their matches, but after one year, the San Jose Sharks of Pacific Division started playing an instrumental version of the same song.

In general, it was not conditional for teams to stick to just one song. Since they had the freedom to pick a nice tune for themselves, many of the teams had their own goal songs. In 1976, Hartford Whalers adopted a beautiful theme which was found by a team official in a music library. The song was called “Brass Bonanza”; it soon became very popular among the fans.

The freedom of choice provided the chance for teams to be more creative and select more catchy tunes, but most of the teams stuck to the hard-rock genre of music. Three years ago, Philadelphia Flyers hired a local punk-rock band, The Boils, which recorded several songs for the team. One of the songs, “The Orange and the Black”, was used as the team’s victory song. The Flyers defeated their biggest rivals, “The New York Rangers”, in the playoffs, and celebrated their victory with this song.

Although the teams had different experimentations with their theme songs, not all of them were successful. For example, last season, the Islanders used six or seven goal songs but none of them seemed to grow on the fans. Echoing that lack of consistency, in the last season, the team could hardly score and had the worst record in the league.

Late last season and early this season, the Islanders opted for a popular Canadian rock band, Nickelback. The edited version of their song “Burn it to the Ground” was used, which sounded much better than any of last season's tunes.

Some of the teams have even started playing songs for individual players. “Jump Around” is played for the number 28, Brian Rafalski, and “Newfie Stomp” is played after Dan Cleary scores a goal. The Detroit Red Wings always play “Hey Hey Hockeytown” after their first goal at the home game. This particular song was written by an advertising agency in 1996, but they kept it under wraps initially as they had various other goal-songs.

The musical selections are not all rock tracks. Songs from other music genres such as dance, techno, trance, and rap have also been chosen as theme songs. The fans recognize their teams by their theme songs and support them by singing along.

The louder, the better!

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