NHL Power Rankings: 10 Best Goal Celebration Songs in the NHL
The history behind the goal horn in the NHL is not that ancient.
While there were a few different stories floating around, the one with the most credibility was that the Chicago Blackhawks had a marine horn installed by Kahlenburg Marine Horns at old Chicago Stadium in January of 1983.
The horn has four brass trumpets pointing in four different directions and is mounted at center ice under the scoreboard. Like old baseball teams take old foul poles to new ball parks when they move, the Blackhawks took the old horn with them to the new United Center in 1994.
One story claimed that the Hawks were the originators of the horn but that one was first installed in 1973 during the Stanley Cup Finals as the Blackhawks battled the Montreal Canadiens.
Depending on the exact one, these horns can come at a cost of $2,000. However, most range in price from $700 to roughly $1000.
After listening to every horn, siren, and song that all 30 NHL teams play following a goal, I am not sure whether to get against the wall and put my hands over my head or just jump in my bathtub and throw a mattress over myself while the storm passes.
I like my list but must first caution you. I found it annoying that a third of the teams in the league used one of three songs. There is a high probability that your team will not be on this list if they currently play Zombie Nation, Gary Glitter's song Rock n' Roll Part 2 or Blur's Song 2. Originality had to count for something!
That’s not to say that a team that uses one of these three songs will not appear in the top 10, it just has to be very original in the way they use it.
I also want to apologize to Canuck's fans. Even though their song is original (Green Day, Holiday) it will not be on my list. I could not in good faith include a song that many consider to be anti-American and deeply political on Memorial Day weekend or any other time for that matter.
Therefore, as you prepare to root for the Canucks or Bruins in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, sit back and check out what I believe to be the 10 best goal horn celebration songs in the NHL.
As always, please leave your comments and please be tasteful when doing so.
No. 10: Los Angels Kings: I Love L.A
To get the ball rolling, I found something simple and to the point. The Kings use a freight train horn that sounds as if was on the runaway train in the movie Unstoppable.
The song that immediately follows the horn is Randy Newman’s, I love L.A.
Following Newman's 1983 hit—that is also heard at Dodgers and Lakers games—is a house mix, which sounds like a jazzed up version of the Rangers "Hey--Hey--Hey."
Although it is far from the best in the league and may not even be better than some of the teams left off this list, it is original, and it does connect with the team.
The celebration mix was heard 117 times this season at the Staples Center.
The Kings were led this past season by the emergence of their young 23-year-old Yugoslav star, Anzei Kopitar. Along with Kopitar, forwards Dustin Brown and Justin Williams combined to score 75 goals or 36 percent of the Kings' goal scoring output.
Despite the loss of Kopitar at season’s end with a broken ankle, the Kings still managed to take the San Jose Sharks to six games in the first round of the playoffs.
With Kopitar, the Kings may have actually won the series as three of those playoff losses occurred in overtime. One of those overtime losses occurred after the Kings blew a 4-0 early second period lead.
With Kopitar, young defenseman Drew Dougherty and a goaltending situation that most teams would drool over with the two Jonathan's—Quick and Bernier—the Kings should have plenty to celebrate in the coming seasons.
No.9 Carolina Hurricanes: Ric Flair, Fred Flinstone and Tony Motanna All in One
Kudos to Carolina for using the same sounding goal horn of the team they originated from, the Hartford Whalers.
The Canes moved from Hartford to North Carolina following the 1997 Season. They played two disastrous seasons in Greensboro, while the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Raleigh was completed. After that the Canes moved into their new home for the start of the 1999 season.
The ship horn is unique with a deep in your chest sound that is not overly played following a Canes goal. The Canes are one of the teams that uses Blur's Song 2 but they also made it original.
Immediately following the horn is the man, the myth and the living legend himself, Charlotte Carolina native, the Nature Boy Ric Flair. As only he can, Flair screams to the crowd, "That's a Carolina Hurricanes goal,” then, the trademark Ric Flair Wooo's satisfyingly blare out of the speakers at the RBC Center.
After Flair, a stream of famous voices and their catch phrases are heard.
There is Fred Flinstone, Tarzan, possibly Homer Simpson with a WooHoo, Chewbacca and then the most popular fictitious drug lord of the 1980's and 27th most popular movie character of all time—Tony Montana(Empire Magazine 2008).
Montana and his famous "Say hello to my little friend" quote pretty much finish off the celebration.
The only thing missing is the sound of a chop-slap to the chest and I'm not sure it's not in there somewhere.
The hometown fans were treated to the celebration of voices 124 times this past season. Although the Canes have made the playoffs just once since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006, things are looking up.
With 26-year old Eric Staal and 18-year-old Jeff Skinner combining to score 64 goals and 139 points during the 2010-11 season, the rest of the Eastern Conference should know there is a storm warning on the horizon.
No. 8 Calgary Flames: A Little AC/DC Is Good for the Soul
There really is not anything special about the horn, it is a standard boat horn. However, the song is what gets the Flames onto the list.
Following the horn, Calgary hits the nail squarely on the head with their choice of the popular AC/DC song Shot Down In Flames.
The 1979 hit from AC/DC's Highway To Hell Album was one of the last recorded songs by the late-great Bon Scott, who was the original lead vocalist of the popular Australian rock band.
The song, which is played after scoring, is actually about not scoring (look up the lyrics) as Calgary missed the playoffs for the second straight season.
The Flames less than hot start to the season (18-20-5) backed them into a corner that they were not able to fully recover from in the tough Western conference this past season. They were three points behind Chicago for the eighth and final playoff spot.
Led once again by 33 year old, Jerome Iginla, the Flames will need to start getting younger.
Calgary's new GM, Jay Feaster, has many decisions to make. The Flames top 10 scorers this season averaged 30.2 years of age.
Feaster comes with Stanley Cup pedigree. He was the General Manager for the 2004 Tampa Bay Lightning. The same Lightning that “shot down” Calgary in seven games during the memorable 2004 Stanley Cup finals.
Even though the Flames missed the playoffs, they managed to treat their fans to the AC/DC classic 134 times this past season. Calgary finished second in the NHL in home goals scored.
No. 7 Washington Capitals: The Homer Pick
It is my list and I get to make the homer pick with the Capitals sirens and KernKraft 400" by Zombie Nation.
The sirens heard when the Great eight lights the lamp are that from an old police car or ambulance. Yes, I know what I said in the introduction but come on give a guy a break.
At least it is not in the top five. I have to tell you that one of the reasons I chose the Caps sirens, aside from the fact I am a Caps fan, is because it's Memorial Day weekend. This is my way of paying homage to the red, white, and blue. After all, the Caps are from the Nation’s capital.
The siren you hear from the start was brought over from the old Capital Centre in Landover Maryland.
I'm 41 and have been a Caps fan since I can remember. I can never remember a time when I did not hear it go off following a Caps goal. The only thing I miss is the big blue light that used to run simultaneously with the siren.
Unfortunately for Caps fans, they heard those sirens a lot less this season. As a whole, the Caps scored 99 less goals than last season and 34 of them came at the big phone booth in DC.
With their sweeping loss to the Lightning in the second round, many in Washington are calling for big changes.
No.6 Nashville Predators: Staying True to the Heritage
Only in Nashville will you get a personalized recorded version from country star Tim McGraw of I like I love it.
Immediately following the final lyric by McGraw comes Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll Part 2. When it gets to the universal part where everyone chants, Hey, the Preds faithful take it a few steps further.
After the "Hey" comes "You Suck" and it does not stop there, not in Nashville where everybody is a singer. The thousands in attendance end Glitter's 1972 hit and Predators' goal celebration with a chorus of “We're gonna beat the hell out youoooooo."
This is top-notch quality for an NHL game and it is surprising that the New Jersey Devils faithful, who also chant you suck when RR Part 2 plays, never did the beat the hell out of you part.
Of course, the Devils did not have the kind of year that the Predators did. Nashville advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
They were a defensive oriented team that finished second in the NHL in goals against. Shea Weber led the durable blue line unit. Weber finished fourth on the team with 48 points.
Nashville has a lot to like and a lot to love headed into next season. Goaltender Pekka Rinne was 33-22-9 this past season with an astounding 2.12 goals against. Nashville had seven players play at least 80 games during the 2010-11 season. Four of them were defenseman.
No.5 Phoenix Coyotes: Gotta Love a Goal Song That Howls
Straight from Commissioner Gary Betman’s iPod is the Phoenix Coyotes goal song.
After another loud freight or cruise liner horn, the Coyotes picked the Black Keys 2010 hit, Baby I'm Howlin For You.
If this sounds familiar and you have never seen a Coyotes game then you probably own a copy on EA Sports NHL 2011. The song also appears on the games sound track.
The howling noises top off the celebration and if you have ever seen a Coyotes game then you can always locate the fan that has had too much to drink.
They continue to howl long after the song stops and, without fail, the camera always finds them.
With 50 wins last season and 43 more this year, the Coyotes have never had 93 wins over any two seasons in their history. This includes the 17 seasons they spent as the Winnipeg Jets before moving to Arizona.
Whether they stay in Glendale Arizona or whether they go has yet to be decided. However, the door may be closing for this kind of success in Phoenix. Two of their top three scorers were Shane Doan and Ray Whitney. Both are 34 and 38 years of age respectively.
Only two players are less than 25 years old and rank in Phoenix’s top 10 in scoring. Keith Yandle and Lauri Korpikoski are both 24 years old.
With a name like the Coyotes and a goal song with howling in the title, who needs playoff appearances?
No. 4 Columbus Blue Jackets: Why Is This Higher Than Calgary, Cannons My Friends
I am not even sure why the Blue Jackets use a horn when they score a goal. What is the point with cannons?
After the run of the mill boat horn is finished, Angus Young and AC/DC are tuned up with their 1981 hit For Those about to Rock.
With a name that honors and celebrates patriotism, pride, and the rich Civil War history in the state of Ohio and city of Columbus, cannons and AC/DC seem like a perfect fit.
I could easily see Union soldiers playing AC/DC on their iPods while heading for Gettysburg or Antietam if the technology was there.
This song comes from the album with the same name. The album was the eighth for the Australian Rockers and first to hit No.1 in the United States.
The song does not last very long and here is where it got confusing for me. I found at least three different songs that followed the AC/DC classic.
I decided to go with Nickelbacks,”Burn It to the Ground" as the most recent selection of what Columbus fans cheer to following the cannons and AC/DC.
If I am wrong then I'm sure you will tell me.
With just one playoff appearance in their first 10 NHL seasons, the Blue Jackets did not seem to improve much during the 2010-11 campaign.
Reliable Rick Nash led the way again this year in central Ohio as the Jackets finished fifth in the Central division for the second consecutive season.
If the Jackets do not improve next season it may be time to turn those cannons on the front office.
No.3 Chicago Blackhawks: Chelsea Dagger Is One of the Best
The Blackhawks have the best horn in hockey simply because they were the first and still use the original.
The horn has four brass trumpets pointing in four different directions and is mounted at center ice under the scoreboard.
It is distinctive and if your eyes were closed and you did not know who was playing, the horn would at least point you to where the game was and at least whom one of the teams was.
The song that follows became a cult following all in itself during their Stanley Cup run last season.
Dadadadadad---Dadada-dadada- or better known as Chelsea Dagger, performed by the British group, The Fratellis, was not well received at first.
According to an article in the The Chicago Sun Times reported via the National Post in May of 2009, fans did not love the hit then as they do now.
The song was selected as the team’s goal song during the 2008 pre season. The team was looking for a change and a tune the fans could get into. Chelsea Dagger beat out others like Blur’s "Song 2," "Tick Tick Boom" by The Hives and the Ting Tings’ "Keep Your Head."
The song and the Blackhawks almost pulled off the most improbable of comebacks against the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks in this year’s playoffs.
After trailing three games to none, the 'hawks won three straight games to tie the series and force a seventh game.
Although the Hawks failed in their attempt to become the fourth team to win an NHL playoff series after trailing 3-0, they certainly gave the Canucks the kick in the ass they needed to get to this point.
No 2. New York Rangers: A Goal Song Written for Your Team Must Rank This High
Written by Madison Square Garden music director Ray Castoldi exclusively for the Rangers, the Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey's were unveiled during the raising of the Rangers first Staley Cup banner in 54 years midway through the 1995 season.
As they always seem to do, Rangers fans added a nice twist with "Lets Go Rangers" in the middle of the song. Like can the chant, "Can You Hear Us", Rangers fans were right on time in the song.
The horn and sirens are also distinctive New York. Any combination of them can be heard at any time of the day or night in the city that never sleeps.
The Rangers on the other hand rebounded from missing the post season on the last day of the 09-10 season by finishing eighth in the East.
Although they were knocked out by the Washington Capitals in five games during the first round, head coach John Tortorella has much to look forward to next year.
With the solid core of the team less than 28-years old, the Rangers should get better for the 2011-12 season.
With Dan Girardi and Marc Staal leading the Blueshirts' blue line, the Rangers finished with the fifth best defense in the NHL this past season.
The Rangers could be very dangerous if they can avoid the overspending that caused the franchise to have to rebuild. They still need to find some offensive help for Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Marian Gaborik.
No. 1 St. Louis Blues: When the Saints Go Marching in
I'm 41-years-old and anything older than I am, is considered a long-standing tradition in my eyes.
Since their inception into the NHL as the last of six expansion teams in 1967 (over my hometown Baltimore), the Blues have played two songs on a regular basis.
Both are by W.C Handy and the great Louis Armstrong redid both. The first song is how the name of the franchise was chosen.
"St.Louis Blues" is played at the start of every period and "When the Saints Go Marching In" is played following a goal.
The Blues were one of the last franchises, if not the last, to add a goal horn and it's nothing special but what is special is how the fans fought for their tradition a few years ago.
A few seasons ago the powers that be actually tried to change the song to a more hip rock version and once to Joe Satriani's, Crowd Chant. It was never going to work as just about every Blues fan protested and it was changed back to what you hear on this clip or something very similar.
Blues fans can be hip when they want to. When their Blues gain an extra man advantage, Megamix by 2Unlimited blares and many in the crowd get up and do the Blues power play dance.
Then there is the Cotton Eyed Joe man and while many NHL arenas have an idiot that gets up to square dance during the song, St. Louis has the best. I mean that with love and respect.
I also nominated this song at No.1 as a way to honor many of the great Blues fans living in Missouri that were affected recently by the horrible tornadoes.
My thoughts and prayers are with you and despite all you have been through, I hope the fact that your song and team are No.1 on this list may be able to bring a smile to your face.