As hockey fans, it's in our blood to be familiar with "The Hockey Song", anything by The Zambonis and of course, Warren Zevon's "Hit Somebody". With many hockey fans being from the world of music, it's no surprise that a handful of tunes are in honor of a specific player or team.
In honor of radio legend Casey Kasem, we here at Puck Daddy would like to do our own long-distance dedication to great hockey player-related songs and count down ten of the best ditties ever.
10. Mando Diao - "Welcome Home, Luc Robitaille"
"There's so much more to him than that paper card / Look at him crossing the line oh it's so hard / To define the moves inside my head it's all just"
9. The Weakerthans - "Elegy for Gump Worsley"
"Tugging jersey around the beer gut / I'm strictly a whiskey man / Was one of the sticks he taped up / and gave to a nation of pudgy boys"
You'd think a song about a guy named ‘Gump' would sound a bit more upbeat and less depressing. Sure, an elegy is a mourning one's loss, but it's about a guy who provided us with one of the greatest hockey cards of all time.
8. Richie Rosati - "Flyers Play Off Song"
"Slap the puck, slap it hard and low / Broadstreet Bullies running the show!"
Wyshynski introduced us to this song back in April and rightly described it as being full of fail. The video itself is phenomenal with clips of Ron Hextall going after opponents, but the song is one of those regional themes you'd hear on your local radio station during a team's playoff run (Anyone remember the New York Knicks' "Go New York, Go New York Go" theme from 1994?).
7. Big Bob and the Dollars - "Gordie Howe is the Greatest of Them All"
"He sets up all the rookies, playing on his line, we know they all thank him because he is so fine"
A classic song from a classic time. New York Yankees legend Joe DiMaggio had his own ditty, "Joltin' Joe" 22 years before Big Bob and the Dollars honored Howe - so is this hockey's equivalent to the legendary baseball song?
Finland's leading goal scorer in 2007-08 crossed the Atlantic Ocean to sign with the Pittsburgh Penguins last summer and his cult song followed him. Unfortunately, Pesonen found himself in the Penguins American Hockey League affiliate, Wilkes-Barre, most of the season and only played seven games with the defending Stanley Cup champions. Much like any good WWE wrestler, the good people at Mellon Arena and the future Consol Energy Center should play this after every goal scored by the Finn (pending, you know, he finally tallies one for the big club).
5. Pittsburgh's WDVE - "Bye Bye French Canadian Guy"
"I know if I had my chance and I sounded like I came from France/ Maybe they just might let me play"
When Mario Lemieux retired for the first time in 1997, 102.5 WDVE made up this tribute to No. 66, to the tune of Don McLean's "American Pie". Little did they know they'd be playing the song again on a regular basis nine years later after Lemieux's second retirement. Was there thought of "Who will save your franchise?", covering Jewel's debut hit, earlier this decade during the period when the Penguins were facing massive financial issues?
4. The Tragically Hip - "Fifty Mission Cap"
"Bill Barilko disappeared that summer / he was on a fishing trip / The last goal he ever scored / won the Leafs the cup / They didn't win another until 1962 / the year he was discovered."
The Hip's famous song is about former Toronto Maple Leaf Bill Barilko, who after scoring the winning goal in the 1951 Stanley Cup Finals, hopped into a small engine plane with a friend and disappeared. The wreckage wasn't found for 11 years. No attempt at a joke here.
3. Guy LaFleur - "Scoring"
"At 35 mph with two or three guys chasing me / I have about a quarter of second to look, analyze and react / So you should never predetermine what you're going to do / You've got to be able to think on the spot"
ThePensBlog did a great breakdown of LaFleur's disco album which featured the Montreal Canadiens great talking about different aspects of the game with a 1970's beat in the background. Can we get Alexander Ovechkin(notes) to speak over Russian techno for a modern day equivalent?
2. Rheostatics - "The Ballad of Wendel Clark"
"God made Clark on the seventh day"
I'm not too familiar with the band, but I am a fan of any band that has a member whose instrument is a hockey stick. Is he like the guy in Mighty Mighty Bosstones that just dances around? Since Wendel Clark's involved, you know Down Goes Brown approves.
1. Pierre Létourneau - "Maurice Richard"
If you understand French, please provide your own lyric translation.
This is something magical. At first, I thought Leif Garrett was trying his luck in French, but Letourneau, dressed as a scrawny referee, belted out this ode to "The Rocket" in pure 70's fashion. It would seem that Letourneau surrounded himself with a group of dancers who are the inspiration for the modern dress of today's "Ice Girl".
(Honorable mention: This ballad from Goldfinger drummer Darrin Pfeiffer to Wayne Gretzky. NSFW unless you want to ruin your chances with the cute receptionist.)
If there's any other hockey-player related musical gem's floating out there on the YouTube, please do let us know in the comments and in the meantime "keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars."
- Mando Diao