Songs after scoring goals in the NHL have already become just as much a symbol for most teams as emblems, we’ll focus on either unique songs or the longest-running ones.

Songs in NHL

The main symbols of any sports club are the emblem and the uniform. In the NHL, where uniforms may not change for decades, this is especially important. But other things are strongly associated with teams: their mascots, fan traditions, and music.

For a league where music is played at every pause and after every goal by the home team, the choice of the song after the puck is scored is critical, and American journalists have long made such rankings. It would be hard to cover all 32 teams, especially as they often change tracks, choosing faceless songs.

“Seattle” – Lithium (Nirvana)

What attractions does Seattle have to offer? The famous TV tower, the movie Sleepless in Seattle, and the band Nirvana. Kurt Cobain wasn’t the man who invented grunge rock in the mid-1980s, but he was the man who made it a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Cobain’s tragic death in April 1994 came as a shock to the whole world, and somewhere, schoolchildren wrote “Kurt Cobain is alive” on their desks for a long time.

It was easy for a newborn NHL club to choose an artist, but not so easy to choose a song – it’s hard to imagine the arena jumping for joy to a track like Rape Me. “Kraken” preferred Lithium’s chorus, but this song had to be changed as well: instead of the repetitive I’m not going to crack, the upbeat Let’s go, Kraken! Not all the fans understood this free treatment of the classics, but they quickly got used to it.

“Vegas” – Vegas Lights (Panic! At the Disco)

Vegas faced an even more difficult task a few years ago: looking for roots in a place with no sports history (unless you count the minor league teams) and with the only possible association – casinos. “Knights” and chose the road that Seattle took four years later – pick a song by a local artist.

Panic! At the Disco, of course, did not have the popularity of Nirvana but was widely known in not the narrowest circles. Lead singer and the only permanent member of the band, Brandon Urie, was born in Utah, but at the age of two, his family moved to Vegas, where Urie met the future guitarist of the band at a local school.

Before Game 5 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals, Urie, who by then was the only member of the band left, performed the song live in the arena. Surprisingly, something of an afterthought slipped into the completely non-hockey song.

The line “We swim with the sharks until we drown” became prophetic: Vegas met San Jose twice in the playoffs, and the 2019 series ended in one of the most scandalous moments in modern NHL history.

“Boston” – Kernkraft 400 (Zombie Nation)

As the YouTube comments joked, “a song that gives Toronto fans post-traumatic stress syndrome”. Unlike the first two tracks, there are no words here, no connection to the city, and it’s hard to call this band popular. However, this song has been a constant accompaniment to Boston Bruins goals since 2002, and it is the second or third longest-running goal song in the current NHL.

“Dallas” – Puck Off (Pantera)

The title of the Dallas song is a pun. However, hardly anyone remembers the name, but all viewers of the Texans’ games surely remember the heavy, furious, and repeated several times “DALLAS! STARZ! DALLAS! STARZ!” The song was written by local heavy metal rockers Pantera: they loved hockey, started following the team right after it moved from Minnesota in the mid-1990s, and hung out with the hockey players.

In 1999, the team of Modano, Belfort, Nieuwendyk, and many other stars were on their way to their first Stanley Cup, and the members of Pantera decided to record a song especially for the team. It was given to Stars defenseman Craig Ludwig, who quickly became a favorite of the other players in the locker room, and then became a major hit in what turned out to be a championship playoff run for Dallas. However, Puck Off was not used as a goal song until 2013.

“Colorado” – Chase The Sun (Planet Funk)

The light, almost dance-like music chosen by the Colorado Avalanche stands out sharply among the songs that are usually played after pucks are dropped. What’s more, this song is rather famous among fans of… darts. The British television crews used to play Chase The Sun during broadcasts and commercial breaks, and this track acquired the unofficial status of “darts anthem”.

Well, the Avalanche switched to it in the middle of the failed 2016/2017 season, have been using the song for seven years, and won the Stanley Cup with it. For the last few seasons, the same track has been used by Siberia in the KHL.

“Rangers – Slapshot (Bad Apple)

Another song that no one recognizes by name – anyone who has watched a Rangers game remembers primarily the rolling “ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh” and the crowd-supported “hey-hey-hey-hey!”. After winning the Stanley Cup in 1994, the New York club wanted to create a recognizable theme song that could be played on the radio. The song was written by Rangers organist Ray Castoldi and recorded by a little-known local band that had long since broken up.

The song was first played at the raising of the championship banner in January 1995, and the Stanley Cup never stayed in New York after that. Some even talked about the curse of the song, but the track was already too much on everyone’s mind to change. For a long time, there was debate about what that long “o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ol” meant, but a few years ago Castoldi confirmed that he meant exactly “go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ol.”

“Detroit” – Without Me (Eminem)

The Wings have a couple of classic songs that accompanied the golden era goals, but in recent years Detroit has been looking for something new, alternating songs almost every season. It seems that only this year the club hit the bullseye, too, remembering that a superstar with tracks garnering billions of views on YouTube is associated with Detroit. Marshall Mathers himself cheers for all the local teams – and although he prefers American soccer, he once sent spaghetti to Wings players after a match.

The mocking and slightly annoying “na-na-na-na-na” is already beloved by local fans and journalists alike. The Daily Faceoff website picked this particular track as the best of the NHL season – and there’s a feeling that “Without Me” will last longer than one season.

“Chicago” – Chelsea Dagger (The Fratellis)

In the original video of The Fratellis there is no reference to sports or hockey at all, and the track has nothing to do with the London soccer club either. But there is an overwhelming number of half-naked dancers in corsets, and it’s easy to explain: the song is dedicated to the wife of the band’s lead singer John Fratelli, who worked in a burlesque show under the name Chelsea.

The song first made its way into sports thanks to Celtic – not surprising, considering that the band hails from Scotland. But the story of its appearance in Chicago is unconventional: after attending a Rangers game, the team’s management decided that they, too, needed a unique song that would set them apart from the rest. Chicago intern Matthew Benjamin often turned on Chelsea Dagger in the office, the song became popular among the employees, and the club’s top marketing people chose it. Ironically, Benjamin is a fan of…Detroit, Chicago’s main historical foe.

As Chicago advanced to the 2010 playoffs, the song, whose choice was not immediately understood by everyone, became more and more popular, and after winning three Stanley Cups, it became firmly associated with the club’s “golden” era. One fan site even suggested replacing it after the end of the Kane and Taves era, but 70% of those who voted rejected it – so Conor Bedard is also scoring to The Fratellis.