It seemed like a simple question that was bound to net some interesting results for a little holiday break reading. Nine Pittsburgh Penguins were asked: If you had a signature goal song played when you scored at home, what would it be? Guys have favorite songs, right? Or favorite artists? Or at least genres?
It turns out only a handful were willing to commit to a song. A lot of the answers were similar to what winger Jake Guentzel offered.
“I don’t know,” Guentzel said. “I think that takes some serious thought. You want to be known for a good song.”
Or there was defenseman Kris Letang, who shook his head and said he doesn’t keep up with the names of songs or artists.
Most at least seemed interested. Some were willing to bite when approached by Pittsburgh Hockey Now, and we will get to those – including some music videos — shortly.
The question stemmed from the fact that goal songs have a small foothold in the American Hockey League. Most recently, the Charlotte Checkers began the practice earlier this month.
It’s a simple idea. When a player scores a goal at home, a song of that player’s choice (or at least a key section of the song) plays. The obvious parallel is to walk-up music for baseball players coming to bat. (Think: Francisco Cervelli and Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.”)
It’s not something that has caught on in the NHL, but hey, it could. Tampa Bay has toyed with the practice, with songs for select players. The Lightning played “Louie Louie” for Martin St. Louis goals.
Grand Rapids of the AHL has used the practice, something PHN didn’t know before approaching Penguins forward Riley Sheahan, who played there.
Sheahan was asked what song he would use in the NHL.
“I don’t know. I mean, it’s fun, yeah, but sometimes it’s tough to pick which one you want to go with,” he said. “Maybe ‘Magic Stick’ by 50 Cent. That was mine in Grand Rapids.”
Winger Zach Aston-Reese has another Grand Rapids connection and called upon that when asked about a personal goal song.
“Uhhh, I’d probably have to put some thought into it,” Aston-Reese said. “They do have that in Grand Rapids where my friend plays, and his was ‘All Night Long,’ so I think that’s probably a good choice. That’s what I’d go with off the top of my head.”
Winger Bryan Rust, who if he had a personal goal song would be wearing it out lately, could only come up with a broad musical type.
“If I had a goal song? That’s tough. I have no clue,” Rust said. “Probably something higher tempo, faster paced.”
Defenseman Olli Maatta, like Rust, only offered the broadest of a response.
“Boy, you put me on the spot right now,” he said. “Probably some Finnish song. That would be natural.”
Maatta was within earshot when PHN moved on to Jamie Oleksiak (pre-concussion) with the same question. Maatta mused that players might be concerned that they would get “chirped” by their teammates if they picked certain songs or types of songs.
PHN noted to Maatta that one of his teammates picked a Lionel Ritchie song, so no worries there.
That little side conversation didn’t fully deter Oleksiak.
“I don’t know. That’s something I’d want to think of,” Oleksiak said, but he then thought about it out loud. “It would have to be, like, an ‘80s hair metal band or something like that. Guns N’ Roses or Motley Crue or something cool like that. That’s a good question.
“Maybe ‘Kickstart My Heart’ by Motley Crue.”
Forward Derick Brassard was the wettest blanket among those sampled. He brought up Tampa’s song for St. Louis, but in general, he’s not on board with individual goal songs.
“I feel like baseball players, they go at-bat, they’re by themselves,” Brassard said of that sport’s walk-up songs. “They’re still part of a team, but I feel like hockey is a team sport. Fans are used to (one) goal song. Some organizations, they have the same goal songs for, like, years and years, and they would never do that.
“Maybe if a guy scores a hat trick or to recognize an achievement, like a guy scores 100 goals, but I’d like to just keep it as a team goal song.”
In a way, that would suit team captain Sidney Crosby, although he has nothing against individual goal songs to help celebrate goals. Heck, he could have several – one for backhand goals, one for defection goals, etc.
Crosby, always on top of anything hockey related, had heard about the topic of goal songs, but he hadn’t thought of coming up with one hypothetically for himself.
“I have no clue,” he said. “Anything with a good beat, you know, to get fired up after a goal.”
Then he thought about it a few seconds and decided on one.
“I like our goal song,” he said of the Penguins’ standard for all players – “Party Hard” by Andrew W.K.
Way to think outside the boombox, Sid.