It’s a well-known fact that the NHL is on the lookout for ways to market its marquee stars. After all, hockey players get very little exposure compared to, say, their counterparts in the NBA. That’s due both to personality and the fact that NBA players are much more recognizable on their field of play.
But there’s another sport from which the NHL could learn about injecting some of its stars’ individuality into the on-ice product: baseball.
One of the smartest machinations in sports is the walk-up song that baseball (including Vancouver’s hometown team) employs. It serves a double purpose in that it gets fans into the game with crowd-pleasing tunes while simultaneously showing off the athlete’s personality.
And there’s a chance for the NHL to capitalize on this, too. Instead of having one generic goal song per team, each player could have his own tune. Wouldn’t you rather never even know Chelsea Dagger existed?
In fact, the Canucks actually used to do this! But whether they just picked the wrong ones or the organization decided that it would be better just eliminating any personality from the games, that has since been scratched.
Not that “Holiday” is a bad song or anything, but we think we can do a tad better. Here are some picks, listed roughly by how often we think each player will light the lamp (don’t hold us to that, though).
“Prince Charming” – Metallica
Is it a little heavy for the arena? Maybe. Certainly some of the lyrics aren’t family friendly.
But given how much the Canucks’ all-star sniper resembles Prince Charming of Shrek fame, it’s only right that we slide in this tune.
And it actually does have some pertinent “goal song” moments—like when the band belts out “look at me."
Boeser is notably understated, so he probably wouldn’t pick this. But we did, so too bad.
“ATLiens” – Outkast
C’mon. You knew it was coming. The player nicknamed “The Alien” deserves nothing less than “throw your hands in the air, and wave ‘em like you just don’t care.”
Honestly, how fun would bumping this after a Petey snipe be?
“London Calling” – The Clash
We tried looking for something captain-centric for Horvat, who will likely be wearing the “C” when the team takes to the ice in October.
But nothing had a goal song vibe like this little ditty that plays homage to Horvat’s hometown of London, Ontario.
“Crying Lightning” – The Arctic Monkeys
We debated a few songs that played on Miller’s former club, the Tampa Bay Lightning.
There’s the classic arena trope of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” but that’s a bit played out.
Other candidates that warranted consideration: “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons and “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springstreen.
But in the end, we settled on this energetic effort from the Arctic Monkeys, many parts of which would be suitable for Miller’s goal song. The title also invites the notion that the Lightning will regret trading away the Ohio native (for the record, we think they’ll be pretty content with getting a first-rounder from the Canucks, but still).
“How You Like Me Now?” – The Heavy
It’s an arena favourite for sure, but it also would work well as Ferland’s re-introduction to a fanbase that hated him not that long ago. Add in the fact that it works perfectly as a goal song and it’s as close to a no-brainer as we’ve got.
“Feelin’ Alright” – LEN
A tad politically incorrect for sure, but we kinda love the idea of Baertschi assuring fans that he’s over any lingering concussion issues with a song that features the lyrics “my brain’s all broken, but I’m feelin’ alright.”
Besides, Baertschi is probably just old enough to remember MuchMusic playing the heck out of this absolutely dreadful video (along with “Steal My Sunshine”) in the early 2000s.
“My House” – Flo Rida
The hometown kid has seemingly been on the verge of breaking out forever. Would he be aided by smashing this whenever he scores?
We have to think it would help, and the Rogers Arena crowd would be jacked as well. It’s also a very appropriate goal song, with just the right amount of bravado and celebration.
“(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” – Jackie Wilson
Much of Tanner Pearson’s role on this team and his success this year will be based on his chemistry with Horvat.
We hate to make this all about his talented linemate, but if Pearson is lighting the lamp this year, it’ll likely be a result of Horvat lifting him higher and higher.
“I Can See Clearly Now” – Johnny Nash
Is the promising rearguard’s rookie season the beginning of the end of the Canucks’ dark days? It’s possible. The team has never had a talent like him on the blueline and, who knows, things might start looking a whole lot different for Vancouver when they see what he can really do.
“The Chain” – Fleetwood Mac
Is there a better way to surmise Alex Edler’s relationship with the Vancouver faithful than “If you don’t love me now, you’ll never love me again”?
The team’s longest-tenured player is still resented by some fans for not becoming what they think he should have. He’s arguably the best rearguard in franchise history but has always had to fight tooth and nail for respect.
“Hustlin’” – Rick Ross
What else for everyone’s favourite hard-working winger? It also works in that Roussel will have to do everything he can to get back on the ice following April surgery on his ACL.
“Don’t You (Forget About Me)” – Simple Minds
After a nice debut with the Canucks last year, Leivo may be the forgotten man in the team’s forward group. Additions on the wings in Miller and Ferland make it clear that Leivo will have to fight for a spot even in the top-nine.
Maybe he can ensure that the Canucks (and their fans) don’t forget about him by lighting the lamp a few times early on and earning a promotion.
“Such Great Heights” – The Postal Service
Hey, we never said this list was conventional. The Postal Service isn’t exactly ubiquitous in the arenas and stadiums that populate North America.
But we think it would be hilarious and very on point to hear “they won’t see us waving from such great heights” after the six-foot, eight-inch Myers tickles the twine.
“Gold Lion” – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
There are a ton of songs with “gold” in them that we could have gone with, and you know we were tempted by Kanye West’s “Gold Digger", among many others.
But this song absolutely rocks, fits perfectly as a goal song and kind of works with Goldobin’s narrative this year. It’s a make or break year for the Russian forward (if he ever signs a contract) and there’s the right amount of intensity and emotion bubbling over the surface here.
Besides, “Gold Lion” kinda sounds like Goldobin if you want it to. Even if it's hard to associate the way Goldobin plays with the king of the jungle.
“Louie, Louie” – The Kingsmen
It’s actually what Eriksson picked back when the players selected their own tunes and hey, why not? Might be fun for the fans down in Utica.
“God Only Knows” – Beach Boys
The Canucks arena crew might have to liven this one up a bit with a remix or something, but for Hockey Gaud (his Twitter handle), it seems fitting.
Of course, the Canucks might know exactly what life is like without Gaudette to start the season at least. The current forward logjam and the fact he can go to the minors without clearing waivers may mean he begins the year in Utica.
“Killer Queen” – Queen
Sutter took a lot of heat back when his goal song was “Callin’ Baton Rouge” by Garth Brooks.
So what can we do to erase the painful memories of having to listen to that? Well, Queen is pretty popular these days. And, given that Sutter’s main role with the team this season is likely to be on the penalty kill, maybe “Killer Queen” works. Hoping hard for some shorthanded goals here.
“Mr. Redundant” – Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Really both Sutter and Beagle could have this one, as they make each other redundant, but we'll give it to Beagle because he showed up later.
“Shoot To Thrill” – AC/DC
Stecher has scored six goals in the three seasons he’s played with the Canucks. But he’s also pledged to work on his shot, so maybe we can expect more from the Richmond native? He did have the worst shooting percentage on the team last year, so any improvement would be nice.
“Steady As She Goes” – The Raconteurs
You’ll be hard pressed to find a Canucks fan who didn’t like the Jordie Benn signing, which is saying something given the nature of the fanbase.
Benn projects to be a solid, stay-at-home defenceman, making this Raconteurs ditty somewhat appropriate.
“Miracle” - Chvrches
Tanev has scored 20 goals in 445 games. If you’re at a game and witness him score, you’re basically seeing a miracle unfold.