“Canadian country-folk singer Stompin’ Tom Connors, whose toe-tapping musical spirit and fierce patriotism established him as one of Canada’s biggest cultural sensations, died March 6 at his home in Peterborough, Ontario,” the AP reported this week. “He was 77.”
Of course, many American sports fans knew Connors only because of his arena classic, “The Hockey Song.” In the pre-Rock the Red era, the Caps would mirror many NHL teams, playing the tune with the bouncing lyrics below, as the diehards sang along.
The Verizon Center musical selections have often trended a bit more rock ‘n rollier since then, but at Thursday night’s game, the team paid tribute to Connors by going old school. First there was a “vote” for the song of the night — Stompin’ Tom trounced both Anthrax and Gloria Estefan — and then there was an old-school sing-along, and then there was the above image of Connors.
Players, according to reports, tapped their sticks in respect.
Update: I’m told the Caps still play the tune regularly; just not every game. Apologies if I suggested otherwise.
Here’s the full segment.