Oh, the good old hockey game.
On Wednesday morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced that they’ll be honouring Stompin’ Tom Connors’ legendary 1971 anthem, The Hockey Song, in a very special celebration preceding their home game against the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 27 at the Scotiabank Arena.
The exclusive ceremony will see the Stompin’ Tom Connors original inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) after 45 years of “service” to the NHL, its loyal Canadian fans, and the spirit of hockey sportsmanship in general.
WATCH BELOW: A sentimental NHL montage accompanied by Stompin’ Tom’s Hockey Song
Connors’ family will be accepting the commemorative CSHF plaque in honour of the late legend.
In a press release, the family expressed their gratitude for the accolade.
“It’s wonderful to see how fans to this day, continue to call it their hockey anthem,” said Tom Connors Jr. “We hope his song will inspire others to pen memorable, identifiably Canadian songs in the future for all to enjoy.”
The CSHF celebrates Canadian songwriters who have dedicated their lives to music, and those who have succeeded and taken pride in writing about their country in order to enlighten and educate those around them about Canada.
Vanessa Thomas, the Executive Director of the CSHF, said “There’s not a more fitting stage to celebrate Stompin’ Tom’s The Hockey Song than at an NHL game. We are very excited to see the crowd’s passion for the song and to honour this classic into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.”
A rising Canadian country singer, Tim Hicks, will be present at the ceremony to perform a live rendition of The Hockey Song.
The Hockey Song has been an arena staple in the NHL for almost five decades. It was adopted by Canadian teams as an alternative to typical music and remains the essential tradition to hype hockey nuts nationwide.
Shannon Hosford, MLSE’s Senior Marketing VP, said in an interview with the Toronto Star, “It’s safe to say that no other song has been more associated with a Leafs home game.” It has been played every game night since 1973 and even live on a few occasions by the man himself.
Following the passing of Connors in March of 2013, The Hockey Song reached No. 29 on Billboard’s Canadian Top 100 Chart. The highly patriotic number has since been adopted in all NHL arenas.
Yes, that includes the American ones.
A heartfelt message to all Canadians was posted to the official Stompin’ Tom website following his passing. It was a message which detailed his passion and pride in being a Canadian. He asked his family to share it with his fans after his death.
He said, “This great country kept me inspired with its beauty, character, and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about its people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world. I must now pass the torch, to all of you, to help keep the Maple Leaf flying high, and be the Patriot Canada needs now and in the future.”
Connors is remembered as an iconic Canadian country songwriter, a six-time Juno winner, and of course, someone who united a nation and continues to do so.