A Goal Horn Story: Ranking the NHL&39s Horns 1-32

    after Monday night’s horn fiasco during the first period in detroit and considering some of this season’s high-scoring affairs that triggered goal buzzers at an almost calculated rate, it finally became necessary to rank the Goal horns from all 31 teams and consider the expanding sounds of the Seattle Kraken. There are certainly similarities between many horns across the league, with most falling into one of four categories. you have your train horns; fog horn, boat or ship-like horns; fire engine or cacophony of cars in a traffic jam honking horns; and their unique or royal cannon horns. So, I’m delving into the deep bellows, wails, moans, and screeches of some of the most exciting (if your team scores at home) and annoying (if the opposing team scores at home) sounds in the NHL.

    This list focuses on the sound of the horn, the goal song, and any special features added to make the celebration unique. Of course, I have no doubt that when a stable is full of fans, even the lowest ranking horns and songs can stir up excitement and enthusiasm after a goal. there will inevitably be disagreements based only on the case of “when you’re there it’s better”. hey, i don’t blame you if you read the ratings and feel that way. If you don’t agree or have any ideas about the different horns and songs, I encourage you to let me know in the comments at the bottom of the article. With that said, let’s get into the list.

    Reading: Nhl goal horns and songs

    32) seattle kraken

    yes, the kraken have released their goal horn (or at least featured a horn in the team reveal) even though they don’t have a list yet. It’s not that the horn itself is bad, we just haven’t seen or heard anyone shoot it with a goal yet, so the seattle goal horn starts at the bottom.

    31) colorado avalanche

    With so much going well for the Avalanche in recent years, from signings and draft picks to reversed retro jerseys, the goal horn and song is not one of them. it’s one of many foghorns on the list, but it lacks any unique or colorado-based flair. planet funk’s “chase the sun” is a great dance song, it just feels so different from the trumpet feel.

    30) philadelphia flyers

    I’ll give philadelphia credit for sticking with their choice over the years. a long honk and some late ’80s hair metal (“feel the shake” by jetboy) works, it just doesn’t blow me away.

    29) edmonton greasers

    Oilers are the first team on this list with the jam and the fire truck horn. some teams use it well, while others don’t give it the spin it needs. the oilers are unfortunately in the second group. they follow it with a delayed siren that builds up and wails along with “hell yeah” according to the theory of revolutions. it’s loud and catchy, but it’s not the best goal song in the mix.

    28) detroit red wings

    detroit is at least thematic with its car horn type speaker. they use a slightly delayed siren and then usually an edm song (also a nod to the history of music in the city) which is certainly catchy but has changed frequently in the last couple of years. they’re still looking for the right song, maybe.

    If you can see a developing issue here, it’s that the delayed siren overlapping with the horn doesn’t work for me and the long delayed siren after the horn with a song overlapping seems like too much is going on.

    27) tampa bay lighting

    tampa has a unique two-tone horn with a deep bellows and it sounds like someone banged on the car horn to the point where it broke and got stuck. I like it. but it seems like all the energy is wasted afterwards with a somewhat catchy song that goes nowhere.

    26) golden knights of vegas

    The Golden Knights caused a sensation with their inaugural season playoff run and pre-game theatre. however, the post-goal sounds don’t meet the standard they set with magic before the puck drops. they use a deep foghorn and a song by the local group panic! at the disco but, if you have to superimpose “go team go” (in this case, the gentlemen) over the song, it sounds like they’re admitting that it lacks a bit of oomph for a goal song. It’s a good idea to directly engage the crowd, but it doesn’t quite work.

    25) new jersey devils

    the devils get points for playing the trumpet and the song separately. Giving room for the crowd to cheer with the horn is a key element for me. They also used New Jersey band “Howl” the gaslight anthem as their song, so good on them for going local. however, the siren overlay just doesn’t sit right with me, like I said. there is too much noise of competition and at some point we have to let the song bring the fans back into the action.

    24) capitals of washington

    the capitals do not necessarily have a single horn, as it resembles the other train-shaped horns. they also use a siren. why is it louder than the other siren sounds then? well, her siren is unique. they chose the police car siren from the video game which potentially startles more unsuspecting fans than it excites, but gives them their own sound over teams with a similar focus.

    23) winnipeg airplanes

    This is one where I know the atmosphere in the building would completely change the place in this ranking. however, without fans, I had to play the trumpet and sing alone. the horn is unique. it’s a long blast from a train-like horn.

    but with “I’m going to celebrate” from the ghosts, I just didn’t have the mix of some other combinations.

    22) kings of angels

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    kings have a train-shaped horn that sounds similar to the one in edmonton. The key difference is that they let the horn blare on its own for a while before Fred Coury’s pumping “Power Ride 2010” takes over and keeps the power going. the song pairing just adds a little more fire to the celebration.

    21) anaheim ducks

    Just like the kings, the ducks get points for their simplicity. they release a deep foghorn that is one of the deepest in the league, but they start the song a bit before the kings. works for me here because of the undulating “whoooas” in pennywise’s “bro anthem” that almost match the depth of the horn sound. Points for going with a local gang again.

    20) nashville predators

    The powerful nashville fire engine-like horn lifts it up the rankings here. it’s strong and really shakes you to the core. I give them credit for embracing their style and switching to a country song immediately afterwards. the “I like it, I love it” is a bit cheesy. the change to “gold on the roof” by the black keys keeps the post-goal celebration atmosphere.

    19) pittsburgh penguins

    pittsburgh has a good quality train horn and let it blare between blasts for a good 10 seconds. they follow with the rousing “party hard” sounds of andrew w.k. many fans just want that big party vibe at sporting events, so this combo works well.

    18) street. louis blues

    have the st. louis horn in the top 20 could be an option that some readers will not agree with. I understand that the song is not a great kind of song to “keep the energy of the crowd” for many cities or fan bases. that’s it, though. I respect the blues for going with something unique and meaningful to the organization. apparently the song is called “the blues have the urge goal song (let’s go blues)” by the urge.

    is a great marketing strategy for st. louis band and a strong collaboration. I think the organ part is a clear nod to tradition, and is, or at least borrows, “when the saints are marching”. the speaker itself is also excellent.

    17) buffalo sabers

    Sabres benefit from the May Day bump in the standings. Brad May’s 1993 overtime goal and Rick Jeanneret’s call along with the horn blaring make for a memorable sound. DJ Kool’s use of “Let Me Clear My Throat” is a great way to keep the vibe strong after a goal. is at least one thing sabers have going for them.

    16) calgary flames

    llamas have the better of the two horn/song combinations in alberta. the big fire truck style horn is on the theme and “t.n.t” from ac/dc works well. it seems you can’t go wrong with ac/dc in sports arenas. However, if Calgary wants to triple down on the “fire” theme, why not go with “fire” for the German house group’s scooter? move the needle. Google it.

    15) Hurricanes in Carolina

    Hurricanes have been drawing attention lately with their fan engagement work and have built quite a reputation for themselves. his combination of trumpets and singing meets expectations. The horn falls into the boat-style category and carries the weight before fan-favorite and local artist Petey Pablo picks up the slack with “raise up.” It’s also worth noting that they don’t overlay the storm siren, which might seem like an easy option. they saved it for that pre-game boost and turned it into something special. it works on its own and the horn and song can do their thing when asked.

    14) new york islanders

    the horn for the islanders sounds almost like a cross between train sounds and noises from the traffic jam or fire engine horn category. It’s a unique twist that I can appreciate. joe satriani’s “crowd song” works for islanders too. he is a talented local guitarist who wrote something meant to be sung by a large… crowd. too corny? no problem. it’s catchy and “chanty” enough to keep the vibe going after the trumpet has done its job.

    13) vancouver canucks

    this is a great horn. I fought to keep it out of the top 10. It’s loud and a long burst of emotion after a lamp lighter. it’s one of those train/ship horn combos that covers the low and high ends of the speaker’s range. The person who crafted the cuts to Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love” also deserves some credit.

    “Hello! hears! hey!” is so appropriate here, it also removes all the not-so-great lyrics, and it’s such a crowd turnout that you might think it was one of those “written to be a sports jam” songs. no. just good editing .

    12) florida panthers

    This horn/song combo is the work of another great entertainment genius in the arena. the panthers go with the straight train horn and use three loud blasts. moving fast is “sweetie” by jimmy eat world. this is another song that became an arena track over the years and is now a legit arena jam. it’s catchy, melodic and features a big “whooooa” that fans are certainly singing along to after a goal. the kicker is the panther splash noise. I know, it’s a layered noise, which I haven’t really praised much in the whole list. however, the ferocity is excellent and they last two seconds at most each time.

    11) minnesota savage

    Minnesota just misses out on the top 10, but we’ve been in the range of great trumpets and trumpet/song combos for a while now. It looks like the Savages made a change from last season and vastly improved their post-goal celebration atmosphere in my opinion. the horn falls under the category of ship’s horn and the blasts vary in duration. a long burst, a short burst, and then a long burst. shake works fine. they also ditched the satriani “crowd chant” (doesn’t necessarily work in all scenarios) and opted for the house of pain “jump around”. The group didn’t have roots in Minnesota, but it’s such a classic jam to the point where it’s hard not to sing the chorus or skip.

    10) boston warlocks

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    here we are. the top 10. the bruins take first place with their deep ship-shaped horn. It’s Boston themed even if it’s not the Boston ships. it’s powerful even if it’s a recording. they also stuck with zombie nation’s “kernkraft 400” and it’s hard to blame them for not changing it. it’s catchy, makes you move a bit, and almost builds tension in the house as it goes along. celebrate the last goal and prepare for the next one.

    9) toronto maple leaves

    There are some original teams from all six eras in the top 10. It has nothing to do with tradition or respect. it may have to do with the fact that they have had a little more time to discover great combinations. maple leaves have a large horn that falls into the category of ships. it is deep and arrives with two strong explosions. the organization is also embracing youngsters who bring skill and speed on the ice. Arguably no throwback group is more popular with the younger generation than Hall and Oates.

    “you make my dreams” is almost funny when it sounds, but it really works after auston matthews buries one. on the other hand, any song could.

    8) san jose sharks

    Just like their local friends in Anaheim, the Sharks use one of the deepest foghorns in the league. he bellows like a great white shark moaning after a hard day at the office. they are a pair of long bursts that stretch across the ocean. sharks also use “get ready for this” for 2 unlimited, so you know why it’s in the top 10.

    7) ottawa senators

    yes, the ottawa senators have one of the best trumpet/song combinations in the league. It could be argued that the horn resembles the Montreal one, but that’s only because they both fall into the train horn category. ottawa puts their own spin on it with a fuller sound and they really bang the horn like a conductor which is fun. blur’s “song 2” is an arena staple, so you could argue they made the obvious choice; I’d say you’re just jealous.

    6) new york rangers

    yeah the rangers can use a recording but it sounds like an old car horn or a fire truck which I guess if that’s the sound they want they might just find it and keep it on a recording. the original horn is probably on long-term injured reserve, if anything. the goal song is also great. Ray Castoldi’s “slapshot” hums like the old horn and has the obligatory “hey!” I sing for fans looking to release some of that emotion in an acceptable way.

    5) dallas stars

    dallas makes the music do the heavy lifting during the post-goal celebration and it works well. When you have Pantera as a local band to turn to and the band wrote a song specifically for the stars and fans, it’s hard to go wrong. they give you a honk and then “puck off” it melts your face.

    the chant “dallas, stars, dallas, stars” sounds great between the guitars. it all works together for one of the best trumpet/song combinations in the nhl.

    4) Chicago Blackhawks

    The Stanley Cup was held in 2009-10, 2012-13, and 2014-15, and every playoff game in between cemented the legacy of this combination of horn and song. it is a great horn in the boat category that emits three long beeps. The real draw, of course, is the use of the “Chelsea dagger” by the Fratellis. the “doot do da doot” part (I think that’s what they say) is so catchy and upbeat that you get happier when it comes on. I also know of a few minor league teams that switched to this song after Chicago turned it into a North American arena jam.

    3) Canadians from Montreal

    the train horn in montreal is top quality. it has a fairly high pitch, which gives it a rather unique sound. it’s part of that beautiful atmosphere that fans talk about when they attend a game in montreal. the goal horn stands out from a crowd of similar horn sounds and seems to have a sense of tradition, even if you can’t quite put your finger on what the tradition is (great horn sound?). the goal song is maybe a bit generic, but it has the key elements: something catchy, upbeat and something you can sing along to if you want.

    2) arizona coyotes

    read it again if necessary. The Arizona Coyotes have the second best goal buzzer and singing combination in the league. here it is on topic and it is executed perfectly. coyotes use a horn in the category of fire truck sounds, although you could also mix in some boat horn vibes. he arrives with two heavy hits and then the black keys (his second appearance of his on the list) take over with “howling for you”. howl is the theme and the song fits right in, moving right into your heart and feet, so you can’t help but feel good. the final touch is the excellent “howl” that is used to round off the celebration.

    1) columbus blue jackets

    the only person who should be exempt from being benched by coach john tortorella is the person who came up with the post-goal celebration plan for the blue jackets. ok, the joke doesn’t quite fit (why would they be on the sidelines), but the point is that they figured out how to bring a unique element to the process and turn it into a trumpet/song combo seamlessly. the cannon, ac/dc (also its second appearance) and the deep sound of the horn (in the ship category, I’ll say) make for a top-notch celebration.

    the cannon was already an ac/dc staple “for those about to rock (we salute you)” to the point that there’s a picture of one on the album cover. the fact that someone realized the potential of that for the bluejackets (on topic, loud, exclamatory, entertaining) is great and what makes their celebration the best in the league.

    These are my rankings of all the goal horns in the nhl. to accept? disagree? Do you think your team deserves a better goal horn deal? comment below. I had a great time.

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