The NHL lockout has been in effect for nearly three months now, and so, with no actual games to report on, we’re going to link to a different hockey video every day until a new CBA is reached. Today: John Amirante’s national anthem before Game 7 of the ‘94 Finals.
A few years back, we chatted with John Amirante, the Rangers’ longtime national anthem singer. It was one of the more fun interviews we’ve done on this blog: Amirante talked about singing at George Steinbrenner’s birthday party, warming up his vocal chords in the Knicks’ locker-room bathroom, and the time the Devils tried to hire him away to sing at the Meadowlands. And, of course, we asked him about his rendition of the national anthem prior to Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.
These days, the Garden crowd will generally start to cheer right after the “gallantly streaming” part of the anthem, beginning with mid-song shouts of “Let’s go Rangers.” But in the video below, Rangers fans made noise throughout the entire U.S. anthem, and announcer Sam Rosen said at the time was unlike anything he’d ever heard Madison Square Garden. Here’s what Amirante remembered about that night:
I couldn’t hear myself, the Garden was so loud. It was absolutely fantastic. I felt like I was ten feet off the ice. And I had chills going through my body, and the fans were just screaming and chanting. I loved every minute of it. And to this day, I can remember specifically how it was. It’s a memory I’ll never forget. And then the parade that followed, I was on a float, and the fans were singing the anthem to me as I went up Broadway. It was great.
And so on Day 87 of the NHL lockout, here are the Canadian and American national anthems from June 14, 1994. It’s during the “Star-Spangled Banner” when things get really loud.