The hockey season is on -- and so is CBC Music
's Hockey Night in Canada Song Quest
. As of October 5, they've been searching for our new unofficial national anthem -- a song that will eventually feature in an opening HNIC
montage, and be played at Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, Jan. 18, 2014 in Lloydminster -- a song that will inspire pride, and make everyone who hears it feel the thrill of the game.
Theo Fleury, Chantal Kreviazuk, Joel Plaskett, Sara Quin and P.J. Stock are your Song Quest refs.
They'll give 110 per cent in this competition, we're sure. But what makes them CBC Music's No. 1 picks?
Check out some vital stats on this year's Song Quest judges.
Chantal Kreviazuk, singer-songwriter
Her hockey connection: Proudly from the 'Peg, Kreviazuk used to sing "O Canada" at Jets games before she started winning Junos. (She relived that particular honour when the Jets returned to the NHL. She joined the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy to perform the national anthem at the resurrected team's first regular season game in 2011.)
"There could almost never be a bigger better fan than a Jets fan because we do not take our team for granted," she told CBC in a statement. "I remember the last game when I was a teen and it was so incredibly sad. A funeral if you will. This new era is literally a resurrection. We are an incredibly religious people."
Her best hockey anthem: "Wayne"
Off Kreviazuk's 1997 break-out album, Under These Rocks and Stones, we like to ignore all the lyrics and pretend it's a stunning inspirational ballad about The Great One himself, Wayne Gretzky.
Theo Fleury, former NHL player and Team Canada gold-medallist
His music connection:
After retiring from pro sports, Fleury formed his own "Hockey Tonk" country band, Theo Fleury and the Death Valley Rebels
. But as the former Calgary Flames player told CBC in a statement: "I didn't just wake up one morning and decide to be a country singer."
Fleury grew up playing music with his family, but writing songs was something he didn't try until putting the rink behind him. What started as a few jam sessions with his friend Phil Dechambeault (Ash Koley) eventually led to a full setlist of original tunes. And now, when Fleury visits an arena, it's to play country songs, not skate. (His band joined Johnny Reid on stage at the Saddledome during the Calgary Stampede's 100th anniversary.)
On the topic of the Song Quest, Fleury said this in a statement: "I've always been a big fan of original music because it takes a special kind of person to be able to sit down and write a song, especially one that eventually will become as iconic as 'The Good Ol' Hockey Game' which Stompin' Tom wrote. It's like when they play that at a hockey game, it's like they're playing 'O Canada.' And I'm tired of listening to 'Cotton Eyed Joe.'"
Joel Plaskett, singer-songwriter
His hockey connection: Plaskett's home province of Nova Scotia doesn't have an NHL franchise, but we'd buy season tickets to watch his own team go at it. The singer-songwriter plays the game himself -- and back in the '90s, his band Thrush Hermit would compete in an unofficial street-hockey league involving a who's who of the Canadian indie scene. "We'd play members of Sloan, The Superfriendz and other Halifax bands," Plaskett said in a statement. "It was fun for a while, but it would get surprisingly aggro for a bunch of skinny musicians."
His best hockey anthem: "Work Out Fine"
Plaskett's got plenty of tunes that are as scrappy and fun as any game. (It's a rep that makes him more than just a capable Song Quest judge. He'll also produce the winning track.) Truthfully, Truthfully single "Work Out Fine" has a bleacher-stomping beat -- and even a touch of hockey-rink organ. If you're looking for something to play between periods, it'll work just fine.
Sara Quin, singer-songwriter and the Sara half of Tegan and Sara
Her hockey connection:
Tegan and Sara were just kidlets in Calgary when the Flames won the Stanley Cup. Since those early days, the duo has been vocal about their hockey fandom, talking about it everywhere from Spin Magazine
to their own blog
"The sound of Saturday in my family growing up was the opening theme song to Hockey Night in Canada," Sara told CBC in a statement. "We always had games on in our house and it rarely mattered who was playing. Our step-dad was a goalie and our love for the sport grew when he came into our lives. We'd often run the scoreboard at his games and learned to keep track of penalties and periods earning ourselves a little extra spending cash at teenagers. I loved watching the games on TV almost as much as attending our step-dad's games, but the playoffs were my favourite time of the year and nothing could compare to the build up to the Stanley Cup Playoffs."
Her best hockey anthem: "Closer"
All I want to get is, a little bit closer...to the playoffs. Heartthrob's biggest hit could easily pump up a stadium with its high-energy pop. For a more thoughtful jock jam -- perhaps to be played in a retrospective, post-elimination montage -- try another album cut like "I'm Not Your Hero."
P.J. Stock, former NHL player and current Hockey Night in Canada analyst
His music connection:
"As long as I can remember, almost every memory that hasn't been knocked out of my head by Rob Ray involves music and hockey somehow." P.J. Stock shared those words with Metro
in 2010. And now that he's been drafted by the HNIC Song Quest, he's shared some of his most formative musical memories with CBC.
"I grew up in a house where my mom listened to Elvis and Patsy Cline and my dad tried to sing the Grease soundtrack daily. I now does the same to his kids...except that I've replaced Patsy and Elvis for almost anything and everything," he said in a statement. "And yes... I like to hand jive!"