Never mind the goal song, it is time for the Leafs to bring back the old goal horn

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
26 days ago
The long-standing debate about the Leafs goal song has been going on for the last half decade and change. You don’t need me to remind you of how divisive the use of “You Make My Dreams (Come True)” was and why countless pieces were made coming up with replacements.
This past season saw the Leafs retire the controversial goal song and replace it with a revolving door of songs that changed depending on the opponent. By the time the playoffs rolled around, they seemed to settle on “Panama” which, while not a perfect goal song, seemed to be given a better reception by the fans. It is unclear at this time if that or “Düp Düp” will be retained for next season, though a portion of the fan base would not be upset if the team were to make another change.
But this is not going to be about whether or not the Leafs’ goal song(s) are the right ones. Instead, I want to focus on another aspect of the in-arena experience that I believe needs change: the goal horn.

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This is the horn that is currently in use. Its origins date back to the 2005-06 season when the Leafs issued a poll for the fans to choose a new one in anticipation of the NHL returning from the lockout. Judging by the responses in a forum from around that time, not too many were thrilled with the three choices that were offered (clips of the other two are unavailable) but they ultimately settled on the one in the above clip.
An ideal goal horn is annoying and intimidating for the opposition to hear while also being unique to the team that is using it. Some teams that I feel have achieved this include the Bruins, Blackhawks, Canadiens, Rangers, Oilers, and Senators. Whether these teams are Cup contenders or basement dwellers, you cannot stand listening to their goal horn which is what makes them so effective and memorable.
The horn the Leafs currently use was manufactured by Kahlenberg and is a model S-203CV. The horn at Scotiabank Arena doesn’t seem to be in bad shape, but the issue is that there are at least five other NHL teams that use a goal horn that is either the same or sounds very similar to what the Leafs are using. Hearing an unoriginal goal horn after the Leafs score does not scream intimidating to me, and it doesn’t help that it has been used during a bad stretch in the franchise’s history as well as the current era of playoff futility. I would not go as far as to say the current goal horn is the reason why the crowd inside Scotiabank Arena has gotten its reputation of being quiet, but it certainly is not helping keep the fans engaged even during the more exciting moments.
So if the goal horn is not doing the trick anymore, what should the Leafs use instead? The answer is simple: revitalize the old one.

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I would imagine that hearing this goal horn brought back memories of big goals scored by the likes of Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Mats Sundin, and countless other Leafs from the 1990s and 2000s. For those who don’t know, this goal horn was introduced in 1993 back when they were still tenants of Maple Leaf Gardens and was in use up until 2004. This goal horn was the backdrop to many notable moments from the most successful era in the franchise’s history since their last Stanley Cup win, so it is no wonder why fans back in 2005 when the change was made were upset to see it go. It is no coincidence that the changing of the goal song coincided with the dawn of the dark ages.
What I like about the old goal horn is not simply because of the era it is associated with, but because there are not any other horns currently being used by other teams like this one. It meets the requirements I mentioned earlier of what makes an effective goal horn: opposing fans and players would loathe hearing it and it would be unique to the Leafs. Revitalizing it would be seamless as this horn is a recording and it is possible the team still has the clip in their archives. And I would imagine that a good portion of the fanbase would be happy to see it back in the mix, so what better time to reinstate it than now with the dawn of a new era for the franchise forthcoming?
Hearing the old goal horn as the backdrop to a tally from the likes of Auston Matthews and William Nylander would go a lot harder than the generic one that is currently in use. This alone won’t solve the issue of Scotiabank Arena being quieter than a library, but it would certainly go a long way in improving the in-game experience just a bit more in helping get the fans more engaged. It would be a lot easier to get this fanbase to rally around a goal horn that they would instantly recognize as the Leafs’ horn.
To me, the Leafs reverting to the old goal horn is a no-brainer. The active horn has been in use for nearly two decades and not only does it not sound intimidating enough, but it is too similar to one that five other teams are currently using. Fans back when the initial change was made were not fully on board with it and it is fair to assume there wouldn’t be many sad to see the S-203CV go away. Given what followed for the franchise since 2005, it is fair to wonder if the team made a mistake going away from the horn used during the last successful stretch in their history.
There is no time like the present to go back to the old horn and introduce it to a new generation of Leafs Nation. Obviously it won’t solve the issue of consistently getting out of the first round or scoring on the power play but it would vastly improve the in-arena experience for fans to make a step towards making Scotiabank Arena a little more intimidating.
At the very least, it would upset Senators fans if the horn was brought back into the fold.

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