Yesterday, the news came out that Lyndon Slewidge may not be back to sing the anthem at all this year.
I think I speak for many fans when I say, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?
The official response to Bruce Garrioch was, “As part of the Senators 25th anniversary celebrations, the team is trying a number of new in-arena activations for the fans, including inviting other performers and artists to sing the national anthems.”
You’re telling us that as part of the 25th anniversary, you’re pushing something that’s been part of the other 24 years to the side? I say hogwash. Poppycock. Shenanigans. I understand the desire to use the anniversary as a platform for introducing new things, but it also needs to be a celebration of the past and you would be hard pressed to find something off the ice that the fans identify more with than Lyndon Slewidge.
He’s been the anthem singer for many of the notable games in Senators history, good and bad such as game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals (you know, the game the Sens won - don’t mess with the mojo) and the very emotional anthem before the first home game after the Parliament Hill attacks. Is there anybody who would be better suited to sing the anthem when the puck (hopefully) drops in the playoffs? During the stretch run when the team is jockeying for position? In December when you raise #11 to the rafters?
(Okay, maybe U2 - but I’m trying to be realistic here)
If you want to change things up a bit, fine, but make sure Lyndon Slewidge is in the mix.
Do the right thing here, Mr. Leeder. The right thing to celebrate one of the only long-standing traditions the franchise has, the right thing for the fan base that has “grown up” listening to him, and the right thing for the man who has sung his heart out for the team and city for two and a half decades.