There were a few things missing from the 2016 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, the outdoor hockey game at Gillette Stadium featuring the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. And it had nothing to do with the Black And Gold’s lackluster result, an uninspiring 5-1 loss at the hands of their bitter rivals to the north.
The most glaring omissions came mostly on the musical side of the game, where not only was longtime Bruins national anthem singer Rene Rancourt passed over by the National Hockey League in favor of Jeremy Smith, the winner of the ninth season of NBC’s The Voice, but the Dropkick Murphys were nowhere in sight.
We don’t need to embed a bunch of tweets proving that people were asking for the Dropkicks on gameday, especially during a telecast that offered up performances by A Simple Plan, American Authors, and fun. frontman Nate Ruess, who performed solo during the first intermission.
So where were the Dropkicks, a band whose song “Shipping Up To Boston” is played during every Bruins home game at TD Garden and who performed at Fenway Park for the 2010 Winter Classic against the Philadelphia Flyers? Dropkicks frontman Ken Casey shed some light on it in a Facebook post, following up in a link where he guaranteed a Bruins victory.
“I’d like to go on record that when I guaranteed a victory it was before I knew Marchand and Krejci were gonna be out,” Casey writes. “Also the reason we didn’t play is because the NHL asked us to do a duet with the guy from FUN. And that would not have been fun. Disheartening game. Lots of hype for such a let down.”
He may be joking about this.
But given the way the NHL handles business, it’s probably not totally out of the question.
Dropkick Murphys, meanwhile, kick off their 20th anniversary tour February 17 in Cleveland, and the following month play five local shows around St. Patricks Day: Three at the House of Blues (march 16 to 18), one at Agganis Arena (March 19) and one “to be determined” (March 20).