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Five NHLers Who Made Music

Hockey and music have always gone hand in hand, but in some cases it’s gone beyond the rink organ. Some notable NHL players had enough musical ability – or knew the right people – to cut their own records. Here are five who dropped the gloves and picked up the mic.
Guy Lafleur

Jim Schoenfeld

In 1972, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Jim Schoenfeld released “Schony,” a 10-track record consisting mainly of cover songs. The longtime NHLer put his own spin on some familiar tunes, including Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire, Sam Cooke’s Chain Gang and Bob Dylan’s All Along the Watchtower. Two years later, Schoenfeld released a follow-up album entitled “The Key is Love,” this time featuring all-original material.  

Darren McCarty

When Detroit Red Wings defenseman Vladimir Konstantinov and team masseur Sergei Mnatsakanov were seriously injured in a limousine accident, teammate Darren McCarty formed a rock band called Grinder to help raise money for them. McCarty – the lead singer – and his group cut a single entitled Step Outside for the 1998 compilation album “Believing in Detroit.” In 2002, Grinder released “Gotta Keep Movin,” a seven-track album that included covers of Neat Neat Neat by The Damned and No Fun by Iggy & the Stooges. 

Ken Baumgartner

“Bomber” was a three-track EP from 1990 that featured tough guy Ken Baumgartner – aptly nicknamed ‘Bomber’ – singing lead vocals on covers of Motorhead’s (what else?) Bomber and AC/DC’s Live Wire. He had some heavy-metal muscle backing him up, too. John Bush from Armored Saint, Rocky George from Suicidal Tendencies and Joe DiBiase and Mark Zonder from Fates Warning lent their talents. The last track is another cover of Live Wire without Baumgartner, which was credited to The Hanson Brothers, an alias for the four musicians on the album. 

Theo Fleury

After retiring from the NHL, former Calgary Flames star Theo Fleury has enjoyed a successful career as a motivational speaker and author. In 2010, Fleury collaborated with friend and musician Phil Deschambault to record a song called As the Story Goes. But this didn’t fully quell Fleury’s creative fire, so in 2015 he released “I Am Who I Am,” a 10-track album of ballads and upbeat country tunes. 

Guy Lafleur

Featuring Montreal Canadiens superstar Guy Lafleur, the eponymous album “Lafleur!” is a strange blend of disco music and hockey tutorials released in 1979. Four of the six tracks consist of Lafleur talking, not singing, about proper hockey techniques – such as how to balance on skates or effectively fire a wrist shot – over swooning backup singers and a catchy disco beat. The two Guy-less tracks, Face Off and Power Play, are legitimately fun songs that typify late-1970s disco. “Lafleur!” was issued in both English and French versions and included a hockey instruction booklet.

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