Wednesday, March 12, 2014

All About The NHL Goal Horns

As a hockey fan, we all notice the goal horns at games. They can accompany the greatest
excitement for a hockey fan, or the greatest disappointment if you are rooting for the away team. Every NHL arena has one... or do they??? In this two part series I will share some information, photos, and audio clips of all of the NHL goal horns. I have spent the last couple years compiling bits and pieces about as many horns as possible. You would think I would have much more info than this on them over that amount of time, but it turns out that many teams and arena's are not too eager to give out too much information about their game entertainment center piece. Most teams responded to me with at least a little information. To those teams I am very thankful! There are a few teams that failed to respond to any of my emails, and I must say that I was quite surprised and disappointed at their public relations practices.

First of all here are a few fun facts about goal horns:

  • Chicago was the first team to use a goal horn back in the 70's. 
  • In 1996, the NHL responded to the use of goal horns with a new set of rules regarding horns and music and when and how loud they could be played.
  • Two NHL teams currently use a recording of a goal horn rather than using a real horn. One of those teams will be discussed in part 1, the other in part 2.
  • Most of the leagues goal horns live up in the rafters, many of them out of sight. 
  • Several teams have horns that were originally on a vessel. 
  • In most cases, goal horns are NOT triggered by the controls that run the scoreboard. They are in no way tied into that system. 
  • Many teams that relocate to a new arena will bring their old goal horn along with them.
Ok, enough with that, lets get on to the individual teams! 

UPDATE: New photo of the Columbus Blue Jackets goal horn

Anaheim Ducks - Honda Center
Horn: Real
Type: Ibuki 200 diaphone fog horn.
Location: In the catwalk above section 418
Source: Entertainment Manager Chris Brown on 4/21/11
No Photo Available

Boston Bruins - TD Garden
Horn: Audio Clip of Kahlenberg model KM-135
Source: Bruins Entertainment Representative
Additional Info: It is very possible you have heard this exact horn recording used in other rinks. Many local rinks use this horn, as do some minor leagues and even some teams in the KHL. I would imagine this is the most copied goal horn clip out there. Time for Boston to get a real horn, don't you think?
No Photo Available

Buffalo Sabres - First Niagara Center
Horn: Real
Type: Similar to the Kahlenberg F-3 Yaght Horn
Location: Somewhere in the rafters near center ice.
Additional Info: It is an old boat horn that has been tied to an air compressor. It is the same horn that was used in the Aud before the Sabres moved to the new arena.
Source: Website Manager Scott Miner on 4/21/11
No Photo Available

Calgary Flames - Scotiabank Saddledome
Horn: Real
Type: Buell plastic "Lifeguard" 4-chime horn-sets. (Now sold by Horn-blasters)
Location: In the catwalk high above the Flames Energy Board (scoreboard)
Additional Info: There are actually two goal horns in the Saddledome. The second is used for Calgary Hitman games and is located next to the Flames horn. They each have their own separate air compressor.
Source: Flames Customer Service on 4/21/11
No Photo Available

Carolina Hurricanes - PNC Arena 
Horn: Real
Type: Similar to Kahlenberg Model Q-4 Horn
Location: In the catwalk above the ice.
Additional Info: This is the same horn that the Hartford Whalers used before moving to Carolina.
Source: Fans from Florida Panther's message board.
Photo: It is very hard to see the horn through the cat walk in this photo. Look for 3 trumpet shaped horns in the center of photo. I am including a photo from Kalenberg's site of a similar T-3 Horn.
From NHL Canes Instagram (thanks to hesnotherefor letting us know about this pic)

Chicago Blackhawks - United Center
Horn: Real
Type: Kahlenberg Q3
Location: Mounted under the center ice scoreboard. It is perhaps the leagues easiest to find!
Additional Info: It is the same horn that was mounted under the scoreboard at the old Chicago Stadium. The Blackhawks were the first team to use such a horn to celebrate a goal, thus beginnin the goal horn era.
Source: Numerous photos
Flickr: kielman316

Colorado Avalanche
Horn: Real
Type: Sounds like a Model KPH-130C Arena/Stadium Electric Piston Horn
Location: ?
Photo: Courtesy of d3jg on Reddit. Here is a photo of a similar horn. While I have no proof that this is the exact model, it does look just like the one inside Sprint Center in Kansas City which has an almost identical sound.

Columbus Blue Jackets
Horn: Real
Type: ?
Location: Up in the rafters above the Scoreboard
Source: CBJ Organization 4/25/11