NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — He says he’s been done wrong and maybe there’s a country song lurking somewhere in this.
The longtime anthem singer at Nashville Predators hockey games has the blues. He’s been replaced in the Stanley Cup playoffs by superstar singers such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum and Little Big Town.
Dennis K. Morgan, who has sung at about 185 Predator games over the past 17 years, told The Tennessean he has been hurt and disappointed by being upstaged by A-list country acts, including Underwood, who is married to team captain Mike Fisher.
“They came to me and said the captain’s wife asked to sing the anthem that night,” Morgan said. “It was presented to me as a one night only kind of thing and I agreed to it. Then they continued to bring in these other singers and touted them as ‘A-listers,’ which kind of hurt me.”
Morgan said he had planned to bring it up with the team after the playoffs, but he was getting a lot of questions from people who knew him.
“The most important part of a Stanley Cup run is not what happens in pregame ceremonies, but rather what happens on the ice,” he said. “I will address any disappointment I have with the Predators’ decision hopefully after a Stanley Cup parade.”
The team said in a statement that the arrangement with Morgan allowed for “nationally and internationally renowned musical artists to perform when available.”
“The reaction from our fans in Bridgestone Arena as well as from around the country to seeing and hearing world class performers such as Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Vince Gill and his daughters, Little Big Town and Lady Antebellum during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs has been overwhelmingly positive, bringing national and international exposure to our community while continuing to set our game experience and atmosphere apart from others in professional sports,” the team statement said.
The Predators and the Anaheim Ducks are tied in the Western Conference finals 1-1 heading into Game 3 on Tuesday night in Nashville.