In every hockey game in the NHL, immediately after the home team scores, a unique horn plays. Where did this come from? Why a horn ?


This appears to be a trend started by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1970s.

In this ESPN video, the horn supposedly came from a boat owned by the Norris family, who owned a portion of the Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings at the time.

However, in this article, the horn supposedly came from the yacht of owner Bill Wirtz. Afterwards, the horn was taken from the boat/yacht and was installed in the Blackhawks stadium.

Where did this come from?

What both sources agree with is that the Chicago Blackhawks started the trend of the "goal horn," specifically during the 1973 Stanley Cup Final.

Why a horn?

A horn was used because it came from a boat/yacht of the owner at the time, and said owner had said horn installed in the Blackhawks stadium.


Pretty sure the ship's horn tradition was started at Lake Superior State College (now University) in the late 70s. It so impressed people in the small Norris Arena that it was quickly adopted elsewhere. Experienced it at plenty of the home games then but never heard it while watching NHL games 'til later.

  • 1
    "Late 70s" is at best still multiple years after the 1973 Stanley Cup; this answer appears to be obviously wrong.
    – Nij
    Mar 4 '19 at 3:47

I've seen the ESPN video. It is a horn from a yacht, but it wasn't the Norris Family -- it was the Wirtz family.

I have never seen footage from a game in Chicago where the horn blasted, prior to 1983.. If you look up the "surrender" game vs. Vancouver in 1982, there is no horn.

CBC did a feature on the Chicago Stadium in 1985 during the playoffs that went behind the scenes on the horn, which leads me to believe it was relatively new (1983'ish)

  • 1
    Welcome to SE.Sport. I would be better if you add an official source to your answer
    – Ale
    Jan 27 '17 at 15:04

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