The Scoop on Why Buffalo Sabres Belt Out the Canadian National Anthem

During every home game, the Buffalo Sabres play the Canadian national anthem because most of their fanbase is from the Great White North.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Nov. 15 2023, Published 4:55 p.m. ET

Buffalo Sabres.
Source: Getty Images

The Gist:

  • The Buffalo Sabres are a professional ice hockey team that competes in the NHL.
  • The team plays the Canadian national anthem before home games.
  • Buffalo's arena is a few minutes from the Canadian border, and many fans come from Canada.
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If you've ever been to a Buffalo Sabres home game, there's a good chance you heard someone belt the Canadian national anthem, "O Canada," in the arena. Sounds a bit strange when we say it out loud, right?

Everyone knows that someone performs "O Canada" before every Maple Leafs, Canadiens, Senators, Jets, Flames, Oilers, and Canucks home game, but some NHL fans are confused why it's also sung at Sabres home games. Luckily, we're here to help clear things up! So, without further ado, keep scrolling to find out the answer.

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Canadian flag.
Source: Getty Images

Why do the Buffalo Sabres sing the Canadian national anthem?

Let's get straight to the point — the Canadian and U.S. national anthems are sung before every Sabres home game, regardless if the visiting team is Canadian or American. Now, they invite someone to sing "O Canada" because Buffalo is adjacent to the Canadian border, and many Sabres fans hail from Canada.

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Doug Allen sang both the Canadian and U.S. national anthems at most Sabres home games before resigning in 2021 because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine. According to a September 2021 report by The Buffalo News, Doug announced his departure in a letter to Sabres fans and told them he wasn't "anti-vaccine."

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"There are many people at risk who should get it. But, I am old enough to understand the importance of choice and the freedom of being an American," Doug wrote. "I had Covid in January of 2021. I now have natural immunity, so I am choosing to not get vaccinated."

A singer once forgot the lyrics to "O Canada" and was forced to improvise.

Ahead of Buffalo's game against the Bruins on Nov. 14, 2023, Sabres singer Christian Kramer mixed up the lyrics of "O Canada" and completely skipped one of the lines. As a result, Christian was forced to come up with something on the spot — and it was so painful to watch.

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For those unfamiliar with the lyrics, Christian skipped the line "from far and wide" and went right into, "O Canada, we stand on guard for thee." He quickly realized his mistake, but it was too late. Nevertheless, the singer kept going and even came up with his own lyrics, singing, "O Canada, we stand our eyes, we stand on guard for thee."

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Christian eventually got back on track, but his mistake was already noted by more than half the people in the arena, including a father-son duo who looked at each other in bewilderment.

As expected, several viewers took to social media and joked about the singer's error — but we honestly feel bad for him. It takes a lot of courage to get up there and sing in front of thousands, so we don't blame him for getting a little nervous and forgetting the lyrics. All that matters is that he kept his cool and managed to get through the rest of the anthem without messing up!

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