Jilted former Predators national anthem singer: 'I don't want to have an association with the organization any longer'
Dennis K. Morgan has performed the national anthem about 185 times since he moved to Nashville in 2000.(Photo: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean)Buy Photo
Original story can be found HERE
Jilted former Predators national anthem singer Dennis K. Morgan said Friday he no longer wanted to associate with the Nashville hockey team during an appearance on a Canadian sports radio program.
"Even in the unlikely event that I was invited, I don't want to have an association with the organization any longer," Morgan said to SportsNet 590: The Fan.
Morgan sang the anthem for the Preds more than 185 times before the organization began looking to famous country stars during the team's improbable Stanley Cup run this year. He first spoke publicly to the Tennessean about his disappointment in May, triggering a massive backlash from hockey fans across the nation.
Despite a self-described "thick skin," Morgan said he was first disappointed when Carrie Underwood was asked to take his place singing the national anthem before Game 3 of the series against Chicago Blackhawks in Nashville.
"They came to me and said the captain's (Mike Fisher) wife asked to sing the anthem that night," Morgan said in May. "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."
The singer said he "got played" by his portrayal in the media and went on the Canadian radio show to give his side of the story.
"I'm not trying to drag the Preds' name through the mud like mine has been, I just want a chance to clear my own name."
Morgan was not invited back to sing the anthem again after his comments. On the Canadian sports show, he argued that his contract should have protected him from being replaced. He also told host Andrew Walker that his contract with the Predators expired last Friday and has not been contacted by team since.
The Nashville Predators have invited some pretty big names to sing the National Anthem before the Stanley Cup Playoff games. Here's who all has had the honor so far. Ayrika Whitney/USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee
The Predators issued this statement in May:
“We have always valued Dennis K. Morgan’s performance of the national anthem at Predators’ home games. Our arrangement with him has always allowed for nationally and internationally renowned musical artists to perform when available to further enhance our game experience while paying respect to our country through their respective awe-inspiring renditions of the national anthem. 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.”
Even though he is done with the Preds, Morgan is open to the idea of singing the national anthem for other NHL teams, as long as he's not stepping on anybody's toes.
"I would love to fill in for teams elsewhere in the NHL if they have an anthem singer who can't make it one night."
Listen to the full interview with SportsNet 590: The Fan here.
Reach Kirk A. Bado on Twitter @kirk_bado