After swallowing the painful reality that they would not take part in this year's postseason, the New York Rangers now face another tragic loss. On Tuesday morning, the team made a sad announcement via their Twitter account, stating that the organization had just lost an important member of its family. Legendary anthem singer John Amirante passed away this morning. Here is the statement made by the Rangers following the unfortunate passing of their beloved anthem singer.
"It is with great sadness our Rangers family shares the loss of legendary anthem singer John Amirante, who passed away this morning at 83.
Our thoughts are with his wife Ann, his children and the entire Amirante family.
We will forever remember and miss John, signed The Garden."
Amirante started signing the anthem for the Rangers from around 1980 until his retirement in 2015. He has also sung the anthem for the New York Yankees and New York Mets. After his retirement, he still came to the Garden and occasionally sang the anthem for the team during the playoffs.
Last year, Amirante took the microphone to sing the national during the playoffs last year. The fact that the Rangers were facing a Canadian team gave Amirante a chance to sing two songs rather than one. In an interview with the New York Post, the longtime national anthem singer had said it felt the same it did back in the 1990's.
“It’s fabulous,” he said. “It takes me back to ’94.”
“I love this. I love the atmosphere, especially in a playoff. There’s nothing like hockey. It’s the most exciting sport there is.”
“It just happened,” Amirante said of fans wanting him to come back. “I don’t know how it happened, it just happened. I think the fans rallied behind me. It’s great to be back, that’s all I can say.”
He also sang the anthem only five times during the regular season as a very special guest.
Amirante gave his most stirring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on June 14, 1994, before Game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup final, a game the Rangers would win as they captured their only championship in the past 75 years.
Here is a video of one of his last performance at the garden last year:
Our thoughts go out to Amirante's family and friends. He will never be forgotten.