Nashville anthem singer done with Predators after ‘hurtful’ post-season

The Predators’ deep run during the Stanley Cup Playoffs was an exciting time for Nashville hockey fans—all but one, at least.

Dennis K. Morgan has been belting out the national anthems at Predators game for about 17 years, but his gig ended fairly abruptly when he was replaced by country singer Carrie Underwood ahead of Game 3 of this past post-season.

What followed was a rotating cast of all-star singers, including Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum and Luke Bryan, among plenty others.

The story made headlines as Morgan voiced his displeasure at the situation in an interview with The Tennessean.

“It was presented to me as a one night only kind of thing and I agreed to it,” Morgan told The Tennessean back in May. “Then they continued to bring in these other singers and touted them as ‘A-listers,’ which kind of hurt me.”

In an interview with Sportsnet 590 The FAN on Friday, Morgan said he was not happy about how he was portrayed in the article—”I came off looking like a person who had too high a self opinion,” he said—and said he wanted to clear his name.

“No one has contacted me from the Predators. My contract [with the team] expired last Friday, and I assume I’m done,” he said, talking about the “hurtful” ordeal. “In fact, I know I’m done. Even in the unlikely event I was invited back, I don’t want to have an association with the organization any longer just because of this.”

“I’m just an everyday guy who loves his country—and yours, I love Canada—and as a hockey fan through-and-through, it’s been the honour of my life to sing the anthems of those two fine countries for 20-some-odd years at NHL games and other sporting events,” he said.

“I’m not trying to drag the Preds’ name through the mud, like mine has been dragged through the mud. I just want a chance to clear my own name and let people know I’m not the evil, arrogant jerk I’ve been portrayed as.”

Morgan indicated the issue at hand wasn’t so much personal as it was an issue of honouring a contract.

“If I had a choice between me and Carrie Underwood, me and Keith Urban or Vince Gill, or Trisha Yearwood, I’m sure I’m leaving somebody out, I would choose them too—if there wasn’t a contract in place.”

Listen to the full interview here:

The Predators released the following statement when contacted by The Tennessean back 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.”