DJ Franson breaks down Leafs warm-up playlist

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Cody Franson (right).

It seems fitting that the guy who leads all NHL defencemen in hits would be the one cuing up the warm-up music for game nights at the Air Canada Centre.

“I picked ones that are fan-friendly and that we like in here,” Cody Franson says in the Toronto Maple Leafs’ dressing room. “We try to be conscious of the kids out there and pick songs without too much swearing. It’s a tough list to put out there, but we try to keep everybody happy.”

Get to a Leafs game early enough and you’ll here the same up-tempo playlist (listen below), curated by Franson and No. 1 centre Tyler Bozak, as the players stretch their groins and fill the nets with wrist shots. Appropriately kicked off by Kardinal Offishall’s ode to the T-Dot-Ohhh, the songs transition from hip-hop anthems to popular EDM and house tunes. It’s a playlist reflective of the music Franson and Bozak, the Leafs’ dressing-room selectors, play for their teammates before and after games and practices.

“The one thing about being a DJ in a room like this—there’s no such thing as keeping everybody happy. Certain guys don’t like country and certain guys don’t like rap, so you try to play a combination of the two,” says Franson, who does take requests. “I’m not much of an album guy. I just go song by song, buy songs on iTunes. Sometimes guys suggest new songs they like and want played, and we try to stick to popular songs everybody knows.”

For those who want to recreate the anticipatory atmosphere of a Leafs game in the comfort of you own home, here is Franson and Bozak’s ACC warm-up playlist…

Kardinal Offishall – “The Anthem”
Relevant lyric: Every area reppin’ the home team / My Italians hold me down, Africans same thing

Jay-Z – “Public Service Announcement”
Relevant lyric: I get my by-any-means on whenever there’s a drought

Eminem – “Survival”
Relevant lyric: If I don’t got enough in the tank, maybe I can just siphon enough

Avicii – “You Make Me”
Relevant lyric: We are one / One’s for sure / All united

Fergie feat. Q-Tip & GoonRock – “A Little Party Never Killed Nobody”
Relevant lyric: You don’t see one person sitting down / They all got drinks

Showtek ft. We Are Loud & Sonny Wilson – “Booyah”
Relevant lyric: I put that rock in ya body

Showtek & Justin Prime feat. Mathew Koma – “Cannonball”
Relevant lyric: It’s you against me / It’s so hard to breathe

Martin Garrix – “Animals”
Relevant lyric: We’re the f——’ animals

Calvin Harris & Alesso ft. Hurts – “Under Control”
Relevant lyric: Feeling like we could do right / Be the one that makes tonight


BONUS BEAT: And of course, when the Maple Leafs win, this is the victory song that has been getting cranked to 11 in a dressing room filled with grown men throughout 2013-14.

“We have a win song that I am not partial to,” Franson says of the Miley Cyrus hit chosen by Bozak. “We’ve talked about changing it, but it’s not going anywhere. I don’t know if it’s superstition or they actually like the song or they keep playing it just to bug a few of us.”

Miley Cyrus – “We Can’t Stop”
Relevant lyric: Sweaty bodies everywhere