SAN JOSE, Calif. — For years, the San Jose Sharks have come out to the ice each home game to the Metallica song "Seek and Destroy."
On Wednesday night, the band was on hand for it.
The Sharks held a special Metallica night for their game against the rival Los Angeles Kings in the latest Bay Area sports tie-in for the heavy metal band.
The Bay Area-based band was presented with custom-made Metallica-Sharks jerseys and planned to be involved in the opening puck drop and other events throughout the game.
"This is an honour to be able to keep it local," lead singer James Hetfield said before the game. "We love that. The fact that we’re considered a mainstay of this area and obviously the Sharks are as well. You join it together, it makes sense."
Metallica also had a special night at a San Francisco Giants baseball game this summer.
The band members have been fans of the Sharks since they began play more than two decades ago. Hetfield said he used to go to games at the Cow Palace when the team first started and makes the nearly two-hour drive from Marin County to San Jose for games a few times a year.
The Sharks have long used the 1983 song "Seek and Destroy" as their entrance music.
"It’s an incredible honour," bass player Robert Trujillo said. "The fact that that song has that kind of energy to fuel an entire team, give them the strength to battle and kick butt."
While the band members are fans of the Sharks, many of the Sharks players are also admirers of the band and were excited about the night.
"It’s pretty cool," All-Star defenceman Brent Burns said. "Being around in California, you get to see some pretty cool fans. Obviously, that’s a band a lot of guys have listened to growing up. It’s pretty cool."