The Toronto Maple Leafs unveiled Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” as their new goal song in their season opener against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Maple Leafs’ previous goal song, Hall & Oates’ “You Make My Dreams” was used for the past five seasons.
- The new track will serve as Toronto’s regular-season standard goal song. According to reports, there will be different goal songs this season for games against Original Six opponents, “Next Generation” games, and games on “Throwback Thursdays.”
- Some fans and players have called for the change numerous times.
HEY GOOGLE, PLAY PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS 🎶
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 12, 2023
What’s one thing to get Maple Leafs fans talking right now?
Ask them about the team’s goal song.
For five seasons now, “You Make My Dreams” has been the subject of heated debate. Is it that the song isn’t aggressive enough for a celebratory goal song? That it has virtually no connection to the city itself, one of the world’s great music towns?
Or is it just that, over the course of the past five regular seasons, it’s been played after 655 Leafs goals at home, more than all but three teams in the NHL? Is it simply time for something new?
Auston Matthews himself said ahead of last season he “wouldn’t mind hearing something different.” Matthews has scored more goals at home than any other NHL player over the past five seasons, so his word may have some significance. — Joshua Kloke, Toronto Maple Leafs writer
Reactions to Toronto’s new goal song
So the Leafs finally have a new goal song, and it’s going to take some getting used to: “Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare)” by rapper Kid Cudi featuring MGMT.
The title alone makes some sense given the Leafs’ enduring pursuit of a Stanley Cup. But “Pursuit of Happiness” features a vibey, atmospheric start that takes a few seconds to build, making for more than a few confused faces around Scotiabank Arena. It doesn’t pop with an iconic opening riff like “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates did, but it does feel more reflective of a younger crowd.
Once the song did blast off, it filled the arena in a way that “You Make My Dreams” didn’t always do. So, that’s a win.
Kid Cudi doesn’t exactly have plenty of connections to Toronto (though Drake makes an appearance in the official music video) and as I’ve previously written, it feels like an easy opportunity for the Leafs to honor the great music in the city by choosing a local artist.
Either way, good on the Leafs for making a change. It was long overdue.
On second listen, the best moments of the song are the instrumental parts. There’s not going to be anything for Leafs fans to sing along to, but there will be something for them to move wildly to. Perhaps that’s more important? — Kloke
Good song! But does it get the people going? I’m not so sure. It’s not really the kind of jam fans can belt out in unison after a goal. It’s more vibey than electrifying. Not bad. Not great. Better than the alternative! — Jonas Siegel, Toronto Maple Leafs writer
(Photo of Noah Gregor: Kevin Sousa / NHLI via Getty Images)