Time to sing Yeo Canada

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:15 AM ET

Can Hitmen d-man Dylan Yeo carry a tune better than he carries the puck?

We'll find out tonight.

The rugged rearguard can't stickhandle all that well these days as he continues to rehab a badly broken wrist.

But the injury, which will keep him on the shelf for a few more weeks, hasn't affected his vocal cords, which will be on display tonight at the 'Dome as Yeo will sing the national anthem prior to the Hitmen/Kootenay Ice game (7 p.m.).

It might be a treat for Hitmen fans but it won't be the first time teammate Mike Reich has heard Yeo's crooning. Far from it.

He hears it at the rink and, since the two are roommates, he listens to more of it at home.

"In the shower in the morning, the shower at the rink, the bus, anywhere, anytime," Reich says of the blueliner's penchant for breaking into song.

"If I walk downstairs at the house, he's always singing karaoke to himself. On Monday, he was singing by himself and looking up some song lyrics on the Internet.

"I'm sick of hearing it in the basement so now 10,000 people can hear it."

GM/head coach Kelly Kisio, who had to give his stamp of approval, isn't sure what to think.

"I said I wasn't going to OK it until I heard him sing," Kisio says. "I never got a chance but everyone told me 'No problem. He's a good singer.'

"I don't know. Dave (Lowry, assistant coach) kind of looked at me out the side of his eye because I know he doesn't sound that good on the bench," Kisio jokes of his player's habit of singing along to the national anthem. "Hopefully, the microphone makes him sound better."

All kidding aside, the guy can sing.

And he has more than a few fans on the team.

"To be honest, he's a great singer," says winger Brodie Dupont. "He sounds just like Garth Brooks. He's really a sick singer.

"When you hear him, you'll be impressed."

Dupont doesn't think Yeo, who wears a cowboy hat to every game, will take much heat from opposing players.

"You can't really beak him about it. He's got a good voice so what are you going to say?"

Plus, Yeo is more than capable of taking care of himself on the ice.

The 19-year-old is confident he has the chops to handle his duties tonight.

He's performed before, although his biggest crowd was about 500 people.

"Truthfully, I'm just a shower singer like everyone else," Yeo says. "I was in a choir from Grade 4 to Grade 6.

"In Grade 8, we had a Battle of the Bands contest in our school. Our teacher got a band together and taught me how to play the guitar. I sang and we won the contest."

As a 16-year-old, he competed at the Canada Winter Games. There was a karaoke dance for the athletes and Yeo couldn't help himself.

"I sang The River and won a pizza so I was pretty happy about that," he says. "They wanted me to sing again so I did Sold by John Michael Montgomery."

He also sang at his sister's wedding and his grandparents' 50th anniversary.

He admits to feeling the butterflies prior to singing in front of thousands of fans and he's been practising, although not that much.

"I figure if I don't know my own national anthem, I shouldn't be a Canadian."

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EVERYONE GET IN KEY

Other athletes who've sung a national anthem.

- CARL LEWIS -- 1993 NBA game, N.J. Nets vs. Chicago Bulls. Nine-time Olympic gold medallist blundered it badly, paused halfway through and said "I'm going to make up for it." He didn't.

- JERRY STACKHOUSE -- 2004 NBA game, Dallas Mavericks vs. Boston Celtics. Mavs forward did an admirable job of singing but was promptly tossed from the game with a pair of technical fouls.

- TERRY CUMMINGS -- 1985 NBA game, Milwaukee Bucks. The 18-year-NBA vet, who is an ordained minister, went on to record an album 21 years later.


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