Pump up the jam: DJ Johnny Infamous preps for the Stanley Cup Finals
EDMONTON -- There are many people in the NHL bubble that are busy trying to create an electric atmosphere for fans and players, but one man is responsible for the music and sounds to motivate the players competing for the cup.
John Hicks, better known as DJ Johnny Infamous, overlooks empty seats as the NHL's official DJ for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"The moment I knew I was going to be there until the end, until the finals, just grateful," said Hicks.
He's one of the faces behind the noise, and part of a massive crew that's been grinding behind the scenes for months.
"We prep and rehearse for every game, two hours before every game."
There's artificial crowd noise, sound effects and of course the music.
"I am really a mixture of all the other DJs," said Hicks. "Everything you hear from their warm-up mix to their hit the ice song for each period."
Hicks says he is constantly collaborating with other teams' DJs, because every club has specific needs and requests.
"I constantly get playlists from those guys saying, 'Hey, throw these in. This is what's going to make it sound like it would today in our arenas.'"
Hicks says a lot of thought goes into the music to make fans at home feel connected and as if things were normal.
"Every whistle we're thinking about those families sitting on the couch. What can we do for them? How can we make this better? How can we make them feel like they're a part of this, right?"
When asked what song he'd never want to hear again, Hicks was quick to answer.
"If I hear Chelsea Dagger never again, it'll be too soon."
Being one of the few people in the building during the games gives Hicks the opportunity to hear the trash talk on the ice firsthand.
"That's a whole other part of the game now because they hear each other so clearly. There's got to be some highlights. There's got to be a special done on just that after this is all over I hope."
But the show in the bubble rolls on and Hicks is now preparing for the Stanley Cup Finals.
"Once everything is over and the new normal, we're back to... whatever it is, we can look back and say, 'What a special time that was.'"
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Adam Cook.