William Nylander bursts out laughing during a unique rendition of the U.S. anthem
Photo credit: Sportsnet

William Nylander coming under fire for showing of disrespect ahead of Leafs/Ducks game

Published January 5, 2024 at 9:58

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander has a ton to smile about this season as he is currently on pace to put up career numbers while in a contract year. Nylander leads Toronto with 51 points in 36 games this season and is on pace for 116 points.

Nylander was smiling after Toronto's 2-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. The 26-year-old had another strong performance providing one assist and had eight shots on net, but while he was all smiles after the game, he was all laughs before-hand. Unfortunately, it was during the U.S. National Anthem. Nylander's actions during the anthem had everyone talking when the video evidence came to light.

Most NHL games opt to go the traditional rout with a singer performing the national anthem. The Ducks decided to go outside the box having guitarist Dave Hill perform the anthems before the game.

The way Nylander reacted to Hill's performance had the internet up-in-arms. Hill added his own flair with extra notes and guitar solos during "O Canada" and "The Star Spangled Banner" via his electric guitar. Nylander couldn't help himself letting out some laughs on the bench at Hill's over the top performance and excess guitar wanking.

Hill is a comedian and radio host when he's not performing the anthems. He doesn't seem to mind others having fun at his expense as he replied "love it!" to a comment on the video of Nylander cracking up.

While Hill was amused by Nylander's reaction, not everyone was. The U.S. is a very patriotic country and seeing a Canadian-born Swedish player laughing at their anthem - you can imagine some of the takes out there.

It was cool to see a different take on the anthems, but maybe Hill can realize his name isn't on the ticket and will take a little off the guitar solos to avoid this confusion next time around.
January 5   |   935 answers
William Nylander coming under fire for showing of disrespect ahead of Leafs/Ducks game

What is your take on guitar solo National Anthems?

Love them!849 %
Hate them!44547.6 %
They're fine, but I prefer traditional anthems24125.8 %
Do away with anthems entirely, during the season16517.6 %
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