The Young Rising Sons, an up-and-coming band signed to Interscope Records, just released the first single off their new album due out early next year. Titled Undefeatable, the tune — much like the band’s previous smash hit from 2015 — is catchy af. It also has special significance for Caps fans and hockey fans in general.
First, the pop rock trio consists of two gigantic Caps fans, lead singer Andy Tongren and drummer Steve Patrick, who have most notably played street hockey with me in front of the 9:30 Club and held my ferrets.
Delving even deeper, Steve Patrick is the nephew of Capitals President Dick Patrick. The Patrick family is one of the most historic and decorated families in hockey history, featuring five Stanley Cup champions and four Hockey Hall of Famers (Lester, Frank, Lynn, and Craig). Dick Patrick’s son Chris is also a scout for the Capitals.
Secondly, the album art for Undefeatable features a trophy, which at first seems like a relic that one of the designers at Interscope found at a flea market.
Instead it should probably reside in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Steve Patrick and his family first found the trophy while cleaning out their grandfather’s house. Steve’s grandfather is Muzz Patrick, a former hockey player and general manager of the New York Rangers. He passed away in 1998.
Muzz won the Stanley Cup with the Rangers in 1940 and joined the army to fight in World War II right after. In boxing, Muzz also became the Canadian amateur heavyweight title holder in 1934.
“We didn’t even know this hockey trophy existed until after my grandmother died in 2007,” Steve said. “We went to start clearing the house out before we eventually sold it. My dad came back after one of his trips inside and had that with him. We were like, ‘What is that thing?'”
That thing turned out to be the Professional European Ice Hockey Tour Cup, offered by Othmar Delnon. Delnon was a retired Swiss World Championship player from the 40’s, who organized the tournament.
According to the International Ice Hockey Federation, the Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens were the first teams to participate in the tour in 1938. The second tournament was hastily arranged 21 years later in 1959 between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. Steve’s grandfather Muzz was the general manager of the Rangers and his brother Lynn Patrick (HHOF 1980) was the GM of the Bruins. Family bragging rights were on the line.
During a 26-day stretch, the Bruins and Rangers played each other 23 different times in six different European countries (England, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Germany and Austria).
According to NHL.com, the 1959 tournament is where Hockey Hall of Famer Bobby Hull rose to stardom. Hull was loaned to the Rangers for the tournament after superstar Andy Bathgate declined to suit up.
The 1959 tour was organized by Swiss player Othmar Delnon and was sponsored by a Swiss winemaker. Attendance was erratic, with full houses one night and weak support another. But one thing everyone agreed upon, it was then and there that Bobby Hull became “The Golden Jet,” emerging from two NHL seasons as a checking center into a freewheeling player with great speed and a great shot.
“That’s where I learned how to play,” Hull said. “I wanted to see all of Europe that I could and I suppose I played smart hockey. I was just a young guy, 20 years old. When I came back, I was a more complete player and it went on from there.”
Rangers left wing Andy Bathgate, who finished third in scoring behind Montreal’s Dickie Moore and Jean Beliveau that season, couldn’t make the trip, opening the door for Hull.
“I’d had a good year and I was pooped out,” Bathgate said. “Bobby Hull took my place and had an enjoyable time. My wife had just had a baby and I needed to be with her in Vancouver. I didn’t want to be traveling by myself at that time and, hey, Europe would get more out of seeing him.”
Hull scored 50 goals in 22 games, leading the Rangers to the tournament victory with a record of 11-9-3. The Professional European Ice Hockey Tour Cup was given to the Rags.
“Somehow my grandfather wound up with the cup,” Steve said. “It just sat in the basement forever and then my family found it. So me and my friends played street hockey and used it as a pseudo Stanley Cup.”
Years later, when Steve’s bandmate Andy Tongren penned the inspirational Undefeatable, Patrick suggested the band use the cup as the album art.
“A month ago, I saw this fan made thing for the Stranger Things soundtrack where every song had a icon they had designed,” Steve said. “I thought it was such a cool idea – just to have every song represented by a tangible item. So instead of having the album art be illustrated, we all decided that using found objects was a better idea.”
“Then we started thinking as a group about what could represent every song,” Steve continued. “For Undefeatable, someone suggested a trophy. I was like, ‘I have a trophy – trust me.'”
With that settled, Tongren took a photo of the cup with his iPhone and slapped together the album artwork at Steve’s mother’s house in New Jersey.
“We bought some white paper, put it behind the trophy, and snapped a picture,” Steve said. “Andy wrote out Young Rising Sons and Undefeatable on a piece of printer paper, blended them in an app, and added some aftereffects to make the colors blend. He did that all on his phone.”
At midnight on September 2, the band released the single on iTunes through their own Twitter account and received a huge reception online.
“The song is mainly about feeling the weight and the pressure of life and the challenges you face everyday, but still rising up to meet them,” Steve said. “The trophy felt like a great symbol for that vibe.”
“Plus, it’s a great little nod to my family.”
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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