The NHL is paying tribute to longtime hockey fan Matthew Perry following his apparent drowning death.
During several Saturday, October 28, games across the United States, arena organists played an orchestral version of the Friends theme song. According to ESPN footage via TikTok, “I’ll Be Here for You” by the Rembrandts could be heard while the Nashville Predators took on the Toronto Maple Leafs. (Perry played Chandler Bing on all 10 seasons of Friends.)
The Los Angeles Kings also played the iconic TV theme tune in the middle of their Saturday game against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.
Perry, who died on Saturday at the age of 54, was a dedicated fan of the Kings, who even attended their 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs game against the St. Louis Blues.
“That was really exciting and I happened to be right here in the corner, so I saw it happen,” he gushed to Fox Sports West in May 2013 of the team’s last-minute goal. “[Dustin] Penner just top-shelf’ed it. It was really exciting.”
The playoff victory had overshadowed the news that Perry’s sitcom Go On had been canceled after one season. “It was sort of a sad day because of the people and I’m gonna miss them … but, you know, this show that I was doing was really getting in the way of some Kings games. So, I’m OK,” Perry joked.
Perry further noted that he liked to “go to all the games” across the country in support of the Kings. “I don’t enjoy it. I’m very tense [and] I don’t have fun,” he added at the time. “There are shots of all the people screaming and yelling, and I’m very serious.”
Perry grew up playing hockey in Canada. He was also a proud supporter of the country’s NHL teams. Several of the Canadian squads also paid tribute to his legacy on Saturday.
“Saddened to learn about the passing of Matthew Perry, one of Ottawa’s proudest sons and 𝑡ℎ𝑒 biggest hockey fan,” a tweet on the Ottawa Senators’ X (formerly Twitter) page read.
News broke earlier on Saturday that Perry had died after an apparent drowning. According to the Los Angeles Times, law enforcement officials responded to a call at Perry’s home. Upon their arrival, Perry was found unresponsive in a jacuzzi. A cause of death has not been confirmed and an investigation is ongoing.
Representatives for Perry did not immediately respond to Us Weekly’s request for comment.