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Illness forces John Amirante to decline Rangers' invite to sing anthem

John Amirante sings the national anthem before Game

John Amirante sings the national anthem before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals between the New York Rangers and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, April 18, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Rangers invited John Amirante, their longtime national anthem singer, to do the honors before Game 7 against the Capitals Wednesday, but he had to decline because of illness.

Amirante, 80, was to sing his last-ever Rangers anthem before Game 2 of the first-round series against the Penguins, but the next day the Rangers said he would be invited to return periodically.

The team planned to invite him to sing during the conference final against the Lightning if he is feeling up to it -- and if the Rangers advanced by winning Game 7 against the Caps.

The New York Post first reported the Rangers' invitation to Amirante to return.

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