The Hanson Brothers
Thirty years after Slap Shot vaulted three minor league tough guys into hockey immortality, they're still playing their parts. And why not? They came by them naturally
Posted: Tuesday June 26, 2007 2:22PM; Updated: Wednesday June 27, 2007 1:53PM
This Where Are They Now feature and others like it can be found in the July 2nd issue of Sports Illustrated.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock and the roar of the fans reached a climax on June 6, Brian Burke, general manager of the Anaheim Ducks, stood in the tunnel at the Honda Center, ready to storm the ice in celebration. Then Burke heard something that cracked him up. Standing behind him was the team's video coordinator, Joe Trotta, who chose that moment to channel Jim Carr, the toupee-sporting play-by-play announcer from Slap Shot: "The Chiefs have won the championship of the Federal League!"
In fact, the Ducks had won the championship of the National Hockey League with a 6-2 rout of the Ottawa Senators. But what better way to celebrate it than by paying homage to Slap Shot, the raucous movie about minor league life that, 30 years later, still bonds -- or, more aptly, wraps in foil -- hockey players, hockey fans, hockey people.
Last month Jeff Carlson, his brother Steve, and Dave Hanson -- the trio who portrayed the Hanson brothers, Slap Shot's marauding, toy-car-loving hominids -- made one of the three dozen appearances they make each year throughout North America. It was a Saturday night, and the celluloid goons were headlining the annual, fund-raising Sportsman Dinner at the Rec Centre in Redvers, Saskatchewan. About 250 people sat at circular tables in the reception hall, there to experience the Hanson Brothers in full regalia: hockey pants, Charlestown Chiefs blue-and-yellow jerseys, hands encased in foil (for greater punching power) and black-framed, prison-issue Coke-bottle glasses, copiously taped. (Jeff and Steve Carlson each went by his first name in the movie; Dave Hanson's character was Jack Hanson.)
Working the tables like a bride and groom at a wedding, the trio shook hands, made small talk and insulted their hosts -- in a friendly way. (To a short adult man in a Bruins jersey, Steve said, "What size is that, children's small?" Later Steve added, "I saw the Bruins were in first place. Then I realized I was reading the paper upside down.") At one point Jeff and Steve had their arms around three attractive women, one of whose boyfriends was having camera problems. "Take your time," Jeff told him. "Take it apart, we don't care. Go get a new battery. In Regina."
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