Previous Page 2 of 3 Next

Continued: NHL concussion suit has movie 'Slap Shot' straddling a fine line

  • Article by: MIKE KASZUBA , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 8, 2014 - 11:28 PM

“He’s a big dummy — wonderful guy,” said Henry Boucha, a former NHL player and member of the Minnesota Fighting Saints who also played with Carlson and remains friends.

Boucha said he was once hit so hard on the ice that “I had to look at my jersey to see what color I was wearing” to remember what team he was playing for. As for Carlson’s health, he said: “We don’t know how it’s going to be.”

And the movie?

“Ahead of its time,” said Boucha.

‘Cartoon violence’

The players and actors from “Slap Shot” said that the movie has endured in part because it threaded the needle between comedy and cold truth.

Allan Nicholls played team captain Johnny Upton in the film, and now is the artistic director for the New York Film Society in Abu Dhabi. “With a large expat population, [there] is a huge hockey presence here in the desert,” Nicholls said in an e-mail. “Here I am captain Johnny Upton living in Abu Dhabi and being invited to hockey games” and signing autographs.

Nicholls said those trying to connect the game’s concussions to “Slap Shot” are missing the point.

“The film is timeless,” he said. “Sure it is violent at times, but it is cartoon violence.”

The movie has many memorable moments — and its biggest fans can recite the dialogue by memory.

When the Newman-led Charlestown Chiefs take the ice before a game, one of the Hanson Brothers punches an opponent in the face, knocking him down during warmups. The two teams immediately begin brawling, littering the ice with discarded gloves and sticks. An announcer, wearing a red-checked sport coat, tells listeners: “There’s no one to stop it because there are no officials [yet] on the ice. What has come over the Charlestown Chiefs?”

Despite Newman’s star power, the Hanson Brothers — with their long hair, thick black glasses and penchant for wrapping their knuckles with tin foil before a game — stole the show.

Movie remains popular

The movie, directed by George Roy Hill, who also directed “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” lives on.

John Lindberg, a financial planner in Minneapolis, has a Minnesota Fighting Saints jersey once worn by Jeff Carlson, and has loaned it to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth, Minn. On the Hanson Brothers website, one fan wrote that he planned to have a copy of the film buried with him when he died.

“It’s great to know that we’ll be going to your grave with you,” the brothers replied.

Joe McMahon is a former equipment manager for the NHL’s New York Islanders, and his Lee and Aidan McMahon Foundation raises money for liver, brain tumor and hospice charities. The foundation has used Chris Murney, who played Tommy Hanrahan, the movie’s hapless goalie, to help raise money. An autographed Hanrahan jersey, said McMahon, is still one of the most sought after items when former NHL players come to his charity golf tournament and auction.

But the foundation, unlike the film, deals with life’s realities, McMahon said. “That stuff at the NHL level didn’t exist to that extreme [as in the movie],” he said.

  • related content

  • November 2013: Former Gopher part of NCAA concussion lawsuit

    Thursday May 8, 2014

    A former University of Minnesota linebacker is one of three college players who are part of a lawsuit that was...

  • 2011: The NHL's concussion dilemma

    Thursday May 8, 2014

    Solutions are elusive as the league seeks what might be impossible: making the game safer without sacrificing speed.

  • From left, Steve Carlson, Jeff Carlson and Jack Carlson during Minnesota Fighting Saints training camp in 1977.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: S. Maness 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit - WP: D. Price 12 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1
Seattle - LP: C. Young 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Hammel 6
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 3
San Francisco 7 Bottom 6th Inning
Colorado 6
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 0 1st Qtr 12:34
Louisville 0
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 13 FINAL
Calgary 28
Indiana 84 FINAL
Chicago 86
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close