Dave Hanson really needs no introduction to any true North American Hockey League fan. Hanson was a last minute replacement for Jack Carlson in the 1977 hockey cult film ‘Slapshot’. Dave played Jack Hanson, one of a trio of Hanson brothers on the fictitious Charlestown Chiefs, along with Jeff Carlson and Steve Carlson.
Dave Hanson – NAHL
Hanson played parts of three years in the NAHL from 1974-75 to 1976-77, all with the Johnstown Jets. In his first year, he placed third in the league for penalty minutes with 249. Ahead of him were Gary Sittler, brother of Darryl, of the Syracuse Blazers and teammate and movie brother Jeff Carlson, also of the Jets. Just three PIM behind Dave was teammate Jack Carlson. In that first year, the brawling Jets won the Lockhart Cup, sweeping the Binghamton Dusters in the finals.
The following year was Hanson’s last full season in the NAHL. He finished second in the league for penalty minutes with 311. Ahead of him, a far, far distance away was Gilles Bilodeau of the Beauce Jaros with 451 PIM, an NAHL record.
In 1976-77, the last for the league, Hanson played just six games for the Jets before never really unpacking his suitcase for the rest of the season. Dave played for four other teams in pro hockey, the Hampton Gulls of the SHL, Rhode Island Reds of the AHL, Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA and the New England Whalers of the WHA.
Dave Hanson – Pro Hockey
Hanson played pro from 1974-75 to 1983-84 in a handful of leagues, including the NAHL, SHL, AHL, WHA, CHL, NHL and IHL. He was not drafted into the NHL but was a fourth round pick of the Fighting Saints at the 1974 WHA Amateur Draft, 59th overall. Dave appeared in 33 National Hockey League games with the Detroit Red Wings and Minnesota North Stars. In the World Hockey Association, he played 103 total regular season games with the Fighting Saints, Whalers and Birmingham Bulls.
Perhaps Dave’s pinnacle in pro hockey came in 1980-81 with the Adirondack Red Wings of the American Hockey League. He placed fifth in the league for PIM but, more importantly, won a championship. The Red Wings won the Calder Cup with a victory over the Maine Mariners in six in the finals. Maine outscored Adirondack 22-19 in the series on the strength of a 10-1 drubbing in game four.
Dave Hanson – The Author
In 2008, Hanson authored Slap Shot Original: The Man, the Foil, and the Legend. This is a firsthand account of the behind-the-scenes antics while filming Slap Shot. Dave also gets into how the movie changed his life, along with the other cast members, taking them from minor hockey league players to movie stars.
Big names abound with Bob Costas and Gordie Howe providing the Foreward. Also included are introductions from Jeff Carlson and Steve Carlson, the other two thirds of the Hanson Brothers.
The book is having a bit of a re-release on October 1, 2013. Slap Shot Original: The Man, The Foil and the Legend will once again be available via Amazon. The book qualifies for Amazon’s pre-order guarantee, meaning if you pre-order and the price drops before the book is available for shipping, they refund the difference.
If you order the book and the DVD of the original movie ‘Slapshot’, you just might qualify for free shipping if the total is $25 or more!