Showing posts with label hanson brothers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hanson brothers. Show all posts

Monday, September 2, 2013

Dave Hanson: The Man, The Foil and The Legend

dave hanson johnstown jets nahl
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!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Paul Holmgren: Humble Beginnings in the NAHL

paul holmgren o-pee-chee hockey card philadelphia flyers
He had a fairly lengthy and successful NHL career and has been in the head office of the Philadelphia Flyers for many years. Yet, Paul Holmgren got his pro hockey start in the North American Hockey League.

Holmgren played just six games for the Johnstown Jets during the 1975-76 NAHL season. He would be known in the NHL as an enforcer but for his short stint in Johnstown, Holmgren was an offensive powerhouse who visited the sin bin relatively seldom. Afterall, the Jets had the ‘Hanson Brothers’ (Dave Hanson, Jeff Carlson and Steve Carlson) of Slapshot fame to do the team’s dirty work.

In his six games in the NAHL, Holmgren scored three goals and assisted on 12 for 15 points while sitting just 12 minutes in the box. The Jets finished first in the West Division and second overall in the NAHL. Johnstown lost in the semi-finals to eventual Lockhart Cup champions, the Philadelphia Firebirds. Also playing an offensive role for the Jets early in his pro hockey career was Bruce Boudreau.

Paul was a third round pick of the Edmonton Oilers at the 1974 WHA Amateur Draft, 38th overall. He was also taken by the Flyers in the sixth round of the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft, 108th overall. In that 1975-76 season, Holmgren also played 51 games in the World Hockey Association with the Minnesota Fighting Saints, six games in the AHL with the Richmond Robins and a single game in the NHL with the Flyers.

Holmgren played 527 regular season games in the National Hockey League between 1976-77 and 1984-85 and accumulated 1,684 penalty minutes. He was second in the NHL to Dave ‘Tiger’ Williams with 306 PIM during the 1980-81 season.

Perhaps, his career year in the NHL came in 1979-80. In 74 regular season games with the Flyers, he scored 30 goals and assisted on 35 for 65 points. Staying in character, Paul also spent 267 minutes in the box. In the playoffs, he scored ten and assisted on ten more for 20 points in 18 games. The Pat Quinn coached Flyers finished first overall in the NHL with 116 points. In the Stanley Cup playoffs, Philadelphia lost just 2 games over the first three series before losing in six games to the New York Islanders in the finals.

Holmgren has been on the Flyers staff since retiring from the game, with exception of a stint as head coach of the Hartford Whalers between 1992-93 and 1995-96. Paul has been General Manager of the Flyers since taking over from Bobby Clarke during the 2006-07 season. For the past two years, Holmgren has been also GM of the Adirondack Phantoms of the American Hockey League.