Slap Shot: How The Hanson Brothers Hijacked Paul Newman's Hockey Classic

The most dangerous trio on the ice. Source: IMDB

When Paul Newman made the hockey comedy Slap Shot, he might not have expected to lose the spotlight to the Hanson Brothers. It's a funny script, Newman plays a good character, and the movie is entertaining from start to finish -- but the thing about it that sticks with audiences is the outrageous trio of Jeff, Steve and Jack Hanson.

There are sports movies and then there's Slap Shot. This 1977 comedy about the Charlestown Chiefs, a flailing minor league hockey team that eschews good sportsmanship in favor of a roughneck, blood-and-guts style of playing that turns them into local legends. On one hand, Slap Shot is an underdog story about a group of never-weres and also-rans who come together to spit in the face of success, but it's also about the Hanson brothers.

There is no Slap Shot without the Hanson brothers, a trio based (and played by two of the three) on the real life Carlson brothers. Sure, Paul Newman stars in the film but it's the Hanson brothers that fans are still talking about. With their coke bottle glasses, toy car sets, and knuckle dragging brand of on-ice enforcement, this trio of gangly goons are the heart and soul of Slap Shot.