March 2, 2008, - 2:26 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
If you’re a hockey fan like me, or even just a fan of “Slap Shot” one of the two greatest hockey movies ever (the other is “Miracle“), you’ll love this story. Christian Hanson, son of the only real Hanson among “Slap Shot’s” brawling “Hanson Brothers,” is profiled tonight on ESPN (see full video below). A dead ringer for his father and “uncles,” Hanson didn’t even know about his father’s stint in the 1977 movie until he saw it on the team bus. At almost 22, he plays hockey for Notre Dame.
Reminds you of the good old days before hockey was sanitized of fighting and became extremely boring:
Christian Hanson, now a junior center on Notre Dame’s hockey team, was 13 when he happened to see the 1977 cult classic Slap Shot. As it aired on screens in a bus carrying his youth hockey team, he was stunned by one of its stars – his father Dave. And, as Christian says in an ESPN feature airing Sunday, his father’s acting seemed way out of character: “I’m just sitting there watching, and I’m actually befuddled. My dad is up there hackin’ and whackin’ and beatin’ guys up – and swearing. I never saw any of this at home.”
But Dave, who hadn’t planned to show Christian the film until his son was older, says the action wasn’t choreographed: “We weren’t acting. … I left everything on the ice. That often meant dropping the gloves and knocking the snot out of the other guy.”
Dave played one of the film’s three Hanson brothers – the other two were actual brothers and not related to Dave – who are hard-nosed enforcers.
For Dave, who had NHL stints in the 1978-79 and 1979-80 seasons, it was art imitating life: He also played in the now-defunct World Hockey Association ‚Äî racking up 497 penalty minutes in 103 games.
After his playing days ended in 1984, Dave worked at a ski resort and managed ice rinks. Christian says his friends can’t guess at his dad’s past: “They say, ‘It’s amazing with Mr. Hanson, he’s just so laid-back and so quiet and such a nice person.’ “
Tags: Christian Hanson, Christian Hanson Dave, hockey, Miracle, Nephew, NHL, official, Slap Shot, the now-defunct World Hockey Association, TV Guide, World Hockey Association