Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NHL Lockout, Let's watch Slap Shot!

In lieu of showing NHL hockey, TSN in Canada is showing the movie Slap Shot this evening. I for one think it's a great idea although, if you don't own your own copy of the movie you're not a real hockey fan. There is however something about the "collective experience" of watching a broadcast of a movie. So, in honour of this and the fact that the movie is celebrating it's 35th anniversary this year, we look at what happened to the characters of Slap Shot, post 1977.

Reg Dunlop
Player/coach Dunlop did indeed take the same job in with the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the WHA. Unfortunately for Reg, the team ceased operations before he could even unpack his moving truck. He would however sign with the Indianapolis Racers and ended up playing Right Wing with a 17 year-old Wayne Gretzky for 8 games in 1978 before that franchise folded a month later. Dunlop would then move to suburban New York City where he invested in his ex-wife Francine's beauty salon. This venture also failed by the mid 80's and Dunlop returned to his childhood home outside Des Moines, Iowa where he grew Soya Beans until his death in 2008.

Dave, Steve and Jeff Hanson
The trio graduated from the Federal League to the WHA in 1977/78 when they joined the Quebec Nordiques. Upon joining the NHL two years later when the leagues merged, the brothers enjoyed great success for many years as the Nords became the only team in hockey history with TWO full forward lines of brothers. They also famously endorsed Fanta Grape and Orange Sodas in a series of popular commercials which they continue to this day.

Ned Braden
Braden returned to his alma mater of Princeton where he coached the hockey team to three national titles. He now lives in upstate New Hampshire.

Joe McGrath
Returned to his roots after the Chiefs folded and became coach of the International League's Omaha Knights (where he had coached in 1948). McGrath finally retired from hockey in 1979 and became a successful fashion show promoter until his death a year later.

Denis Lemieux
Lemieux would join the NHL's Montreal Canadiens in 1978 and shared in the Vezina Trophy in 1981 along with Dennis Herron, Rick Walmsley and Bunny Larocque with each goalie playing exactly 20 games. He retired from hockey in 1988 and  is now an certified allergist. He runs a thriving allergy clinic in his hometown of Thetford Mines, Quebec.

Morris Wanchuk
"Mo" signed as a free-agent with the Southern Hockey League Pensacola Manatees. Played here until 1986 when he took over as coach. He retired in 1995 and currently lives in a retirement community in a southern state.

Jean-Guy Drouin
Joined the Nova Scotia Voyageurs of the AHL in 1978 and would have 12 short stints with the Montreal Canadiens throughout the early 1980's. Perhaps his greatest moment came when he assisted on the Round Two overtime winning goal to defeat the Hartford Whalers in 1986 on the way to Montreal's Stanley Cup win.

Billy Chalesbois
Played with Colorado Rockies the New Jersey Devils where he mentored the likes of Joe Cirella and Ken Daneyko. Became part owner/head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors in 1987 and currently lives in semi-retirement in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.

Ogie Ogilthorpe
Remained with the Syracuse Bulldogs in the Federal League until retiring in 1988 having collected over 386 games in suspension over his career. Is now a pastor in La Pas, Manitoba.

Andre "Poodle" Lucier
Returned to semi-seclusion in Northern Quebec where he married the widow of Denny Pratt, victim of an unfortunate tragedy.

Tim McCracken

Known for his "scalpel-like precision" as a player, McCracken would retire from hockey in 1979 enrolling at Rutgers Ophthamalogy school. He founded the Lasik eye surgery method in 1985 and currently enjoys retirement in Butte, Montana.

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