November 21, 2012
Here’s the thing about a “Slap Shot’’ night like the Tribune is sponsoring: You can’t stage that kind of evening without a Hanson Brother. Not in my world, anyway.
And so, we’ll be joined by Steve Carlson. If you’re not sure which brother he played, he was, of course, Steve Hanson.
If you couldn’t tell the brothers apart, he’s the one with the cracked lens who tells the referee “I’m listening to the (bleeping) song.’’
And if you’re still not sure, then just know you’re repeating his immortal line, “Puttin’ on the foil!’’
I told you we were working on some surprises.
By the way, while so many of the events in “Slap Shot’’ are true, the real-life Hanson Brothers never actually put on the foil before taking the ice.
Nope, the Carlsons roughed up the knuckles of golf gloves, wet them down, and dried them overnight to make them stiff. Then before games, they donned the gloves with the now-prickly, painful surface and immediately got into fights, the better to bloody opponents before the leather softened.
We’re going to Skype with Carlson on the same big screen on which we’ll show a restored 35mm print of the greatest sports movie ever. Tribune movie critic Michael Phillips and I will interview Carlson, and we’ll see if we can open it up to audience questions.
This is Stevie Sunshine’s attempt to help depressed hockey fans ignore the mind-numbing NHL lockout. It all takes place at the Music Box Theater on Dec. 6. Tickets are just $15. Go to chicagotribune.com/slapshot to purchase a seat and get additional details.
Carlson played pro hockey for 16 years, including that glorious championship season for the Johnstown Jets, after whom the Charlestown Chiefs and “Slap Shot’’ are modeled. He also spent five years in the defunct World Hockey Association and one in the locked-out NHL.
Get a load of this: While skating in the WHA, he played for Edmonton and New England, so when you include “Slap Shot,’’ Carlson has the distinction of playing on teams with Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe and Paul Newman. Not even Gretzky and Howe can say that.
He has coached high school and minor-league hockey, and these days Carlson operates stevecarlsonhockey.com and hansonbrothers.net. As you might guess, those sites offer all the Hanson Brothers posters, DVDs and autographed jerseys. Oh, and Hanson Brothers bobbleheads, home and away.
“Hi Ogie. Buy you a soda after the game?’’
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