The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 11, 2008

Slap Shot III finished with filming


Imagine the tough-as-nails Hanson Brothers as a trio of pacifists more into meditation and world peace than putting on the foil.

It might be difficult to believe, but the Hansons have a mellow mentality at the outset of “Slap Shot: The Junior League,” the third installment of the motion picture “Slap Shot” originally filmed in Johnstown in 1976.

Former Johnstown Jets star and ex-Johnstown Chiefs coach Steve Carlson revealed that filming of the movie concluded on June 1 in Surrey, British Columbia. Carlson plays Steve Hanson in the movies “Slap Shot,” “Slap Shot II: Breaking the Ice,” and “Slap Shot: The Junior League.”

He is joined by his real-life brother Jeff Carlson and former Jets teammate Dave Hanson in forming the bespectacled movie Hanson Brothers.

“The theme of the movie is there is a group of kids from an orphanage,” Carlson said Wednesday during a visit to Johnstown. “The head of the orphanage has left and the kids are running the ‘asylum.’ There is a girl who wants to buy the land to put condos up. The kids want to save it. They’re hiding it from everyone that they’re running the show.

“They need a sponsor. They come to the Hanson Brothers who are now into peace and love, clear your mind of all evils,” he added. “We don’t want to, but we finally do (sponsor the kids). We coach them how to pass the puck with peace and serenity, no violence and all that stuff. We’re in our long, blue robes with our hair slicked back into a pony tail. Something happens and all hell breaks loose, and we’re back. We teach them what old-time hockey is all about.”

Carlson said the Universal Studios movie is expected to be released straight to DVD sometime between August and October. The director is Richard Martin.

Leslie Nielsen stars as the mayor of Charlestown. Hockey legend Mark Messier has a cameo appearance, as does former NHL star Doug Gilmour. The orphans reside in the aptly named Newman House, an apparent tribute to “Slap Shot” star Paul Newman, who played venerable player-coach Reggie Dunlop in the original.

Carlson said the movie introduces the Hansons’ three movie sons.

“My son’s name is Toe. Jeff’s son name is Dit. Dave’s son name is Gordie,” Carlson said of the movie cousins named after Toe Blake, Dit Clapper and Gordie Howe.

In real life, Carlson visited the city to see his two grandchildren. His son, Kris and wife, Danielle, recently welcomed Colby into the world. His daughter, Melissa, has a four-month-old, Jillian.

“I’m a grandpa now, but, oh well, everyone has to get old,” said Carlson, who resides in Wisconsin. “This is the second time I’ve seen Jillian. This is the first time I’ve had a chance to see Colby. They’re great kids and they’ve got great parents.”