Steve Carlson, his brother Jeff, and Dave Hanson were all professional hockey players when they were drafted to play the brawling Hanson Brothers in the 1977 movie Slap Shot.
Slap Shot was a hit, but it was an irritant for the young men during their sports careers. "All anyone wanted to talk about was the movie," Steve says. "Nobody was asking me about the game, the way I was playing, what I did, or why I did it. All anyone wanted to know about were the Hanson Brothers. It did get a little sickening. Remember, I was a hockey player, not an actor."
What's more, because of the characters' two-fisted style, Steve, Jeff, and Dave often were forced to defend their reputations on the ice.
Steve played for ten teams during a 14-year career, including one season in the NHL with the Los Angeles Kings. He later became a minor-league coach. Dave's playing career featured ice time in nearly every league. He later was general manager of the AHL's Capitol District Islanders and manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins' practice facility. Jeff's career was shorter. After retiring from the sport, he became an electrician.
But the trio learned to embrace the movie when they reunited in 1993 and took their hockey schtick on the road. Now in their early 40s, Steve, Jeff, and Dave perform as the Hanson Brothers at charity events and NHL and minor-league games, about 80 to 90 events a year. They also hope that MCA/Universal, from whom they bought the rights to perform as the Hansons, will make a Slap Shot sequel.