(This segment aired on XM Radio in January, 2009)
When actor Paul Newman passed away in 2008, hockey fans paused to recall Newman and the 1977 film Slap Shot.
The film is based on a screenplay written by Nancy Dowd, based in part on her brother Ned Dowd’s experiences playing minor league hockey in the United States in the 1970s, during which time violence, especially in the low minors, was the selling point of the game.
At the time, Dowd was living in Los Angeles, when she got a call from her brother Ned, a member of the Johnstown Jets hockey team. Her brother gave her the bad news that the team was for sale. Dowd asked her brother who owned the club, and he told her that he had no idea. Dowd would move to the area and be inspired to write Slap Shot.
In addition to being based on the Johnstown story, much of the movie was also filmed there.
In this Journey into Hockey, we speak with Bill Bredin, GM of the Johnstown Chiefs, about Johnstown, its hockey history and the impact of Slapshot on the community.
It was filmed in Pittsburgh & Johnstown, Pennsylvania (Cambria County War Memorial); and upstate New York (Utica Auditorium and the Onondaga County War Memorial Auditorium in Syracuse).