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Most memorable hockey movies

Remembering classic films as 'Slap Shot' turns 40 years old Feb. 25

NHL.com @NHL

They put on the foil a long, long time ago. "Slap Shot" turns 40 this month.

Originally released on Feb. 25, 1977, the George Roy Hill cult classic stars Paul Newman as Reggie Dunlop, an aging minor league player/coach who resorts to goonery in order to boost attendance for the failing Charlestown Chiefs. It is simultaneously ridiculous and unforgettable.

NHL Network debuts its look at the making of "Slap Shot" on Wednesday at 8 pm ET.

The cartoonish violence and R-rated insults made it perhaps the best-known hockey movie of all time. But there are plenty of others in the hockey movie genre.

From true stories to improbable premises, here is a look at some of the most memorable hockey movies other than "Slap Shot."

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"Goon" (2011)

You may recognize: Sean William Scott, Jay Baruchel, Liev Schreiber, Eugene Levy, Alison Pill

Plot: A friendly but directionless bouncer named Doug Glatt (Scott) has a gift for fighting and is picked up by his local minor league team to play enforcer. He becomes one of the most popular players despite having little-to-no hockey skill.

Famous line: "Why are you crying? Did you just watch 'Rudy'?" -- Doug Glatt

What makes it memorable: Scott is funny as the simple-minded Glatt, and Baruchel is wild and raunchy as the best friend. But Schreiber steals the show as Ross Rhea, a grizzled veteran enforcer who knows Glatt's future because he's already lived it. A sequel is coming in March.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"Tooth Fairy" (2010)

You may recognize: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal, Stephen Merchant

Plot: Derek Thompson (Johnson), a mean minor-league hockey player known for knocking out the teeth of opponents, must pay for his misdeeds by becoming an actual Tooth Fairy in this kiddie flick.

Famous line: "Does this tutu make my butt look big?" -- Derek Thompson

What makes it memorable: Thompson spends so much time in the penalty box, he has his own team-themed recliner that he can lounge on while serving his time.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"The Rocket" (2005)

You may recognize: Roy Dupuis, Stephen McHattie, Sean Avery, Vincent Lecavalier

Plot: A biopic based on the life of Hockey Hall of Famer Maurice "Rocket" Richard. It focuses on the obstacles and injuries he overcame, as well as the target on his back throughout his playing career, highlighted by his Montreal Canadiens winning the Stanley Cup five consecutive times.

Famous line: "Richard, people are saying you are a waste of money. A waste of money! You're playing tonight." - Montreal coach Dick Irvin

What makes it memorable : The movie opens by portraying the "Richard Riot," an incident from March 17, 1955, when Canadiens fans in attendance at the Forum rioted in reaction to Richard's suspension, which lasted for the remainder of the 1954-55 season, including the playoffs. Tensions are eased by Richard himself, who accepts his suspension and vows to return the following season with a Stanley Cup (they would go on to beat the Detroit Red Wings).

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"Waking up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story" (2005)

You may recognize: Tom McCamus, Victoria Snow, Kris Holden-Ried

Plot: Based on the best-selling book "On Family, Hockey and Healing," written by Wayne Gretzky's father, Walter, the movie takes a look at the process of recovering from a stroke that nearly killed him but also left him unable to remember his son, who we all know as The Great One.

Famous line: "Where it's going, not where it's been." -- Wally Gretzky, remembering advice he gave Wayne about seeing the ice.

What makes it memorable: After the movie concludes, some real-life footage of Walter Gretzky rolls with the closing credits and shows him talking with players, signing autographs for kids and enjoying himself on the ice.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"Miracle" (2004)

You may recognize: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson

Plot: Coach Herb Brooks (Russell) puts together a team of young U.S. amateur players to try and upset the powerful Soviet Union at the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics.

Famous line: "I'm not looking for the best players, I'm looking for the right ones." -- Herb Brooks

What makes it memorable: Even though you know the outcome, the journey getting there is so much fun you still end up on the edge of your seat. Russell's portrayal of Brooks is one of the best performances of his career.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"Mystery, Alaska" (1999)

You may recognize: Russell Crowe, Hank Azaria, Mary McCormack, Burt Reynolds, Michael McKean

Plot: A small-town pond hockey team led by John Biebe (Crowe) ends up in the game of a lifetime, outdoors in Alaska against the New York Rangers.

Famous line: "Every ex-player turned coach says that they prefer coaching over playing. Why would they all say that? Because they can't play." -- John Biebe

What makes it memorable: The plot may be far-fetched, but the movie is not without its charm as the rag-tag band of misfits comes together as a team. It is also far and away the best movie ever made that features an NHL team playing in Alaska.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"Happy Gilmore" (1996)

You may recognize: Adam Sandler, Christopher McDonald, Carl Weathers, Julie Bowen, Kevin Nealon, Verne Lundqvist, Bob Barker, Ben Stiller

Plot: Hockey player Happy Gilmore (Sandler), who isn't the strongest skater, uses his incredible slap shot to become golf's longest driver. He makes the PGA Tour while trying to earn enough money to buy back his grandmother's foreclosed house.

Famous line: "364 days until next hockey tryouts! I gotta toughen up!" -- Happy Gilmore, while standing in front of a pitching machine and getting hit multiple times by baseballs.

What makes it memorable: The absurd premise may be far-fetched but is grounded in reality (many hockey players are also excellent golfers). But Sandler's outlandish behavior, foul mouth and the contrast with his loving behavior toward his grandmother make this story a surprisingly sweet one.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"Sudden Death" (1995)

You may recognize: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Powers Boothe, Raymond J. Berry

Plot: During Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks, terrorists take the Vice President of the United States and others in his luxury suite hostage; they plan to blow up the building at the end of the game if a ransom isn't paid. Fans don't know they are in danger, but former fireman Darren McCord (Van Damme) does. With his kids at the game, he has to save the day.

Famous line: "Have you had any contact with the aggressors?"

"I killed two. Is that contact?" -- Darren McCord

What makes it memorable: This one delivers what it promises, though it doesn't promise much more than a lot of action and gory bad guy deaths. You can probably visualize this movie's entire storyboard in your mind without ever seeing it, but then you would be cheated out of Van Damme fighting the Penguins mascot and playing goalie in perhaps the most ridiculous third act in the history of cinema.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"The Mighty Ducks" (1992)

You may recognize: Emilio Estevez, Joshua Jackson

Plot: A selfish lawyer named Gordon Bombay (Estevez) is forced by a court to coach a terrible pee wee hockey team as part of his community service sentence. He learns to love the team and game again.

Famous line: "You think losing is funny'?
'Well, not at first, but once you get the hang of it." -- player Les Averman to Bombay

What makes it memorable: Both a formulaic sports movie and kid's movie, it still manages to be charming and funny to hockey fans of all ages. It even spawned two sequels and an NHL team.

Then there's this tweet:

Tweet from @AnaheimDucks: ������ FLYING V ALERT ������ pic.twitter.com/wx8FXPE5AF

 

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"The Cutting Edge" (1992)

You may recognize: Moira Kelly, D.B. Sweeney, Terry O'Quinn

Plot: Retired, rough-and-tumble hockey player Doug Dorsey (Sweeney), teams up with figure skater Kate Moseley (Kelly), who has an icy personality, to form an unlikely duo that goes on to compete in the Winter Olympics and, of course, fall in love.

Famous line: "I don't like to see her upset."

"If I were you I'd invest in blindfolds." -- Doug Dorsey

What makes it memorable: It may be a paint-by-numbers rom-com from the 1990s, but Kelly is perfect as the frigid figure skater and Sweeney has a pre-Paul Rudd era Paul Rudd-ness that plays well despite what, at times, is underwhelming dialogue.

Watch: Youtube Video

 

"Youngblood" (1986)

You may recognize: Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves

Plot: Hotshot American prospect Dean Youngblood (Lowe) is sent to a struggling Canadian junior team to turn it around while running afoul with his wild band of teammates, opposing goons and the coach's daughter.

Famous line: "You know what Gordie Howe got for a signing bonus? A team jacket!" -- coach Murray Chadwick

What makes it memorable: It's wild to see three future leading men (including the late Swayze), in a raunchy, coming-of-age story before any of them really launched their careers.

Watch: Youtube Video

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