Dave Hanson knows business management. He also knows how to check someone into the boards...hard.
Hanson is the general manager of the Robert Morris University Island Sports Center (ISC). He's best known, however, for his role as Jack Hanson, one of the infamous Hanson brothers in the 1977 feature film classic "Slap Shot," starring Paul Newman.
Hanson was born in Cumberland, Wisc., and grew up in St. Paul, Minn., where he attended the University of Minnesota on a full academic scholarship after being recruited by legendary hockey coach Herb Brooks. He won two national championships with the St. Paul Vulcans junior team before being drafted by the Minnesota Fighting Saints of the World Hockey Association. He also played in the North American Hockey League with the Johnstown (Pa.) Jets and in the NHL for both the Detroit Red Wings and the Minnesota North Stars.
In 2002, Hanson and his fictitious brothers reprised their famous roles for "Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice," and again in 2008 for "Slap Shot 3: The Junior League." His new book, Slap Shot Original. The Man. The Foil. The Legend: Dave Hanson, was released in October.
1. How would Jack Hanson fare as manager of the Island Sports Center?
Jack would do great. He'd be popular with all the hockey and figure skating moms (chicks love the glasses), and all the kids would want to play with him and his race car set.
2. How has your experience playing hockey helped you in your career?
It helped me establish a network of friends and associates in the ice rink and recreation business. Through them, I've been able to have a dependable resource of knowledge to draw from whenever necessary.
3. What have you enjoyed the most about making the "Slap Shot" movies?
The connection with millions of people who are great fans of the movies and the Hanson brothers has been a thrill, and it's given me the opportunity to help many of them through charity work.
4. What makes the Island Sports Center such an asset to RMU and the community in general?
It's a great place for people of all ages and abilities who like to skate, play golf, or work out. And it gives them a place to do it in a safe and fun way.
5. What was the most difficult part of writing your autobiography?
Clearly remembering the details of some parts. But, that also made it fun by giving me a reason to contact some of those who were involved in certain aspects of my life in order to help me recall.
6. What NHL player today is most like Jack Hanson?
There are none that come close. Jack had it all: good looks, charisma, intelligence, and he was tougher than anyone who dares
to "put on the foil."
7. What is the Putting On The Foil Foundation?
In "Slap Shot," the Hanson Brothers put foil on their knuckles before each game. It's one of our fans' favorite parts of the movie, so I decided to use the phrase for my foundation. Putting On The Foil is just my way to contribute, through the sales of my books, to Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang charity camp, the world's largest family of camps serving children with serious illnesses.
8. You worked with Paul Newman. What do you think made him so special?
If you didn't know what Paul did behind the scenes, you'd never know the special things he did. He never made it about himself. His low-key manners disguised his passion to make things better for those less fortunate, like ill-stricken children in need of some extra help or compassion. Quietly, yet passionately, Paul did his best to reach out to others in need and try to satisfy those needs, not only through the money he raised but often through humor and hands-on participation.
9. What's was the bigger honor: Being on the cover of Sports Illustrated or having a bobble-head of yourself?
Although the bobble-head is pretty cool, being chosen for the cover of SI is something that only a select few have had the privilege of experiencing. Plus, the bobble-head makes my head look goofy.
10. What's next for the Hanson Brothers?
"Slap Shot 4: The Senior League."