Carlson Battling Back Again

Robin Brownlee
10 months ago
It was just brutal to hear that Steve Carlson, known around the hockey world as one of the Hanson brothers from the iconic 1977 movie Slap Shot, was badly injured in a bicycle accident Wednesday. He is recovering in hospital. 
News of the accident came from Carlson’s wife Vicki via his Twitter account, including a tough to look at photo of Carlson in the hospital. For Carlson, now 67, the bike wreck represents yet another challenge — he’s been battling throat cancer since being diagnosed in 2021.
Carlson, who has ties to the Edmonton Oilers, played a goon with the foil-packing Hanson brothers in Slap Shot, but he was more of a skilled player in reality. In 73 games with the WHA Oilers in 1978-79, a team that included Wayne Gretzky, Blair MacDonald, Al Hamilton and Dave Semenko, he scored 18-22-40. Carlson played all 52 of his NHL games with the Los Angeles Kings in 1979-80, scoring 9-12-21.
Prior to that, the North American Hockey League title he won in 1974-75 with the Johnstown Jets was the basis for the script that became Slap Shot, starring Paul Newman. Carlson, his brother Jeff, and Dave Hanson turned the movie into a putting-on-the-foil franchise that lasted for decades and raised almost $30 million for various charities in rinks around North America.


“It changed my life a lot because everyone thought I was tough,” Carlson told Spectrum News of his cancer battle in Lake Placid last December. “I wasn’t a fighter. I was more of a skill player. My two brothers, they were the enforcers, the goons or whatever.
“I said, ‘I’m going to beat this thing. I’m going to beat it. I’m not going to sit down and watch this take me.”
Beat it, Carlson has – at least so far. He has been declared cancer-free, although he has check-ups every six months. Carlson talked about his cancer battle with Bryn Griffiths and Dave Jamieson on their Cancer in the Room podcast. You can watch that here. It’s worth a listen. Now, the bike wreck.
We had the good fortune of running into the Hanson brothers act with the Edmonton Road Runners of the AHL during the 2004-05 season in the middle of a brutally long road trip. Raffi Torres, Kyle Brodziak, Jarret Stoll, and Rocky Thompson were on that team. It was a tough road swing and the players needed a break. Steve, Jeff, and Dave provided some laughs.
Get well, Steve.

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