In discussions of the greatest sports movies of all time, all too often, a certain spectacular comedy gets ignored. The film I have in mind is Slap Shot and if you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out.
It looks like the town in Pennsylvania that inspired the original film is going to get a new minor league hockey team:
A group of investors is relocating a junior league franchise from Alaska to Johnstown, where the comedy movie about a minor league hockey team that turns to violent play to gain interest in a failing factory town was filmed.
James Bouchard, the chairman and chief executive of private investment firm Esmark Inc., is heading the deal bringing the North American Hockey League’s Alaska Avalanche to Johnstown, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Bouchard’s group, Johnstown Sports Partners LLC, announced the deal at a news conference Thursday in a ticket lobby packed with fans and local dignitaries at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, where the yet-to-be-renamed team will play.
“Slap Shot” was based on the Johnstown Jets and released the year the team folded, 1977. The movie starred Paul Newman as player/coach of the fictional Charlestown Chiefs, and much of it was filmed in the city and the 4,000-seat War Memorial Arena.
The movie helped inspire a group to found the Johnstown Chiefs, another minor league team, in 1988. The Chiefs never turned a profit in the flood-ravaged, former steel town before moving to Greenville, S.C., in the ECHL two years ago.
“When you say `Slap Shot’ and Johnstown, it’s nationally recognized,” Bouchard told The