Slap Shot and the Broome County Dusters: A Legendary Hockey Connection


Hockey fans and movie enthusiasts alike are familiar with the classic sports comedy film “Slap Shot.” Directed by George Roy Hill and released in 1977, this film has earned its place in cinematic history. But what many might not know is that “Slap Shot” has a significant connection to the Broome County Dusters, a minor league hockey team. In this blog, we’ll explore the unique relationship between the Broome County Dusters and the iconic movie “Slap Shot.”

The Inspiration Behind the Film

“Slap Shot” is a cult classic that stars Paul Newman as Reggie Dunlop, the player-coach of the fictional Charlestown Chiefs, a struggling minor league hockey team. The film is known for its raucous humor, memorable characters, and gritty portrayal of life in the minor leagues. But what many people don’t realize is that “Slap Shot” drew inspiration from real-life experiences in the world of minor league hockey, specifically the Broome County Dusters.

The Broome County Dusters as the Hyannisport Presidents

While “Slap Shot” isn’t a direct retelling of the Broome County Dusters’ story, there are clear parallels between the two. The Dusters served as an inspiration for the film’s fictional team, the Hyannisport Presidents. The Hyannisport Presidents, like the Dusters, faced financial struggles and played to half-empty arenas. The movie’s portrayal of a struggling, unfiltered, and irreverent team resonated with many minor league hockey fans who recognized elements of their own experiences in the film.

Alleged Visits and Inspiration

It’s also rumored that screenwriter Nancy Dowd visited the Broome County Dusters and spent time with the players to draw inspiration for the characters in the film. Some players even claim that they could see themselves in the characters portrayed in “Slap Shot.”

Legacy and Impact

“Slap Shot” went on to become a beloved classic, not just among hockey fans, but in the broader film industry. The film’s portrayal of the grit, passion, and camaraderie that characterizes minor league hockey resonated with audiences, leading to its lasting legacy.

The Broome County Dusters may have only had a brief existence, but their indirect association with the creation of “Slap Shot” cemented their place in the annals of hockey history. The film pays tribute to the challenges and triumphs of teams like the Dusters, immortalizing their spirit in the world of cinema.