John Scott’s story is far from the only one in the hockey world worth telling. Here are four other players who’s ups and downs are worthy of the Hollywood movie treatment.
By now every hockey fan, and many non-hockey fans, know who John Scott is. The journeyman NHL enforcer with five career goals was voted by fans to captain the Pacific division squad at the All-Star Game.
It was a joke that turned into a controversy for the NHL that turned into a heartwarming story when his teammates embraced him and he was named MVP of the game. It was indeed like something out of a movie.
So it was no surprise when news came that Scott had been approached about turning his story into a movie.
But Scott’s story is far from the only one in the hockey world worth telling. Here are four other players whose ups and downs are worthy of the Hollywood movie treatment.
Tootoo’s career has been as heart-warming as it is gut-wrenching and comes with as many road blocks and difficulties as there are triumphs. He’s a smallest-of-small town kid, hailing from Nunavut’s Rankin Inlet, and he’s overcome addiction and loss to become a fan favorite everywhere his NHL career has taken him.
During his junior career, Tootoo was a star and beloved player. That love extended to the 2003 World Junior Championship, where Tootoo’s rugged style of play endeared him to Canadian hockey fans. But all his accomplishments, including the world juniors silver medal, came as Tootoo was playing through one of the darkest periods of his life following the suicide of his 22-year-old brother, Terence, in August 2002.
By the time Tootoo broke into the NHL, he was already dealing with some demons, and his career nearly went off the rails. His pugilistic, wrecking-ball style of play made him a cult star with the Predators, but off-ice he was battling with alcohol and starting to slide. It was Nashville GM David Poile who gave Tootoo the choice: rehab or the unemployment line. Tootoo got clean and he’s stayed clean ever since en route to becoming just as much a fan favorite in Detroit and New Jersey as he was in the Music City, which he left in 2012.
Sure, he’s not an all-star, but he’s overcome a lot and could serve as an inspiration to many. In the long run, that could count for more than any goal or assist of Tootoo’s ever will. (Jared Clinton)
Growing up in the most poverty-stricken, drug-riddled housing project in Canada by a single mother, Glen Metropolit didn’t stand a chance. Spending most of his childhood in foster homes, Glen Metropolit didn’t stand a chance. Never playing beyond house league hockey, never having been drafted in any league of consequence, never having any outside guidance in his life or his hockey career, Glen Metropolit didn’t stand a chance. Having a brother who would later in life be sent to prison for kidnapping and beating a prominent Toronto couple, then kill an inmate while in prison, Glen Metropolit didn’t stand a chance. But that kid with all those obstacles against him did make it to the NHL and played 400 games before taking his talents to Europe and still playing well into his 40s. The story of Glen Metropolit is The Blind Side with hockey sticks. (Ken Campbell)
Our film opens with a place line: Flint, Mich., 1986. A young teenager, knocking on doors in a Midwestern town with a bushel of apples in his arms. When no one answers, he peers through the windows and gets someone’s attention inside. When they come and open the door, he makes his sales pitch and reveals his trick: twisting an apple in half with his bare hands. When the homeowner asks the kid what he needs to money for, he says “I want to play hockey.”
This is the Tim Thomas story. His parents hocked their wedding rings when he was seven so that he could play. The costs kept holding him back and he worked various jobs while dreaming about being Miracle on Ice goalie Jim Craig. He goes to Europe when glory eludes him in North America. And then, as he begins his thirties, he becomes the best goalie in the world, winning the Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins. Success is heady and just two years later, he sits out the entire season.
How is this not an incredible film? Add in the White House controversy if you like, but either way there is a lot of compelling stuff here. Chris Pratt is Tim Thomas, Oscar Isaac plays Roberto Luongo. Eddie Redmayne plays both Henrik and Daniel Sedin. We sweep the Academy Awards. (Ryan Kennedy)
Theo Fleury would give us such an important and multilayered story, full of tragedies and inspiring redemptions. We’d see him overcome his size in an era where smaller players faced a lot more discrimination. We’d see him lift the Stanley Cup as a Calgary Flame. We’d learn about his struggle with the horror and the secret of being sexually abused in major junior by coach Graham James.
We’d learn about Fleury’s battle with substance abuse and depression. And we’d see how he survived so many trying things in his life to become a real success story and mentor. Fleury’s movie would be heavy and emotional but uplifting in the end. The story has been told in documentary form, as Theo Fleury: Playing with Fire was adapted from his book in 2011. (Matt Larkin)