Doug Smith’s Wild Journey as a Minor-League Enforcer Now the Basis for New Seann William Scott Movie ‘Goon’
Doug Smith is about as mild mannered a guy as you could meet.
The 47-year-old functions as a police officer in Hanson, Mass., not far from exactly where he grew up in Hanover or in which he now lives in Halifax with his wife and two young daughters. So how exactly is it that a fictionalized version of Smith’s lifestyle story is now the subject of a key motion image starring Seann William Scott, American Pie’s Stifler himself, as Smith’s screen alter ego?
“I was shocked to say the least,” Smith stated. “It is not every single day that something like that takes place to Doug Smith. I lead a fairly simple existence. I’m married with a couple youngsters. I work my 40 hrs a week, and then some. I got a telephone call from Adam and he mentioned there is some Hollywood men and women sniffing around. They want to buy our book and make a film about me and we had been just in shock. ‘How? Why?’ had been all we could assume.”
Adam is Smith’s lifelong buddy Adam Frattasio, who now functions as a teacher. A couple decades ago, he was teaching Smith how to be a hockey enforcer, beginning Smith’s unusual and amazing odyssey on the ice, in which Smith was not usually so mild mannered. He battled his way up by means of the ranks of specialist hockey in a wild ride that the pair chronicled in the book, Goon: The True Story of an Unlikely Journey into Minor League Hockey.
The film version of Goon, which is previously in theaters in Canada and will open in the United States on April 13, is not a correct story. Screenwriters Evan Goldberg, one of the writers of Superbad, and Jay Baruchel, who starred in She’s Out of My League and appeared in Knocked Up and Tropic Thunder, took some liberties with the story. But the fictional tale of Seann William Scott‘s “Doug Glatt” captures the spirit of Smith’s genuine-daily life journey.
“It’s a comedy,” Smith said. “The story has a realistic side to it, but it is nearly like it really is a spoof on hockey fighting, too.
“It came out greater than I believed it was going to be,” Smith additional. “It really is not a correct autobiography. There’s a great deal of Hollywood script in it, but there are some realisms in the film that are genuine to the book and to my life, so that’s very good adequate for me. I am not going to complain.”
Smith, who played for seven teams in four leagues with stops ranging from Louisiana to New Brunswick, has been traveling practically as considerably because the film was completed. He and Frattasio were invited to the film’s screening at the Toronto Worldwide Film Festival final September, and attended a premiere in New York earlier this year.
“That was an incredible knowledge,” Smith stated. “I got to meet the directors and producers, all the actors. I got to meet Seann William Scott, who plays me so to communicate, and Jay Baruchel, who plays Adam. They have been wonderful guys. They had study our book, learning for the function so to talk, and had been excited to meet us as well. Following the film they actually referred to as me up on stage. And I don’t believe a great deal of folks believed this was based on a actual particular person and they had been like, ‘This is genuine?’ So that was actually awesome for me.”
A Insane Thought Turns into a Dream Come Genuine
And whilst the film is an entertaining take on hockey existence in the minors, with its raunchy comedy and on-ice violence drawing inevitable comparisons to the classic Slap Shot, Smith’s true story is even more exciting.
In contrast to most professional hockey players, Smith didn’t expand up skating on regional ponds or playing youth hockey. He did not skate at all until finally he was 19. That was when Frattasio came up with the concept of turning his boxer buddy into a hockey pugilist.
“Adam was the one who was a hockey player growing up,” Smith said. “I was an amateur boxer and I fought in all the neighborhood tournaments as a kid growing up, the New England Golden Gloves and all that. Adam usually felt that if I could understand to skate I could use that fighting background and I could be a goon. And back in the 80s, fighting was a enormous deal in the NHL and in the minor leagues. A guy could hardly skate but could play in the minor leagues at least just if he had the capacity to fight and the willingness to drop the gloves. That was Adam’s vision.”
So with Frattasio tutoring him, Smith hit the ice, often literally at 1st.
“I would do power skating with small youngsters,” Smith mentioned. “And folks would be like, ‘You’re like twenty many years old, what are you carrying out out right here with these 8-year-olds?’ But the moment they saw me skate they knew why.
But Smith picked up the principles properly enough, whilst also studying how to translate his fighting abilities to the ice, and inside of a handful of years, he had his 1st shot at professional hockey with a tryout for the Carolina Thunderbirds of the fledgling East Coast Hockey League in 1988.
“For me to get out on the ponds at 19 was hard,” Smith said. “I did not play in higher college. I didn’t skate as a tiny kid. I didn’t play organized hockey till I was twenty. And maybe I was lucky, possibly I was an athlete and was in a position to choose it up, but three or 4 many years later on, I was in the East Coast League.”
Smith played 28 games for Carolina that season, racking up 179 penalty minutes and adding an help for the lone point of his pro profession. A handful of games for the Johnstown Chiefs, coached by Steve Carlson, one of the legendary Hanson Brothers from Slap Shot, followed the next year. Then came a season in the New Brunswick Senior League with the Miramichi Gagnon Packers.
The Fight of His Existence
It wasn’t until the 1993-94 season that Smith got his big break, with a call-up for his first game in the American Hockey League with the Moncton Hawks. There he took on the AHL’s reigning heavyweight champ, Frank “The Animal” Bialowas, who was fresh off a stint in the NHL with Toronto, exactly where he had fought Tony Twist and Tie Domi.
Smith readily admits he came in 2nd in that bout with Bialowas, but it nevertheless represented the highpoint of his profession.
“People constantly ask me what was the very best battle you ever had and what was the worst battle you ever had, and I inform them it was the very same battle,” Smith said. “My best battle was against Frank Bialowas. He gave me the chance to battle in the American Hockey League when I got named up to Moncton.
“I commenced off rather good, but he was a strong guy and I lost my grip on his proper arm and he tagged me with two or 3 shots,” Smith continued. “I assume the point I was most grateful for was that I was ready to take a great punch. I definitely took four or five straight, challenging shots, but I was content I didn’t go down. I took the punches and skated off. I went in for repairs and took eight or 9 stitches over my eye, and it was glorious. It didn’t matter that I lost the fight. I was there. I had made it to the American Hockey League, the 2nd best league in the planet. And just a couple of many years prior to that I was skating on ponds.”
Smith had two more stints in the AHL, each with Springfield, plus a cup of coffee in the old Worldwide Hockey League with the Phoenix Roadrunners ahead of ending his profession back in which it commenced, playing a pair of games and obtaining in one particular last fight in the ECHL with the Louisiana IceGators in 1997-98.
Smith and Bialowas have never ever spoken outdoors of exchanging invitations to dance nearly two decades ago, but Smith has never ever forgotten how the veteran brawler was willing to give an unknown kid a probability that night in Moncton.
“I have by no means meet Frank Bialowas just before or after, but we have meet on the ice,” Smith said. “But if I could meet Frank Bialowas these days I’d give him a hug and a kiss and inform him thanks for giving me the chance simply because you made my lifestyle as a hockey player for true.”
In the movie, Doug Glatt does get to meet with the legendary difficult man he’s destined to clash with in the film’s climatic final scene. Glatt’s opponent, Ross “The Boss” Rhea, is played by Liev Schreiber, part of an impressive cast that also contains Eugene Levy as Glatt’s father and Kim Coates, of Sons of Anarchy fame, as his coach.
The film also ends with a touch of reality, with clips of Smith’s actual minor-league fights and interviews shown above the credits.
Staying Concerned with the Game
Smith’s very own hockey credits continued extended right after his playing days ended. He served as an assistant coach for the Hanover Substantial group for twenty years and worked as a consultant for the Bruins for eight years. Smith served as a fighting instructor for the organization, operating with young players coming from Europe and out of college to teach them how to defend themselves on ice if needed.
He also worked closely with the club’s enforcers with their AHL affiliate in Providence, assisting them to hone their fighting skills. Amongst Smith’s pupils had been heavyweights Dennis Bonvie, Doug Doull, Colton Orr and Steve MacIntyre, who all went on to spend time in the NHL.
Smith at present stays involved in the game functioning as a linesman in nearby junior leagues and the Federal Hockey League, and even now runs a battle camp every single summer.
But his principal concentrate is on his family, which now incorporates daughters Vanessa, 3, and Victoria, twenty months, and his work with the Hanson Police department, the place Smith has gone from carrying out the part of a policeman on the ice to an real police officer on the street.
Along the way, he and his lifelong pal Frattasio just happened to put collectively a book about the journey, which has now been created into a film and place Smith into a spotlight he never dreamed of when he took those very first tentative steps on the ice as a 19-year-old with a insane dream of getting a hockey goon.
“We in no way believed it would get as much focus as it did,” Smith said. “So to have a film loosely based on it is unbelievable. Who would ever have thought that?”
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