There are some good hockey movies out there. We were blessed with Slap Shot in 1977. We chuckled at the antics of the children in The Mighty Ducks in 1992. We reminisced with Herb Brooks in Miracle in 2004. With the 20th anniversary of one of the most memorable playoff runs in NHL history coming up next year, why not relive the ecstasy that was the 1994 New York Rangers?
Stephane Matteau’s overtime goal in the Eastern Conference Finals rocked the city of New York. The drama of Geoff Courtnall scoring in the third and then Mark Messier scoring in the same play, only to have Messier’s goal disallowed captivated us all. Game 7 kept us on the edges of our seats.
Oh yea, didn’t the Rangers captain make some huge guarantee after a Game 5 loss in the Eastern Finals?
The title could go in so many directions. The Guarantee, The Miracle on Pennsylvania Avenue or 54 Years all come to mind, but it all depends on the direction of the script.
A very important part of the movie will have to be the cast. This will have to be very carefully calculated as the personalities of the Rangers were what set them apart from other Cup winners.
So without further ado, I give you my cast list for the movie of all hockey movies:
The Captain: Neil McDonough
Shave his head and you’ve got yourself a spitting image of Captain Mark Messier. McDonough’s credentials are solid enough that he could handle a leading role as well.
The Goalie: Mark Wahlberg
Dry humor mixed with good looks… is there any other choice to play Mike Richter?
The Hero: Paul Rudd
Rudd may have to grow out a few weeks’ worth of facial hair and lose the boyish charm to play the role of Stephane Matteau. But if anyone can do it, it’s Peter Klaven.
The Conn Smythe Winner: Noah Emmerich
The guy already has a hockey-acting background, since he played Coach Craig Patrick in Miracle. It’s just a plus that he resembles the front man for the Rangers.
The Enforcer: Henry Rollins
Just put in a Rollins Band CD while watching a Jeff Beukeboom highlight video. You’ll understand.
Mr. Reliable: Tobey Maguire
This is likely to upset Adam Graves supporters (probably Adam himself), but put a helmet on the guy and get some blood under his left eye. I mean, the guy did play Spiderman.
With the brunt of the Rangers out of the way, we now move on to the villains of the 1994 playoffs.
The Devil: Mickey Rourke
Can you really picture anyone else playing Claude Lemieux? Didn’t think so.
The All-Star: Anthony Brodeur.
Martin was 22 in 1994 and Anthony will be 19 at the 20-year anniversary mark. Okay, he isn’t really an actor, but how central of a character does Brodeur need to be?
The Canucks Leader: Christian Bale
Trevor Linden was widely known for being a bag of nails anywhere on the ice. Bale is known for having a rough exterior on the screen and in real life. Perfect fit.
The Speedster: Bill Pullman
Pullman’s decision-making speed as President in Independence Day was impeccable. The same could be said for Ronning’s foot speed.
The Grinder: Sylvester Stallone
Sergio Momesso was a beast in front of the net. Look at that face. Look at it!
The Brick Wall: Jean Claude Van Damme
Van Damme ventured into the 1995 Stanley Cup Final as the backup goalie in Sudden Death. He has the experience to play the Canucks’ Kirk McLean.
The Shut Down: David Letterman
Makeup can shave some years off Letterman’s face. The only question lies in if he can skate as fluidly as Jyrki Lumme.
The Russian Rocket: Rory Culkin
Complexion and looking youthful will not be a problem for the youngest Culkin brother.
Call Paramount! Email Disney! Fax Miramax! Let’s get cracking on making this blockbuster!
Published originally in Aug. 2013
I am a former NHL media member and reporter for the St. Louis Blues, working for various media outlets. Currently, I am an NHL News Writer and Editor for The Hockey Writers. I live in St. Louis and work as a freelance copywriter in numerous industries.