Leapin' Lizard

Super Trooping From Hollywood To Hockey-wood With Broken Lizard’s Eric Stolhanske

Eric Stolhanske, left, with Jay Chandrasekhar on the set of their new movie, ‘The Slammin’ Salmon.’Eric Stolhanske, left, with Jay Chandrasekhar on the set of their new movie, ‘The Slammin’ Salmon.’

The five members of the Broken Lizard comedy group (Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and Erik Stolhanske) have spent years perfecting their comedic and movie-making talents. The quintet has written, produced and starred in several of today’s most popular comedies, including “Super Troopers,” “Beerfest” and “Club Dread.”
   
But movies are not the only passion for one of the five members. Stolhanske has been juggling life as a Hollywood A-lister and a diehard hockey fan.

A graduate of the Breck School in Minneapolis and then Colgate University, Stolhanske has always been close to the hockey action, whether he’s been on the ice or watching from the sidelines.

Taking a break from filming the newest Broken Lizard project, “The Slammin’ Salmon,” Stolhanske spoke with USA Hockey Magazine before boarding a plane to Keystone, Colo., for St. Louis Blues forward Dan Hinote’s wedding.

Eric Stolhanske mingles with NHL players Casey Borer, Zach Parise and Mark Parrish at a charity fund-raiser put on by Matt Cullen.Eric Stolhanske mingles with NHL players Casey Borer, Zach Parise and Mark Parrish at a charity fund-raiser put on by Matt Cullen.

When did you start playing hockey?
I grew up in Minneapolis where we used to skate every night. Every park would get flooded in the winter, so we had a ton of outdoor rinks. I started skating when I was probably 3 or 4 years old and  always just played growing up in the wintertime.

When is the last time you played?
I used to play pick up games in college [at Colgate University]. We had noon games where the professors would throw on pads. My English professor was in the goal when I stole a puck and was on a breakaway. I was so excited to score that I blew out my knee and haven’t skated since. I’ve gotten a lot stronger so I need to get back out and skate again.

So you do plan on playing again?
I would love to actually. Danny Hinote invited me to the St. Louis Blues Hockey Fest. I ended up being an assistant coach with Bobby Hull but was kind of jealous because a lot of the guys got out there and skated. I think maybe next year I’ll try to get out there and play.

Is there any trash talking between you and the NHL guys?
Danny said he’s going to put me in my place with a “Welcome to my world” as he checks me over the boards. I certainly would be skating with my head up, that’s for sure.

Eric Stolhanske (in the wedding dress?!) takes a spin with the rest of the Broken Lizard crew on the set of their upcoming movie “The Slammin’ Salmon.”Eric Stolhanske (in the wedding dress?!) takes a spin with the rest of the Broken Lizard crew on the set of their upcoming movie “The Slammin’ Salmon.”

How would you fit hockey into your Hollywood schedule?
Phil, who works in our office, and our buddy Matt, who was in Beerfest, they play in an intramural hockey league, so it would just be trying to fit in another night in the amateur league out here. Those guys love it and talk about what a great time they have. It is hard to find time sometimes, but you need that recreation. Hockey is so much fun.

"We would love to make a hockey movie."

Do any other members of Broken Lizard play?
Steve Lemme went to a boarding school in Colorado and he was a goalie. So he and I are the guys that kind of go to the charity events. We’re both pretty involved.

Any plans for a hockey movie?
We would love to make a hockey movie. I don’t know if we’ve made any direct hockey references in [the others] but we would certainly love to make another movie. It’s just so hard. Slap Shot was just a classic. It’s one of our favorite movies.

Would you give any cameos to the NHL guys?
Stephane Yelle [of the Calgary Flames] is lobbying for it. I would love to give cameos to some of our friends. When we shot “Beerfest” in January, we wanted a couple of the guys to come out. Hinote and Brad Larson from Atlanta were going to come but it’s kind of hard for those guys to get away during the season.

Any memorable hockey moments?
We did have great moment, probably one of our favorite hockey moments. At Shjon Podein’s charity event three years ago, it was Steve Lemme, Paul Soter and myself. Somebody said, “Peter Forsberg is requesting your presence on the dance floor” and we went out there and he had the DJ play “Super Troopers” from ABBA.

Issue: 
2008-10

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