By Dan McNeil-

The prospect of a winter without pucks draws closer to reality as each day concludes without movement in the NHL’s labor dispute.

Enthusiasts of the most electric spectator sport in the world gradually have moved away from disgust and anger to a feeling of helplessness and resignation. Locally, the Stanley Cup championship the Blackhawks copped roughly 29 months back now feels like a lifetime ago.

Cheer up. The Tribune’s events department has created an extravaganza which, at least for one night, is guaranteed to make a hockey fan’s sadness disappear.

Next Thursday, the Music Box Theatre at 3733 N. Southport, will present a restored 35mm print of “Slap Shot,” accompanied by a panel discussion with Trib movie critic Michael Phillips and resident wiseguy Steve Rosenbloom. Beer and wine will be served. Several hundred balding, scruffy-faced men with ample bellies will scratch themselves and loudly race each other to the punch lines in one of the greatest “guy movies” ever produced.

Rosenbloom, a top-shelf media “rat hockey” player (a left-handed stick who handles the point with precision), contends “Slap Shot” is the greatest sports movie of all time. Phillips differs. The two will drop the mitts over the issue. I’ll be third man in and assist Rosenbloom if he wobbles.

For the rest of McNeil’s column from the Chicago Tribune, please click here.

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