Wild hockey comedy ‘Shoresy’ hits Hulu, stars former NHL players

As his teammates saddled up to the poker table 10,000 feet up, the two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Los Angeles Kings put on his headphones and turned on a movie. If his feet were on the ground, they would often take him to the theater or a movie set.

Now Nolan is at the other end of the screen.

Along with his older brother Brandon Nolan [a former member of the Carolina Hurricanes] and Terry Ryan [the Montreal Canadiens first round draft pick in 1995]Jordan Nolan will lace up his skates as part of the fictional Sudbury Bulldogs in Shoresy, a new Hulu television series airing Friday in the US [it debuted in Canada on May 13].

The show is a spin-off of the popular Hulu series Letterkenny, an irreverent, ridiculous, and crude series that showcases Jared Keeso, who he portrays as the title character in Shoresy. In the form of its predecessor, the tongue-twisting, foul-mouthed Class A chirp is being stripped of layers after it joins a fourth-place senior AAA team [in a league with only four teams] and is determined never to lose again.

To help him in his quest, Shoresy enlists the services of a ragtag group portrayed by a variety of guys with pro hockey experience. Brandon and Jordan Nolan play two of three characters on the series named Jim. “It’s just crazy… I just thought this can’t be real. I’m a hockey player, I’m not an actor. ‘ Brandon Nolan told NHL.com. “[I’m] just honored to be a part of it.”

Third Jim is played by Jon “Nasty” Mirasty, who spent some time with the Minors, including two seasons with the United Hockey League’s infamous Danbury Trashers. Jonathan-Ismael Diaby, a 2013 Nashville Predators draft pick, stars as Dolo.

Ryan plays Ted “Hitch” Hitchcock, a former first-rounder from Newfoundland. Like his character, Ryan has also played in senior hockey. Four days before he traveled to Sudbury to film the show, he played a game with the St. John’s Caps of the Avalon East Senior Hockey League.

“That’s why Hitch appeals to me a bit,” Ryan told NHL.com. “If art imitates life, then this show need go no further.”

Like Ryan’s Newfoundland accent and hockey smile, “Shoresy” is a direct contrast to real life. The former NHL players wear their old jersey numbers on the show and, yes, hockey is a drool thumper with a Donnybrooks or two.

“We’ve all played a little bit of pro hockey, so I think they were just happy with what they saw and asked for input,” Jordan Nolan told NHL.com. “I think they leaned on us a little bit to make it more realistic.”

The show, which also borrowed from the Ontario Hockey League’s Sudbury Wolves, covers the game in minute detail, from the placement of the tape in the locker room, to the boys’ attire during breaks, to the DJ.

“It is [a] camaraderie. On the show, there are people in the room who tell stories and then play tunes and chirp, and as soon as they say ‘cut,’ we put on our own tunes, tell our own stories, and start chirping,” Ryan said. It’s wild how it all went … I hate to overuse the word surreal, but that’s it.” The Bulldogs quickly gelled — onscreen and off — and while he appreciated the onscreen hockey was “crisp and Clean’ is show, Brandon Nolan was even more impressed by the diversity of the cast.

“‘Letterkenny’ did an amazing job of representing different cultural backgrounds, different people of color, and then ‘Shoresy’ is no different,” he said. “There are many indigenous people. There are other people with different skin colors and backgrounds and cultural backgrounds. So it really really shows what a senior AAA hockey team would be like in a small town like Sudbury.”

Brandon and Jordan grew up in Garden River First Nation founded their organization 3NOLANS, in 2013 with her father Ted Nolan, winner of the 1997 Jack Adams Award for NHL Coach of the Year with the Buffalo Sabers. The trio offers a hockey skills development camp for First Nation youth in communities across Canada. As they inspire Indigenous youth on the ice, they now hope to do the same off the ice.

“My brother and I talked a few weeks ago about maybe we can aspire to become a couple of Indigenous youth [actors] now,” Brandon Nolan said. “Which is just crazy because if you asked me a year ago to be on a TV show, I’d be laughing right in front of you. It’s pretty crazy looking back to where we are today.”

One might think that moving from the NHL to the fictional NOSHO (Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization) would be a demotion, but for the former players involved, it’s another shot at a different kind of hockey glory.

Jordan Nolan currently works with the Kings as a community relations advisor and is studying firefighting through the Professional Hockey Players’ Association’s partnership with the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI) in Ontario. But has the movie fan been bitten by the acting bug? Would he trade one of his Stanley Cups for an acting statue?

He took a page from Shoresy and responded with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek.

“Well, I have one [2019] St. Louis Blues Cup Ring [as a ‘Black Ace’]Jordan Nolan said, referring to a late-season call-up from the San Antonio Rampage, where his veteran squad was described as having aces up their sleeves. “So maybe I’ll trade that for an Emmy or an Oscar.”

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