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LOGLINE: A journeyman hockey enforcer battles team rivals, drug addiction, and head injuries on an arduous quest to realize his dream and play in the National Hockey League.




1 Reviews | 108 pages | 2 years ago | Draft 1
Jesse ‘the Sandman’ Sanderson was once a feared enforcer playing at the highest level in the National Hockey League. During one ill-fated game Jesse is hit with a sucker punch by rival enforcer Joey McCloud, fracturing his skull. Unable to play for a year, Jesse developed an addiction to painkillers and alcohol, leading to the end of his NHL career. After years of bouncing around amateur leagues, Jesse winds up in a lower-tier southern hockey league.

Jesse continues his role as an enforcer for the Columbia Ice Hounds, living with his girlfriend Sarah and young daughter Lucy. Jesse longs to return to the NHL so he can provide for his family. However, Jesse is not the imposing fighter he once was and continues to lose fights on the ice causing a strained relationship between himself and his coach. The coach recruits Joey McCloud to the team and after a fight with McCloud in a local bar, Jesse is arrested with oxycodone in his vehicle and is released from the team.

Jesse travels back to his home town in Saskatchewan to visit his ailing father Jack Sanderson, a former professional hockey enforcer who now suffers from Parkinson’s and dementia. Jack never wanted his son to follow in his footsteps as he knows the suffering and pain the role can cause. Jack reminds Jesse he used to be a great goal scorer when he was younger. Jesse argues he knows his role and the team expects him to fight. If he refuses they will no longer have use of him. Jesse receives a call from his agent that the Louisiana Voodoo has offered him a contract for the rest of the season. In his first game for the Voodoo he fights and defeats the unofficial heavyweight champion. Afterwards he is approached by an NHL scout offering him a position with the Tampa Bay Lightning if he continues the tough play. The next game Jesse fights and lands hard on his head causing a concussion. Jesse is warned by a doctor that another hit could be debilitating or even fatal. Sarah gives Jesse an ultimatum, to either retire or lose her and Lucy. Jesse refuses to give up on his dreams and causing Sarah to take Lucy and leave.

With his concussion symptoms worsening Jesse is hit by the news that his father has passed away. After the funeral Jesse learns his team will be playing the Ice Hounds in the first round of the playoffs. Jesse decides to play against the will of Sarah and his doctor. At the game Joey drops the gloves for their final showdown and Jesse shockingly skates away. Choosing not to fight Jesse scores his first goal of the season and McCloud is ejected from the game for shoving a referee. Afterwards, Jesse dedicates the goal to his father and retires from hockey for his health and family. He emerges from a rehab facility two months later into the waiting arms of Sarah and Lucy.

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Peer Reviews

I like that you get right into the action on page 1.

Jesse is a likeable character. An underdog with a sick kid and a dream. The NHL not wanting meat wagons anymore makes him all the more sympathetic.

The characters and setting evoke The Wrestler, Bull Durham, North Dallas Forty.

This is an interesting look into a world I’m not familiar with. An enforcer actually rubs Vaseline onto his face, like a boxer? Wow.

I lik...

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