Although Hunting the Last Hamilton Tiger sounds like just another frikking nature show, this is an excellent documentary about the search for an NHL:Hamilton Tigers (1920-1925) sweater. This quixotic, good humored hockey quest airs November 4th 2009 on the Documentary Channel in Canada. This down to earth documentary is a must for Canadian hockey fans. If you miss it, an email campaign for repeats should be successful.
Hamilton Filmmaker David Wesley follows Russ Boychuck on his quest. Boychuck owns the rights to the Hamilton Tigers name should the town get itself an NHL Team -it came sort of close this year with the Phoenix Coyotes. Sports and hockey fans familiar with superstitions like the Red Sox's Curse of the Bambino, the Cubs billy goat curse, will easily understand Boychuck's obsession with the Tigers Sweater.
The quest is made difficult by the time elapsed since the Tigers became the New York Americans, the fact not many players played for Hamilton, and that there were three different sweaters which cuts down on the survival percentage of any of them.
Boychuck is not hunting for a myth. There is a mythical genuine sweater seen in the 1990s and it sold on EBay. The circumstances are nebulous and may involve a death threat.
Hunting the Hamilton Tigers features a too short trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame, sports memorabilia expos, and the guy who last owned the sweater. Although Boychuck is an easy going kind of guy, he gets desperate and decides to take more serious measures to achieve his quest including sports talk shows and Joisey.
The documentary features discussions with a man who witnessed the last Tigers game, New York sports writer Stan Fishler, Roch Carrier, Chico Resh, various sports memorabilia collectors, and a couple of more useless interviews that do not last long enough to annoy.
Hunting the Hamilton Tigers is an excellent, easy to watch, enjoyable, and informative documentary. Kudos to filmmaker David Wesley for telling the story right. You can catch this on the Documentary Channel Wednesday November 4th 2009 at 8 P.M.