The family friendly story of Gordon Bombay, the coach of an underachieving pee wee hockey team, as he reluctantly leads the team forward. Through the team he learns as much as he could ever teach them, to accept himself.
Bill Murray was considered at one point for the role of Coach Bombay, but was eventually considered too old.
Coach Gordon Bombay
Thank you very much, Mr. Ducksworth! Quack Quack Quack Quack Quack, Mr. Ducksworth
Plot SynopsisGordon Bombay was a highly paid and successful lawyer in Minneapolis, however after celebrating too hard after a court win and subsequently getting arrested for DUI, he's sentenced to community service. For his service work he's assigned to coach a pee-wee hockey team, drudging up bad memories of his past. As a kid in the league he blew a penalty shot to win the championship, disappointing his coach Jack Reilly.
Meeting the team he's been assigned he realizes that they are the Cleveland Browns of the pee wee league with nothing to help them get better. In the first game they are crushed by Coach Reilly's hawks in the same rink Bombay blew the title, his second place banner still there amongst all the first place ones. In an effort to improve the team, Bombay encourages diving in the next game, but the team goes too far and overacts to the point where the ref threatens to have them forfeit the game. Unsure what to do next, Bombay visits his old mentor Hans. In the store he discusses how the death of his father caused him to quit hockey, and Hans gives him a pair of skates, telling him he needs to get out there and rekindle the fire within.
Bombay asks his boss, Ducksworth, to sponser the team. With the new equipment, time dedicated to improvement, and name (The Ducks), the team ties their second game. Throughout the season, the ducks also add three new players to further improve the team. with Charlie Conway becoming Bombay's protege. Despite the lackluster play, an entire team withdraws with measles, which can help get the Ducks into the post-season. Unsatisfied with the talent on his on roster, Bombay discovers Hawks star Adam Banks lies within the Ducks boundaries. Approaching Coach Reilly he demands that Banks switch teams, Reilly refuses and blasts for him for trying to poach his player when the Ducks have no chance to win. Bombay admits this, and is overheard by two of his own players. Informing and demoralizing the reast of the team, only two Ducks (Conway and Fulton) show up for the next game, causing a forfeit.
After considering resigning as coach, and being informed his community service is over, Bombay has another head to head confrontation with his boss. Ducksworth informs Bombay that he has made an agreement with the league for Banks to stay with the Hawks. With his community service supposed to teach him fair play, he's infuriated by the agreement to violate the rules for the Hawks. Remembering his Father's words "
"a team isn't a bunch of kids out to win. A team is something you belong to, something you feel, something you have to earn." and faced with the decision to lose his job as a lawyer or drop the league complaint, he responds with "QUACK! QUACK! QUACK!".
Knowing he needs to earn his team back, he arrives at their school (weirdly they all go to the same school), where they have all received detention for quacking in class. Delivering a superb pep talk, he convinces the team to play for him still. Winning their final game, and finally having Banks join the team, The Ducks make the playoffs and Bombay begins to fall for Charlie's mom. Playing together as a team, since Ducks Fly Together, they win the first two playoff games, setting up a final showdown with the dreaded Hawks.
In the championship game, the Ducks fall behind early, and Reilly is seen informing his goon squad to take out Banks. Banks scores a goal but is injured on the play, taking him out from the rest of the game. The Ducks rally around Banks injury and tie the game. Satisfied with the tie and ready to force OT, Bombay is relaxed. However, Charlie Conway, the protege, is hauled down from behind as time expires, resulting in a potential game deciding penalty shot. Reminded of his past, he contrasts Reilly approach, telling him that he's proud that Charlie made it this far (Reilly told Bombay he would embarass the whole team if he missed). Employing a "triple deke" (which is not a deke its just basic stickhandling), Conway scores the goal giving the Ducks the title.
In the final scene, Bombay is shown getting on a bus to head to a minor league tryout, however he promises the Ducks to be back next season since they've got a title to defend! and Ducks Fly Together! QUACK QUACK QUACK!