Netflix has just released the first segment of a five part docuseries and this body of work isn’t “trash”; in fact, it’s gold. In this first installment the epic story of the Danbury Trashers is no longer “untold”–it’s now out there for all to see. The Trashers, led by then garbage hauling magnate Jimmy Galante, made history in Danbury, Connecticut, by launching a minor league hockey franchise that drew major league attention from the sports world and beyond. Without giving away the story, “Untold” Volume 1–The Danbury Trashers, details the rise and fall of a prolific and controversial minor league hockey team that created a must see “event” in Danbury and arguably in the Northeast region of this country. It certainly drew the attention (and sometimes the ire) of the hockey world in general.
Editor’s Note: The Trashers were part of the United Hockey League which was on the level of a double A baseball team.
The story begins with Jimmy Galante’s patriarchal efforts to fulfill his son’s passion to be around and involved with the game of ice hockey and indeed at the young age of 17 “AJ” Galante–Jimmy Galante’s son–became the president of The Trashers. AJ Galante, a likeable and charismatic personality in his own right, quickly learns the ropes and proves that he’s up to the task in true Galante fashion.
Spoiler Alert: One of AJ’s first “press conferences” occurs while he’s attending school at New Fairfield High while in the hallway on a cell phone. However, the “conference” was then terminated when a teacher walked by.
The balance of Volume 1 is devoted to the FBI investigation that eventually brought about the end of the Galante trash-hauling empire and the talismanic pain and pleasure that this franchise created for its unwavering fan base on a nightly basis. Along with the way viewers are also introduced to many of the original Trashers and their supporting cast (of particular interest is Tommy “T-Bone” Pomposello, the equipment manager). Also deserving of special mention are the “Section 102” fans and they don’t disappoint here. The names and the stories present a perfect storm where The Sopranos are married to Slap Shot but in the end the whole thing just works–magnificently too.
For a moment of flavor, just consider some of the storied and feared Trashers players that reigned terror throughout the UHL at that time such as Jon “Nasty” Mirastry, Garrett “Rocky” Burnett, and, Brad “Wingnut” Wingfield. However, at the same time The Trashers also brought in NHLer Mike Rupp (NHL strike year) and even Wayne Gretzky’s brother. And if that’s not enough to clue you in as to what you are going to see consider this pre-game prep strategy; on at least one occasion the Trashers jerseys were soaked in Crisco so opposing players would have difficulty in grabbing them. Anyone, can we say “controlled chaos”?
In the end Part One of this docuseries tells a great story and one that should be told. Kudos to Netflix for making a great selection. But then again, it seems like the Trashers legacy and their tales are again getting picked up by many. For example, in an eye opening gesture, rap megastar Drake recently posted a picture of himself on social media while donning a Trashers jersey. Indeed, people are again talking about the storied Trashers team and although history may never repeat itself with another similarly situated franchise, we also know that this story won’t ever wind up in the trash either. It certainly doesn’t belong there.
Check out the trailer for “Untold”–Volume 1 below.