High-schtickers

MARY DICKIE

, Last Updated: 8:53 PM ET

When spring is here and the Leafs are still in the playoffs, there's no better time to be in Toronto -- as long as you love hockey, of course. Even if you're a Canucks fan.

That's at least part of the thinking behind the timely appearance by the Hanson Brothers at the Horseshoe tomorrow and Saturday night. The notorious hockey punks -- the alter egos of Victoria's Nomeansno -- are in town to wind up the locals en route to a tour of Europe.

"We thought we'd do a stopover in Toronto," says singer Johnny Hanson, aka John Wright, " 'cause it's in the middle of the playoffs, and Toronto's always a crazy and fun show for us because everyone is hockey-insane."

The Hansons, who take their name from the hockey goons in the movie Slapshot, have been going strong for nearly two decades and three albums, including last year's My Game.

"It was supposed to be a joke," says Wright. "We started because Nomeansno is a pretty serious band with more sophisticated music, but we were huge Ramones fans. We said, 'Why don't we write our own Ramones songs for fun?' We decided to write songs about hockey, love gone wrong, and beer, and the name seemed perfect."

No kidding. The Hansons are also expected to appear at the annual Exclaim Hockey Summit this weekend. The tournament features teams of musicians and other ne'er-do-wells from across the country, including the Peterborough Pneumonia, the London Fog and the Victoria Humiliation.

"We'll show up and make fools of ourselves, take the honorary first penalty or something," says Wright. "It'd be nice to get on the ice and play, but I'd probably crack my head open, and I can't be out of commission for the tour."

The Summit will also include arena "rink rock" with Bob Wiseman, Guh and Pete Elkas, and a Hockey Hootenanny at the Gladstone Hotel. Details are at www.exclaimhockey.ca.


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