In the small New England town of Charlestown, the local mill is about to lay off 10,000 workers. The town's minor league hockey team, the Charlestown Chiefs, is doing no better. After years of failure, this will be the team's last season. Exasperated player and coach Reggie Dunlop (Paul Newman) lets the club's recent acquisitions, the Hanson Brothers, play. The brothers' actively violent and thuggish style of play excites the fans. Dunlop retools the team, using violence to draw big crowds.