Gordon Bombay is back, but a lot has changed since we last caught up with him. The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers will introduce a down-and-out Bombay who’s reached his low point living at the hockey rink he inherited from his mentor Hans. It’s a stark contrast to the smiling man we saw walking away from a cheering crowd in D3: The Mighty Ducks.
“He’s a little broken. He’s a little beat up by life, and he’s kind of hiding out,” Emilio Estevez, who reprises his role as Bombay on the Disney+ series (premiering this Friday), tells TVLine. “He’s eating pizza and leftover birthday cake from kids’ birthday parties at the ice rink that he’s managing, and he’s not managing it very well. [He’s] not managed his life very well, and this opportunity comes through his door in the form of Lauren Graham[‘s character] saying, ‘I need a place where my new team can practice,’ and it breathes new life into him. It revitalizes his soul, which we have an opportunity to see over the course of the 10-episode series.”
Since Bombay’s life is in shambles, it’s safe to say there’s no romance for the Ducks’ former hockey coach on the horizon: “There’s no love interest, there are no ex-wives, there are no kids. He’s been off the grid not dissimilarly to the way that I’ve been off the grid for the last 25 years. Obviously, I’m not sleeping on my couch, but there are a couple of parallels.”
Game Changers flips the script on the Ducks, who’ve now become the win-at-all-cost competitive team they once railed against. When 12-year-old Evan (Boardwalk Empire‘s Brady Noon) gets cut from the Ducks, he and his mom Alex (Gilmore Girls‘ Lauren Graham) form their own hockey squad in the hopes of fostering a fun environment that challenges the cutthroat ideology the Ducks currently subscribe to. In many ways, Evan is this generation’s Charlie Conway (played by Joshua Jackson in the original Mighty Ducks films) — an earnest kid who simply loves hockey and is the key to bringing everyone together.
“He’s a kid who’s being raised by a single mom, and that was Charlie’s dilemma as well. Bombay filled that father figure in his life that was absent,” Estevez says of the parallels between Charlie and Evan. “In the film, I had to fill that role more so than I do in this series. Alex is really way more present and way more involved because she takes on the job of coaching the team.”
Alex may be stepping in as coach, but that doesn’t mean Bombay will stay on the sidelines forever. “[Bombay starts] as the assistant coach, and without giving away any spoilers, is forced to step up towards the end of the of the series,” Estevez adds.
With Game Changers continuing the Mighty Ducks legacy, fans can expect plenty of Easter eggs and even a few familiar faces to drop by. We already know that Episode 6 will feature a special reunion that includes Fulton (Elden Henson), Averman (Matt Doherty), Adam Banks (Vinny LaRusso), Connie (Marguerite Moreau), Guy (Garret Henson) and Kenny Wu (Justin Wong). According to Estevez, the door is always open for other alumni to appear.
“Obviously, we’d like to have Josh [Jackson] and Kenan [Thompson] come back and join us in subsequent seasons,” he explains. “I’m an executive producer, but I’m not a writer on the show. If it were up to me, I’d write them all in, and then we’d see them all come back. But we’ll see.”
For more on The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers (and the chances we’ll see Bombay lace up his skates again), press PLAY on the video below: