According to writer Randy Feldman, he wrote the first draft of the screenplay for the movie as a comedy/action movie parody. The only scene that remained in the finished film was the scene where Van Damme fights the penguin mascot.
The announcer used in the movie is actually the Pittsburgh Penguins' real announcer Mike Lange. He also uses some of his trademark sayings such as "Scratch my back with a hacksaw" and "Call Arnold Slick in Turtle Crick". The color commentator is also the current Penguins radio play by play man, Paul Steigerwald.
Several members of the Pittsburgh Penguins make appearances in the movie. The most prominent member was Luc Robitaille, who scored the game tying goal. Markus Näslund - virtually an NHL unknown at the time, but later a league superstar with the Vancouver Canucks - also appears. The Chicago Blackhawks were played by the Cleveland Lumberjacks (Pittsburgh's IHL affiliate at the time). Ian Moran (a Lumberjack at the time; now in the NHL) played Chris Chelios.
Peter Hyams wasn't interested in making the film when he first heard about it, thinking it was a lame idea for an action film. But Jean-Claude Van Damme recruited Hyams after accepting the lead role, and Hyams liked Van Damme's ideas for the film enough to agree to sign on as director.
James Woods was originally considered for the role of Joshua Foss - later played by Powers Boothe -, but he turned down the part because he didn't like the direction of the character. That same year the film was released, Woods acted alongside Boothe in Nixon (1995).
The goalie equipment and uniform number 35 used by Tolliver is the actual equipment designs of Tom Barrasso, the Penguins goalie at the time. Barrasso declined a role in the film, but gave permission for the filmmakers to use his equipment during shooting.
The Penguins and Blackhawks actually met in the Stanley Cup Finals once in real life. In 1992, the Penguins swept the Blackhawks in four straight games to capture their second straight Stanley Cup championship. In the years following the film's release, the Penguins would win the Stanley Cup in 2009, 2016 and 2017. The Penguins also appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008, where they were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings.
Following the film's release the Pittsburgh Penguins would win three more Stanley Cup championships. The Pens defeated the Detroit Red Wings in 2009, the San Jose Sharks in 2016 and the Nashville Predators in 2017. The Penguins appeared in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2008, but lost to the Detroit Red Wings.
The Chicago Blackhawks would win the Stanley Cup three times since the film's release. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010, the Boston Bruins in 2013, and the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015, all in six games each.