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Chris Nilan: Wikis

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Born February 9, 1958(1958-02-09),
Boston, MA, USA
Height
Weight
6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Position Forward
Pro clubs Montreal Canadiens
New York Rangers
Boston Bruins
NHL Draft 231st overall, 1978
Montreal Canadiens
Career 1979 – 1992

Christopher John "Chris" Nilan (born February 9, 1958 in Boston, Massachusetts) is a retired professional ice hockey player. Nilan played 688 NHL regular season games as a right-wing for the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, and New York Rangers between 1980 and 1992. He won the Stanley Cup in 1986 with Montreal. Known as "Knuckles," he was famous for his propensity to fight.

Contents

Amateur career

Nilan grew up in Massachusetts where he idolized Bobby Orr and dreamed of playing for the Boston Bruins. He played his youth hockey with the Parkway (West Roxbury, MA) team of the Greater Boston Youth Hockey League (GBYHL), sponsored by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC). He later played college hockey for the Northeastern University Huskies, from 1976 to 1979, averaging 3.5 penalty minutes per game in his final collegiate season.

Pro career

Nilan was selected 231st overall in the 1978 NHL Entry Draft, and was best known as a tough-guy for the Montreal Canadiens in the mid 1980's. One of only nine players in NHL history to have recorded more than 3,000 career penalty minutes, he holds the records of highest penalty minute average per game at 4.42 minutes per game, as well as the record for most penalties in a single game. It was March 31, 1991, when Hartford played at Boston. Nilan was penalized a record ten penalties; six minors, two majors, one misconduct and one game misconduct, for a total of 42 penalty minutes.

Seriously hobbled by repeated injuries, Nilan missed over two hundred games in his final five seasons, and retired after the 1992 season. Highlights of his career include winning the Stanley Cup in 1986 while with the Canadiens, being named to play for Team USA in the 1987 Canada Cup and his controversial all-star selection to the 1991 NHL All-Star Game by his then-coach Mike Milbury (Nilan missed the game with a broken left ankle), which led to changes in how players are selected for all-star games.

Career statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1979–80 Montreal Canadiens 15 0 2 2 50 5 0 0 0 2
1980–81 Montreal Canadiens 57 7 8 15 262 2 0 0 0 0
1981–82 Montreal Canadiens 49 7 4 11 204 5 1 1 2 22
1982–83 Montreal Canadiens 66 6 8 14 213 3 0 0 0 5
1983–84 Montreal Canadiens 76 16 10 26 338 15 1 0 1 81
1984–85 Montreal Canadiens 77 21 16 37 358 12 2 1 3 81
1985–86 Montreal Canadiens 72 19 15 34 274 18 1 2 3 141
1986–87 Montreal Canadiens 44 4 16 20 266 17 3 0 3 75
1987–88 Montreal Canadiens 50 7 5 12 209
1987–88 New York Rangers 22 3 5 8 96
1988–89 New York Rangers 38 7 7 14 177 4 0 1 1 28
1989–90 New York Rangers 25 1 2 3 59 4 0 1 1 19
1990–91 Boston Bruins 41 6 9 15 277 19 0 2 2 62
1991–92 Boston Bruins 39 5 5 10 186
1991–92 Montreal Canadiens 17 1 3 4 74 7 0 1 1 15
NHL totals 688 110 115 225 3043 111 8 9 17 531

Post career

Nilan returned to the Boston area and went into the insurance business after retirement. He spent three years as community relations consultant for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance before returning to hockey as a coach. He was initially hired as an assistant coach of the New Jersey Devils on August 3, 1995, and remained in that position until May 1996, before becoming a head coach in the ECHL. He was hired by Rhode Island Secretary of State Edward S. Inman III as an executive assistant in April 2001.

In 2008, Nilan helped to launch a website linking former professional hockey and football legends to their fans, called vizzitt.com.

On July 15, 2009, Nilan and another man were arrested at a mall, after Lord & Taylor security guards accused Nilan of walking out with a bathing suit under his clothes. Police said that Nilan denied stealing and scuffled with the guards. The case was dismissed the following day after Nilan agreed to stay out of the store and paid $100 court costs

Awards and Achievements

External links

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