The O.I. with Chris Nilan


Manage episode 291749664 series 1789891
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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, Massachusetts) 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. 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 1980s. One of only nine players in National Hockey League (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, the most penalty minutes in a single playoff season at 141, as well as the record for most penalties in a single game; on March 31, 1991, when the Hartford Whalers visited Nilan's Bruins, Nilan was assessed a record ten penalties: six minors, two majors, one misconduct and one game misconduct, for a total of 42 penalty minutes.[1] Seriously hobbled by repeated injuries, Nilan missed over two hundred games in his final five seasons, and would only play as many as 50 games twice in his final four seasons. He retired after the 1992 season. Highlights of his career include winning the Stanley Cup in 1986 with the Canadiens, being named to Team USA for the 1987 Canada Cup, and his controversial 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.