‘Knuckles’ Nilan joins TSN Radio 690

Former Canadien Chris Nilan will have his own show on Montreal’s TSN Radio 690 beginning Monday, March 18.

Off The Cuff With Chris Nilan will air weekdays from 1-3 p.m., with Nilan also joining host Tony Marinaro on The Intermission from noon until 1 p.m.

“There is no other team I’d rather talk about and no other city I’d rather live in,” Nilan, who was a guest on the first Hockey Inside/Out show, said in a news release. “I’m honoured to join the home of the Montreal Canadiens and work with the same passionate Habs fans that welcomed me with open arms during my hockey career.”

Said Mitch Melnick, host of Melnick In The Afternoon on TSN Radio 690: “When Chris made it clear he wanted to pursue a career in broadcasting we made no promises. What we did do was open a door so he could reconnect to the city he loves and to the many fans who love him. To his credit, Chris has kicked that door down.”

Nilan spent 13 seasons in the NHL, including 10 with the Canadiens. He holds the franchise record for most career penalty minutes (2,670), but also scored in double figures three times in his career, including a 21-goal season in 1984-85 and 19 in 1985-86 when the Habs won the Stanley Cup.

Below is a feature story The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell wrote about Nilan when the documentary The Last Gladiators, focusing on his life, had its Montreal premiere last October. The film was released Tuesday on DVD.

(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)

Documentary brought Nilan to tears

PUBLISHED IN THE GAZETTE ON OCT. 25, 2012

BRENDA BRANSWELL
THE GAZETTE

In the opening sequence of The Last Gladiators the only things visible on the black screen are Chris Nilan’s hands.

He points out past wounds from hockey fights: Teeth in his hand, a shattered knuckle, the spot where his finger was almost bitten off.

The documentary film about hockey enforcers features interviews with former National Hockey League tough guys about the role. There are clips from Marty McSorley, Tony Twist and the late Bob Probert, among others.

But the main focus is Nilan, who racked up more than 3,500 penalty minutes in his 13 years in the NHL and earned the nickname Knuckles.

Through interviews with Nilan, his family and childhood friends – along with former teammates and hockey writers – the film looks at his career, his slide into drug addiction after he retired and subsequent recovery.

Nilan was in tears when he first saw the documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011.

“It was tough for me to watch,” he said.

The focus on Nilan was because he was such an interesting character and “so exceedingly honest about himself, the league, everything,” said Alex Gibney, the director.

“And that made him just extraordinarily compelling.”

In the documentary, retired enforcer Todd Ewen, who played for the Habs in the early 1990s, described himself as a “regretful tough guy.”

“I loved the game of hockey and I didn’t like my role,” Ewen said.

Nilan said in an interview this week that he loved to fight, but didn’t grow up longing to be a fighter.

“I grew up with dreams of being Bobby Orr.”

When it became evident that wasn’t going to happen, Nilan said: “The fighting avenue opened up an opportunity to become a hockey player and that to me was key.”

Fighting was easy for Nilan. The hard part was becoming a hockey player, the guy who plays every shift with his line and can be relied on to play in different situations.

“I achieved those goals,” Nilan said. “And that to me, that’s the thing I’m most proud of.”

Nilan spent 10 seasons with the Canadiens and in three consecutive seasons in the mid-’80s scored 16, 21 and 19 goals, respectively.

He feels indebted to the Canadiens for not limiting him to one role.

“They weren’t satisfied with me just being a fighter- and that started from Day 1,” Nilan said. “(Former coach) Claude Ruel worked with me day in and day out. I loved the man. I mean, I absolutely love Claude Ruel.”

Others helped Nilan when he was with the Habs, like former coach Jacques Lemaire who told Nilan he fought too much.

“I almost didn’t trust him when he told me that,” recalled Nilan, because he grew up watching the Bruins in Boston and “once a guy stopped fighting he was out the door.”

“So if anything, like I said in the film, I kicked it up a notch.”

In the film, Nilan, who underwent 26 different surgeries over the years, talks about his struggles after he retired. He ended up taking painkillers, which helped in the short term, “but once I got addicted to them, I was a slave to it.”

He went into treatment for a few months, but began drinking again, and eventually starting taking pills again and shooting heroin.

After a bad car accident in which he narrowly missed an 18-wheeler, “I said I got to try and kick this stuff,” Nilan recounts in the film. He went into treatment again.

The most moving moments occur when Nilan and his father, Henry, a former Green Beret in the U.S. army, get emotional on screen. He was with his dad when the elder Nilan watched the film for the first time and was dying to see his response.

“And afterward he said to me: ‘Geez, I wish I was able to get the questions ahead of time.’”

Nilan believes it bothered his father in a sense that it comes out in the film that he was ashamed of his son. But Nilan sounds like he took it in stride. “If that’s his true feelings and that’s how he felt, then c’mon, that’s what it is,” Nilan said. “And that’s okay.

“It was hard for me to watch, but it’s okay because those were his feelings and he expressed them.

“They’re so happy I’m sober and clean,” he said of his parents. “It was hard on my family.

“My dad didn’t understand a lot of it. Listen, if I had cancer, if I had that disease, I think my father would have been so sympathetic to me.”

But Nilan’s affliction happened to be the disease of addiction, he added, and people look at that as self-induced.

Nilan said he strongly believes he would have had the same problem had he been a lawyer, a mailman or worked on the back of a garbage truck.

When he was approached for the film, Nilan had just come out of drug and alcohol treatment.

He believes many people identify with and like enforcers.

“But I don’t know if they really know what each and every guy goes through to fulfil that role that he has, which I believe is the most difficult role in sports,” he said.

“I hope people see just how tough it is for the guys to have played that role.”

He also believes the film will give people a sense of hope.

“No matter how bad things get in our lives, there’s al-ways something deep down inside us that we can tap into that will allow us to get back on our feet and change our lives.”

611 Comments

  1. Mattyleg says:

    Yeeeaaaahhh!!!

    Go Pens.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  2. Mattyleg says:

    Booins lookin’ bushed.

    2-2.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  3. jols101 says:

    Anyone know anything about the Bruins backup goalie? He is standing on his head.

    • Danno says:

      What kind of powder are they sprinkling on Clod’s jelly donuts?

      Bath salts?

      ________________________________________

      “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
      Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

    • habs-fan-84 says:

      Was watching the game and saw that tonight lol was wondering if anyone was going to mention that

    • Habilis says:

      Yeah that made me laugh when I saw it live. He’s such a clown. He’s complaining there about Kunitz’s head snapping back… The guy got smacked in the mouth with a goalie paddle, so he reacted. It wasn’t embelishment in the least. But of course, anyone who draws a call against the “honorable” Bruins must be acting.

      Julien should be worried about more important things anyhow, like how many doughnuts he’s going to eat on the plane ride home.

      • ffenliv says:

        I think pretty much every high-sticking call is sold by the players, but *everyone* does it, and the contact is, after all, illegal.

        Julien is indeed a clown. I’m sure his guys sell those every game.

        Every player in the league reacts like all the contact to the face, no matter how minor, might have cut them for 20 stitches.

  4. Mattyleg says:

    So this is a pretty funny story… until you get to the end, and see what the American guy says.

    The U. S. of Craaazaay.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  5. HNS says:

    Bruins backup is giving Pissburgh a Halaking tonite.

  6. HabinBurlington says:

    Greg Millen is awful, he and PJ Stock both add nothing to a hockey broadcast.

  7. Phil C says:

    I have to defend our man Travis. Here is a link to the Moen-Thornton fight. Only 10% voted Thornton the winner, 40% voted Moen the winner, 50% called it a draw. Moen was the one throwing bombs and Thornton was the one hanging on. Moen can go with the middle weights, like Thornton. I think our boy deserves a little more love.

    White and Moen are not fighting or hitting a lot because it is not a part of the Habs game plan. Going for the big hit often puts you out of position for the forecheck. The Leafs tried to play a physical style against the Habs last time – and failed miserably. I’ll take Montreal’s puck pressure style over that any day. It just means players like Moen, White, and Armstrong are worried about positioning on the ice more than punishing hits. The Habs are not going to win playing physically, so why try? They are not built like Toronto. They can win using their speed and it’s working.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I took a look again and you know what, Moen is a bit more aggressive in that scrap than I though. My bad.

      And BTW, it’s my job to stick up for Moen around here! ;-).

      And yeah, there’s no point in upgrading with a tougher guy than Moen, White or Armstrong unless Therrien reverts back to letting his 4th line fly around like wrecking balls again. He has clearly told them to cool it and play smart and avoid fighting.

  8. Mattyleg says:

    Come ON Pens, 5-on-3!!!
    Jeezis…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

    • ffenliv says:

      At this point, I’m forced into rooting for the Bs. As much as I don’t want them to win, Pittsburgh mounting a comeback will probably just result in a 3-point game, which I want even less.

  9. Mattyleg says:

    Yay Mods!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  10. frontenac1 says:

    Core Perry just tossed from the game after delivering a blindside headshot to Zucker.Zucker was down and out for 5min and was in Never Never land when helped off the ice.

  11. HabinBurlington says:

    Jets 3 Leafs 1, great game with great energy!

  12. Steven says:

    Looks like the mods took care of business

  13. Bardya says:

    Shots are 30-6 in favor of Panthers after 2 periods?

  14. HabFab says:

    Ahhh fresh air!!!!

  15. HabinBurlington says:

    Jets just killed off a full 2min. 2 man powerplay by Leafs. Awesome to watch!

  16. Chrisadiens says:

    All this spamming reminds me of TelloHab, or Tellopost or whatever his name was. Just plugged his site and then would insult HIO.

    It’s no mystery what happened to him.

    Chrisadiens and HabFan10912, one of the few father son tandems on HIO.

  17. habsfaninboston says:

    Mods must have the night off.

  18. HabinBurlington says:

    Love it, Leafs had just tied Jets, but next shift Jets get lead back. Wunderbahr!

  19. habs001 says:

    If you are a contending team but your goalies playoffs stats are as follows….26 games played 8w 15l… gaa 2.84 save% .90 ..i wonder how many fans on this site would say that does not look good for that team…These stats belong to Price and he has to elevate his game in the playoffs…

    • mdp2011 says:

      Ok, I will bite. 4 wins 8 losses, 3.50 .895% playoff career of Conn Symth winning goalie before he won the cup. I let you figure out who that is.

  20. habstrinifan says:

    See the size of the guy Ottawa acquired.. Mark Kassian for 6th round pick. And dont knock his ‘pedigree’ although he has not beeen successful so far. H e was drafted in the 2nd round(57th).Who knows with a coach like Maclean this may be a diamond in the rough. I know I would have taken him.

    • Bill says:

      Matt Kassian. Big, mean, not a hockey player. Ottawa doing knee-jerk stuff in response to Toronto’s goon tactics. Kassian was on waivers a few weeks ago and anyone could have had him for free … all passed. Tells you something.

      Full Breezer 4 Life

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Paul McLean is as old school as it gets. He even makes me wonder sometimes ;-). He and Randy Carlyle are both firm believers that winning fights helps win hockey games. Claude Julien is a member of that club as well.

      Two of them are Stanley Cup winning coaches as well.

  21. Mattyleg says:

    P-Burg taking it to the Pooh-ins, but lots of long shots with nobody in front of the net.

    Incredible how similar Boston looks to Montreal, first period was work, work, work, skate, skate, skate; now it’s contain-contain.

    There’s really freakin’ little between our teams.

    And for those who place a lot of worth in size, Pens aren’t much different to us, and I don’t see the Booinz pushing them around. I think people who say we get hammered by Boston are too sensitive to checks put on us during our games.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  22. HabinBurlington says:

    Watching the Jets vs. Leafs game on Leafs TV is virtually identical to watching a Bruins game on NESN except the Leafs aren’t as good as the Bruins.

  23. frontenac1 says:

    Re/Anthony Stewart. I think he is playing in the AHL with the Kings farm club. He was playing in England during the lockout I believe. He was a real Power Forward in Junior 10yrs ago with the Fronts. Explosive speed and natural touch around the crease. Not a scrapper but could dust the goons with ease. He was injured in FLA with the Panthers and was never quite the same again.Haven’t seen him play in awhile . Hope he is getting it together because he was one of my favourites.Saludos!

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I lived in Oshawa when Stewart played for Kingston and Ben Eager played for the Generals, both were the leaders of their respective teams. Both fantastic power forwards in junior. Stewart was supposed to have a bit more offensive upside but has never found his stride in the NHL. Eager is unfortunately having a tough time with concussions.

  24. habstrinifan says:

    Chris Nilan talking about Claude Ruel: I shed a tear or two just reading it. Cause I loved them both for the memories and dedication they gave this franchise.. Wish you the best Chris. I have to admit that I am a little scared for you in this new endeavour caus eyou may be hurt… cause you are too honest and raw without pretense. Best of wishes and I am pulling for you.

    “They weren’t satisfied with me just being a fighter- and that started from Day 1,” Nilan said. “(Former coach) Claude Ruel worked with me day in and day out. I loved the man. I mean, I absolutely love Claude Ruel.”

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      This Nilan quote hits home with me:

      “No matter how bad things get in our lives, there’s al-ways something deep down inside us that we can tap into that will allow us to get back on our feet and change our lives.”

  25. jols101 says:

    If Moen was the Moen of 2 or 3 years ago, I would be absolutely fine with our 4th line. He has lost a lot of his edge and tenaciousness. I think it has to do with concussion issues.

  26. Habitant in Surrey says:

    yardbarker.com; http://network.yardbarker.com/boxing/article_external/boxer_tracks_down_twitter_troll_forces_him_to_apologize/13120864

    TROLLS: …those that hide behind a keyboard in some dark dank corner and attack, demean or slander another human being, including public celebrities such as athletes

    …this link is an amusing story of a boxer in England that had friends trace the troll, and showed up at the troll’s home :)

  27. HabFanSince72 says:

    Shots 11-5 for Pittsburgh but Boston leads 2-0.

    • HabinBurlington says:

      Re: Your most recent comment about Price, Perhaps it was the three earlier posts disparaging Price I noticed.

    • habstrinifan says:

      And they deserve the lead… Pittsburg have been tentative and careless in this game… in my opinion.

      • HabinBurlington says:

        The road to the Cup Final in the East definitely runs through Boston. While I despise everything the current Bruins stand for, they are the team to beat.

        • habstrinifan says:

          Which is why I have been thinking all day to ‘let them have 1st place’ I dont want our guys burnt out tying to ootdo them in the standings. Of course it doesnt work that way cause our guys are professionals.

  28. Stuck_in_To. says:

    I always thought a dumb brute was just that. So I don’t get the concept behind the drive to get a dumb brute to intimidate another team’s dumb brute. Dumb brutes cannot be intimidated. Death himself can not stop players like Cooke or Neil from injuring another team’s stars. Only the league either legislating such things out of the game or seriously addressing NHL hockey culture issues will do that. So the real question is, do dumb brutes win you hockey games? The answer is no. The next question might be whether they can stop the other team from injuring your players and the answer again is no. The whole goon, fighter issues is a side bar to scoring and preventing goals.

    A good team coached by a good coach does not get distracted by side bars or let the other team dictate the play.

    The Prust experiment has proven that hardy and tough hockey players are what is required in our uber-physical sport. Gallagher — may he play many years without concussion — is another example of just how that works. Emelin, face plates and all, taking Chara’s “justice”, is another way that works.

    I suppose some might say it is a question of whether you take your scotch neat or on ice. But I will never drink a scotch with a guy like Neil whereas I would stand Mr. Nilan the drink of his choice, even should he choose soda. Cheers.

  29. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    Pittsburgh’s goaltending is a sad and cruel joke to an otherwise stacked roster.

    If the playoffs started today (or the day after Diaz and Bourque are healthy), this conference would belong to one of only two well-rounded teams in the entire conference, and you can guess who.

    Fleury and/or Vokoun can not win playoff series against a serious team.

    Ottawa may continue to perservere through adversity, but I wouldn’t bet on its sustainability.

  30. jols101 says:

    No need mortgaging the future. Add a little toughness up front and on D, otherwise go with what we have. Shouldn’t have to give up any crucial building blocks to achieve this. Swapping some redundant parts i.e 5’8 forwards or small puck moving dmen. We have a lot of those. Maybe adding a 2nd rounder to sweeten the offer but not a great prospect or 1st rounder IMO.

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      A 4th, 5th or 6th defenseman and a tough 3rd or 4th liner and I’m happy. Defensemen must be able to handle 17mins a game and the forward at least 10mins, for starters.

      • jols101 says:

        Agreed, and like I said getting those two pieces shouldn’t mean having to give up a Tinordi, Beaulieu, Dietz or a 1st round pick. Again, IMO.

      • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

        Hobie, what do you think about the players I mentioned below, A. Stewart and Peckham? Not that they’re being marketed, but I am sure they are available.

        I think they provide adequate ability without shaking the core and would cost zero in the way of significant assets. Also no contract commitments.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Is Anthony Stewart in the NHL at the moment. He looked like a sure fire power forward coming out of junior. I heard he was getting into trouble off the ice. Saw him make stops in ATL, CAR and maybe FLA? A couple years ago I thought that maybe he won’t make it as a top 6 anymore and could make a good grinder. Haven’t heard his name in a long while though.

          And Peckham, I know he’s tough as nails but is he an upgrade over Boullion? Would he crack our top 6 D. If not I’d rather a guy who can play every night, even if it means sacrificing a bit of toughness.

          • HabFab says:

            Stewart was in England but now Manchester of the AHL.

          • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

            He was good for Atlanta two seasons ago, 14 goals, 25 assists (a minus 10 but it was the Thrashers), last year in Carolina he had 9 goals in 77 games, but was only given 8 mins a game, ended a -2. Again, not a good team to play for much of last year, but his stats still don’t look bad considering the TOI.

            Peckham is much the same story. And with stats that were relatively equal with Bouillon while Peckham was playing for the lowly Oilers, you could argue he has been better last year and the year before compared to Bouillon – as well as 6 inches taller, 40 lbs heavier, and 12 years younger.

            Not bashing Bouillon, I’ve always liked him, just noting the realities.

            I’d wager that Peckham would do more for this team than A. Stewart, who is in the AHL currently (doing well there), but if we’re just looking for a 4th liner, I don’t see him as a downgrade, that’s for sure. As for him off the ice, I haven’t got a clue. Of course, that’s always a serious aspect to consider.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            If Peckham was a solid 6th D I’d take him in a second. Just haven’t seen him play enough or heard enough about him.

          • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

            In the Oilers games i have been subjected to due to living without cable and waching HNIC night games from across the lake over the years, I’d say he fits the bill well. But I’m no scout.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            I mentioned in a few other posts today that I like Smid. I usually catch a few Oilers games a year and his name comes up a lot on the Oilers blue line. Peckham has been hurt for many of the games I’ve seen.

    • HabFab says:

      I appear to have identified the wrong dorval down below.
      Sounds like him though so maybe a DNA test is in order :)

  31. Bash says:

    Congrats Knuckles!

    One of my prized Habs items is a photo of Chris with his fist up the side of a certain Tiger’s face. Yes he was a Canuck but Chris was well aware of my anti anything Boston stance and he signed it,

    “Buck Foston, Go Habs!”

    “If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” (anon)

  32. HabFanSince72 says:

    Just a clarification. When I mentioned Price’s fatal flaw (giving up heartbreakers) some of you interpreted this as an attack on our hero.

    Remember Greek mythology.

    The flaw doesn’t diminish the hero – it is what makes him heroic .

  33. HabFab says:

    In case you missed it. Bourque resumed skating today and Diaz was cleared for off ice work outs.

  34. jols101 says:

    Trading Price for Peckham ? Surly this was suggested as a joke?

  35. munch17 says:

    I don’t know if Habs will do much at trade deadline.
    I don’t see which of the top 4 D-men would move down
    Markov – Emelin
    Subban=Gorges
    are pretty good top four.
    Frankie B is doing the job and Diaz will be back.
    I wouldn’t want them to give much away for insurance.
    As for forwards- again – good chemistry.
    The guys who have been disappointing during the season – e.g. Moen or Armstrong are exactly the type of guys teams trade for at the deadline – and this is why they were signed.
    Hopefully someone will want to pick up Kaberle.

  36. Psycho29 says:

    And while we’re on the subject HAPPY 60TH RON JEREMY !!

    :-)

  37. FunkyCrabChairNF says:

    I do want Peckham, but not for Price lol

    He should be able to be had for almost nothing.

    I would say adding Peckham, even if he only plays against certain teams, and someone like Anthony Stewart to replace Armstrong makes this team a lot bigger and tougher, and therefore better. If the 4th line is not going to hit, they could at least score OCCASIONALLY. They do nothing.

    EDIT should have been better, not two biggers

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      I’m not sure what Therrien is up to? It looks as though he’s told White and Moen to hold back. I don’t mind him telling them not to take stupid penalties and instigate fights but they’re not banging and crashing like they seemed to be doing the first 5-10 games.

      I wouldn’t mind Therrien a loosening their leashes a tad more but you can’t argue when the wins keep piling up.

      • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

        I agree regarding complaining while leading the conference. Doesn’t seem right. But while I don’t necessarily want to add a brawler, we need someone who will smash a body here and there, and discourage thuggery. That doesn’t mean we need our own thug, just someone like Prust but a little more physically capable.

        As for Moen and White, I could see reigning in White because he was completely bonkers earlier in the year, but Moen knows how to keep balanced and not cross the line. He had more intensity on a line with Plekanec under Martin. That’s inexcusable. He should be playing like Bourque, with less skill mind you.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Again, it seems like Therrien has stopped the 4th line from playing aggressive/smart hockey and told them to only play smart hockey.

          Sounds great but a little more jump there would be nice. It’s like Therrien said to everyone that Prust is the only guy allowed to run at people and drop the gloves out there?

          • FunkyCrabChairNF says:

            I say its a possibility, but Moen just looks limp out there. You can be smart and not be a daisy. Armstrong is more noticeable than Moen in terms of forechecking. He’s just more offensively challenged than Moen, a feat in itself, which is why I would give him the boot upstairs first. Dumont also looked better than any of those three.

  38. savethepuck says:

    Go Pens!
    Go Jets
    Am I forgetting anybody?

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  39. ed says:

    Hey Nilan,

    Congratulations!

    My brother owned a Nilan “30″ jersey and I wore it when ever I could . I owned a Ludwig “17″; maybe the only Ludwig ever sold – literally.

  40. Sportfan says:

    I just thought of something teams are always on the looking for goaltending would Budaj be up for grabs?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • dorvalhabsfan says:

      why would he be? so far he has done a stellar job as a backup goaltender.. we need that kind of option come playoffs.. (Read: Cam Ward breakout playoffs) it’s happened before and can happen again.. the return would not be enough, as he has barely played on a consistent basis in MTL, and is on the last year of his contract (I think). we shouldn’t trade him, but we should be leaning towards keeping him in MTL after his contract runs up.. he’s as good a backup option while still not conisdering the games he plays a “throw away”

      Go Habs Go

    • JUST ME says:

      Why would we trade him ?

      Not only is he the perfect number 2 goaler for the Habs but if there was one position in the organization where we are poor and understocked , it is in the goaler position. Let`s just hope they stay healthy in Montreal…

    • Sportfan says:

      I was just curious if there was a certain player that we could get and a decent deal to trade him, was just curious.

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      Not so sure Edmonton needs defensemen? They need to resign who’ve they got got right now, 3 UFAs, or find replacements this summer.

      Bob Mckenzie is saying they’re looking for forwards of the bigger and tougher variety, imagine that, to go along with their youngsters who are too one dimensional with no grit.

      Mckenzie could be labeled a neanderthal, truculent, Don Cherry loving bastard for making a comment like that about the Habs on this site.

      • ed says:

        they need tough leadership that can contribute offensively to give them more balance in their lineup – and then they can build 3 scoring lines.

        They have some veterans but those guys don’t score and don’t create offense.

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Not sure the Habs would risk trading their captain, who’s playing very well right now, to Edmonton for Smid. Bergevin would have more flexability this summer because Smid is a UFA, like Ryder, and Gionta’s contract is gone.

          Nobody likes living in Edmonton and Gionta is under contract for one more year. Gionta isn’t big and tough, but he’s a leader. Would Edmonton trade Smid or Whitney for Gionta?

          Montreal could make another move for a forward at the deadline as well….

    • dorvalhabsfan says:

      Trade Price for Peckham… (he still plays there right?) this way we get that crease clearing D AND cap space… win win right?

      Go Habs Go

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        I see your point. But like I said, I think Bourque coming back from injury, trading Gionta for Smid and then sending a couple 2nd round picks to SJ for Clowe, makes Montreal a better overall team.

        Bergevin might be busy scrambling to sign players this summer but at least we’ll have taken a shot without giving up too much

  41. commandant says:

    On the Edge is on Sportsnet features the Blades and two Habs prospects are on the team.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  42. LeHabfan13 says:

    Kassian must not be all that tough. He averaged just over 2-minutes a Game in the NHL. unless he’s a smart tough Guy that don’t get many penalties.

  43. Stevie.Ray says:

    I looked up possible UFAs and compiled a list of players MTL might be interested in:

    Semin RW 6’2 209 SNP
    Iginla RW 6’1” 210 PWF/VET
    Perry RW 6’3” 210 SCR/AGI
    Horton RW 6’2” 229 PWF
    Ryder RW 6’0” 198 SCR/SNP
    Clarkson RW 6’1” 200 SCR/AGI
    Crombeen RW 6’2” 209 AGI/DFF/GDR
    A. Stewart RW 6’3” 230 PWF/B6
    Fehr RW 6’4” 212 B6/SCR
    Morrow LW 6’0” 205 VET/DFF/GDR
    Clowe LW 6’2” 225 PWF/AGI/T6
    Cleary LW 6’0” 208 VET/DFF/B6
    Cooke LW 5’11”205 AGI/DFF
    Stalberg LW 6’3” 209 SPD/2WF/2SCR
    Miller LW 6’2” 178 DFF/B6
    Hendricks LW 6’0” 211 GDR/B6
    Mashinter LW 6’4” 230 BIG
    Bickell LW 6’4” 233 DFF/B6/PWF
    Hainsey D 6’3” 210 2WD
    Regehr D 6’3” 225 VET/SDD/PHY
    Scuderi D 6’1” 219 VET/DFD
    Smid D 6’3” 210 SDD/AGI/DFD
    Fistric D 6’2” 233 DFD/PHY
    Woywitka D 6’3” 227 VET/DFD
    Lovejoy D 6’2” 215 DFD
    Pelech D 6’4” 235 SDD/PHY

    What do you think? Did I miss anyone?

  44. Danno says:

    Chris Nilan is a courageous man who is honest and true.
    I am proud he wears the CH and I salute him.

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  45. The Dude says:

    WTF is going on with the ex NHL’ers…Nails at 55 looks 75 and Stan Jonathon at 57 looks like Chief Dan George. At 54, you guy’s are freaking the Crap outta me so go talk to Vince McMahon and do what ever the hell he’s on. On the others side of the coin…”I FEEL PRETTY” :)

  46. Sportfan says:

    Who out of all the contenders in the league will make a trade? Or for for which team will make an impacting trade for a post season run?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  47. Hobie Hansen says:

    Heavyweights
    Ottawa: Neal, Kassian
    Boston: Thornton, Lucic, Chara
    Buffalo: Scott
    Toronto: Orr and McLaren
    Montreal: None

    We’re in 1st place though so who cares right!

    • shiram says:

      Now you get it!

    • Phil C says:

      I wouldn’t put Neal and Thornton as heavyweights, or you have to include Moen as a heavyweight. I think this is why Ottawa got Kassian; because they don’t have a true heavyweight.

      Neil 6′ 1″ 215lbs
      Thornton 6’2″ 217 lbs
      Moen 6′ 2″ 218 lbs

      Moen can hold his own with Thornton.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdCh1d4-CdI

      • Mavid says:

        Agree Neil is not a heavyweight

        • Hobie Hansen says:

          Tell that to Chara, Orr, Lucic and the rest of the heavyweights he fights without invitation?

          Moen gets destroyed if he fights one of those guys.

      • Hobie Hansen says:

        Moen might be in the heavyweight class but doesn’t show it. Neil and Thornton are much more aggressive and are better fighters.

        I saw Moen fight Thornton last year and was thankful he held on. Thornton was just licking his chops when Moen was forced to go with him.

        I love Moen but he’s a class below all the above mentioned names.

        • Marc10 says:

          Thornton is not all that big, but he fights pretty much all comers. He’s nearing his ‘use by’ date. The John Scotts of this world are in another dimension and he, like most mortals, is out of his depths…. and age has caught up.

          Live by the sword…

        • Phil C says:

          I posted a link above of the fight with Thornton and Moen. I would have given the edge to Moen, he threw the bigger shots and missed, Thornton was completely tied up. A draw at worst.

          I don’t disagree with you that Moen is not as a successful fighter as Neil. But Moen could go with Neil and probably hold his own. He certainly wouldn’t back down.

          Prust can go with Neil, and already has this year. In this sense, Neil is not an intimidating player to Montreal as fighters like McLaren and Orr, who are true heavyweights. I wouldn’t want anyone on Montreal to fight them, just too big and dangerous. I’m still thankful that McLaren didn’t hurt Gorges.

          • Hobie Hansen says:

            Not to beat a dead horse…

            Yes Moen held his own with Thornton but that’s just it, he held on. No way Moen was opening up and exchanging punches with Thornton.

            So lets just say Thornton nails Subban into the boards head first. I think Moen would be very reluctant to jump in, he probably would, but he wouldn’t send much of a message buy just hanging on. If he opened up, he’d get creamed.

            IMO

  48. Thurston says:

    Caught Nilan doing colour commentary a few Saturdays ago. I enjoyed it and I’m sure he’ll be a success in this new venture.

  49. Bill says:

    Wow, I took one major beating on that other thread, haha! Just checked it and my ears are still ringing!

  50. commandant says:

    Great gig for Nilan.

    Now save TSN 690 so he can keep it a long time.

    Go Habs Go!
    Check out Top Shelf Prospects, my Team by Team prospect reports
    http://lastwordonsports.com/

  51. Bripro says:

    What I’d like to know is what happened to the Tieman show?
    They were announcing it as Randy’s show (at least last week)
    and he’s still on CTV, but nowhere on TSN, except for the phone in
    in the morning.

  52. Mr. Biter says:

    Have to listen on the computer from the office now.

    Mr. Biter
    No Guts No Glory

  53. ed says:

    if this damn chicken doesn’t get the hell out of my way, he might find out the hard way why I’m a big “Family Guy” fan. Or I might just call Knuckles in here to take care of this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4WGQmWcrbs

  54. HabFab says:

    TSNBobMcKenzie – OTT acquires tough guy Matt Kassian from MIN for a 6th round pick in 2014.

  55. Sportfan says:

    Man would love to have a Nilan on our team again or do we already have one in Prust?

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  56. cha-cho says:

    Sweet, I was getting so sick of Simon and that other goof!

  57. Hobie Hansen says:

    One thing I hope knuckles can do is use his popularity to give Montreal some attention nationwide. It’s just Toronto, Toronto and more Toronto all the time.

    TSN Toronto now has that radio show with Dave Naylor, I think his name is, broadcast across the country on television in the afternoon to go along with Bob McCowan on Sportsnet.

    All the regular TSN and Rogers nationwide programing comes from Toronto as does the CBC. Why not show Mitch Melnick in the afternoon on TSN some afternoons instead of this Naylor guy?

    Not sure how it isn’t good business to have more of a presence in some of the other cities instead of 24/7 Toronto all the bloody time across the country.

    • ABHabsfan says:

      I totally agree. I was listening to Naylor on my way home tonight with Steve Simmons. I find 90% of Simmons’ opinions are ridiculous to put it mildly. Both guys thought today that the shoot-out fiasco by that Ottawa guy, (not going to try his name, let’s say Caspar) was a good move that just didn’t work. Naylor gets some good guests and he knows football but it would be good to here a perspective from outside the GTA. But to recap, Simmons is a moron.

      “man, I love winnin’; you know, it’s like better than losin’?”-
      Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh

    • Sportfan says:

      SImmons gets really old really annoying really fast I can only stand listening to him for 10 minutes on the reporters, Naylor isn’t as bad but I think a few hours of those guys is a bit much.

      http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

    • Hobie Hansen says:

      If I turn on TSN or Sportsnet on the television in the afternoon I see the radio shows from Toronto. Why don’t I see Mitch Melnick in Montreal on TSN or the Sportsnet Ottawa radio show guys in Ottawa?

      How hard is it to get a couple small TV cameras and do a live TV show from Ottawa or Montreal, like they do in Toronto, rather than forcing people from Ottawa and Montreal to watch the Toronto radio guys.

  58. LizardKing12 says:

    This is great news! I love listening to Knuckles when he’s on the air with Mitch, can’t wait to listen to his show

  59. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Way to go Knuckles! The Intermission hasn’t been the same since PJ left.

    “You’re always, always, always looking to make your team better. Always.”- Marc Bergevin

  60. otter649 says:

    Hopefully Nilan’s show will be better than PJ Stock’s show which was very amateurish IMO…..

  61. Habfan10912 says:

    Good job 690. Knuckles will provide an interesting insight to the Habs. I’ve said this before, he’s the only person with a Boston accent I like.

  62. Sportfan says:

    They really don’t like it when we go over 1000 :P

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/

  63. topher5468 says:

    First, yea boy

    “It’s not an obsession, It’s a way of life..”

  64. jols101 says:

    Problem with trading Gionta is that he has a full no trade clause, so he would have to approve the deal. I think that is why New Jersey is the perfect trade partner. Playing with his brother and going back to an organization he knows well would be appealing to Gionta. All this being pure speculation; no idea if Bergevin even wants to trade Gio.

  65. savethepuck says:

    I sometimes wonder, if I went on a Bruins Forum, if i’d be reading a lot of comments to trade Chara, Rask, Bergeron, Seguin and/or Lucic. Are other fans like Habs fans? Players commonly mentioned here are Gio, Plex, PK, Markov and Price. I just don’t get it at all.
    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  66. jols101 says:

    !00%. I like Gio but having 3 guys in that size range(5’7 – 5’9) is a problem. And no way in hell should they get rid of Gallagher and DD is a good creative centerman so Gio is the odd man out in my books.

  67. jols101 says:

    I don’t usually like to trade away the guys who have bleed blue, red and white but even a blind man can see the habs are too small up front and on D. It is just the way the NHL is. Small and Speedy might win you the Swedish Elite League but not the Stanley Cup.

    BTW, I have no desire in becoming a goon squad but a little more size and toughness is a must for those grueling 7 game series.

  68. Mattyleg says:

    You’re the only one there?
    Sounds A-MA-ZING!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  69. savethepuck says:

    My comment should of been a separate post because it was meant to refer more to PK, Price, Markov, and Plex. All of who are mentioned regularly on here in trade scenarios.

    “They don’t hang Conference Championship Banners from the rafters here”
    Carey Price

  70. Mattyleg says:

    Wow! How refreshing!
    Why bother, when you’re both here?

    (and I can think of 1,000 more people that I’d like to chat with than PoolFool)

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  71. jols101 says:

    I would never want to trade any of those players you listed.

    Well, maybe Markov next year at the trade deadline. His contract will be up and I hope Beaulieu will be ready to step in and eat up some of his minutes.

  72. HabinBurlington says:

    Clearly you missed the blah blah blah post then Matty ;-)

  73. HabFab says:

    Wonder if they are talking about Matty right about now?

  74. Mattyleg says:

    Heh heh.
    I spotted that and responded.

    Wonder if HFMTL is getting some kind of commisison on it…

    Why do people have so many problems with pressing refresh?

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  75. HabinBurlington says:

    Seriously, which one of you or HabsFanMtl is running that site? I mean this is like the fourth post in 20 minutes essentially advertising a website in direct competition with this website.

  76. Mattyleg says:

    No, really, it sounds very interesting!

    Do go on.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  77. Steven says:

    Come on, buddy. You’ve tried twice already and no one bit. Give it a rest.

  78. Mattyleg says:

    MODS!!!

    Get rid of this nonsense.

    It’s clogging up the page like nosehairs and soap in the bathroom sink.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  79. Mattyleg says:

    They’d better be…

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  80. Ron says:

    If your having such a great time with your playmates on that site, why not just stay over there. No need to troll here.

  81. Steven says:

    Call it whatever you like. The bottom line is you’re effectively spamming a website here for shameless advertising, and have 3 members to show for it(2 of which are you, the advertisers).

  82. HabinBurlington says:

    Maybe they prefer a handsfree chat room?

  83. Mattyleg says:

    Get lost.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  84. Ron says:

    Take this for whats its worth Fool, if you continue with your plugging your going to need your site for you and your playmates because you maybe are close to being removed from here. Your choice :D

  85. Mattyleg says:

    @HabsFan
    LOL!

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  86. HabinBurlington says:

    I mentioned down below, these fellows seem to really like the idea of a handsfree chat room, why else the big push on not hitting refresh?

  87. Mattyleg says:

    I’d love to see some handsfree chatting from them!!
    :D

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  88. jmsheehy19 says:

    Wow. that is ridiculous. Talk about quitting on their coach.

  89. Mattyleg says:

    I don’t get it.

    Why are people complaining about 3-point games?

    How in Gad’s name would Boston getting 2 points be better? They’re in our division. If they pass us, we go to 4th. If Pitt passes us, we go to 2nd.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  90. donmarco says:

    Sweet, dude. Well jinxed. 3 2

  91. Steven says:

    If it’s a 3-pointer we’re down to 4th no matter what.

    Bruins would get 38 points, like us, with less games.

    If Pens win, they tie us for points, though with 1 game more than us.

  92. mdp2011 says:

    No, don’t want Boston to get any points.

  93. Mattyleg says:

    Are you sure we go to 4th?
    Games played doesn’t come into the equation.
    It’s whoever has most wins.

    —Hope Springs Eternal—

  94. Danno says:

    Replay:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPcod8IS214

    ________________________________________

    “Hey Richard, two minutes for looking so good!”
    Updates, highlights & great discussions on all things Habs

  95. habsfan0 says:

    I’ve seen this movie before.

  96. donmarco says:

    How the Sens are defying logic is beyond me, but they are. I’m not sure either of them are stronger than the Habs are, right now.

  97. D Mex says:

    It’s my favourite hockey movie – never gets old !

    ALWAYS Habs -
    D Mex

  98. Sportfan says:

    I’m excited for the Jays too :P But Toronto beat Winni last season when the leafs were blowing it their own fans chanted that

    http://nickolaisblog.wordpress.com/


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