Knuckles drops the gloves for HIO

In the first episode, Stu Cowan discusses the Montreal hockey scene with Dave Stubbs and former Canadien Chris (Knuckles) Nilan. Centered around the Canadiensโ€™ new management and team dynamic, the panel talks about the playoffs; the GM and coach; players Gallagher, Desharnais, Subban and Prust. Also, Nilan shares his stories on the ring, No. 30 and dropping the gloves.

Please enable Javascript to watch this video


  1. jjrj says:


    I’m starving for another show…when ?


  2. Habfan4lfe says:

    Ya great show guys, I really enjoyed it. Better than expected! Always great to see and hear Nilan and I like Stubbs too. Great story about Nilan’s ring and your number. I always thought your number was cool! In my day I was never allowed to choose that number. Hope you guys put out another episode in the same format. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ian Cobb says:

      Ian Cobb

      To Mr. Chris Nilan!,
      From Bare Knuckles, to Bare Bones of Bearing your life story!
      No one really knows the heartache of a man who has to constantly play the game of life. Meaning, living up to the pressures of others expectations and never wanting to let people down.
      Hiding your inner most fears of being found out that you are as venerable as the next guy. Living with constant paranoia just trying to fit in and be needed and wanted for whom you really are. Constantly trying to find your spot in the sun.
      The constant emotional and physical pain of trauma, to the head and body are overwhelming and poorly understood by society.
      You have been down some long and lonely spokes on the wheel my friend.
      The most liberating time in ones life, is when one shouts and faces his true self, feelings and emotions and is able to share them with everyone. There is now, no longer any need to hide in the shadows. Your head is carried high and you walk with shoulders back my good man!
      Congratulations Chris Nilan,
      It takes a humble man to break into the light! some never get there

  3. Sal from the Hammer says:

    Great format. Love the show. Keep it informal. Chris Nilan’s insight and his knowledge of the game was awesome. Wouldn’t hurt to maybe bring Boone, or other guests, to shake it up a bit, but, Nilan is a keeper for sure.

  4. The Chicoutimi Cucumber says:

    Hey, that was terrific! Great to hear Knuckles commenting on today’s issues. I think the format of having a media commentator/journalist and an articulate retired player (or coach, manager, or other ex-Hab) should yield many interesting episodes. We don’t hear enough extended discussion with the guys who actually fought the wars. And don’t worry about making it too slick. The slightly unpolished intimacy is part of the charm, perfect for the internet, the ‘amateur’ nature of which is a big aspect of its appeal. I look forward to future entries.

  5. huggey bear71 says:

    paul morton

  6. Occidental Hab says:

    Really enjoyed the first show. Great hearing that New England drawl. I’m hoping you can present some real insider stuff that we cant get other places. Looking forward to upcoming episodes.

  7. Cohen Chatter says:

    Hats off to you Stu for another fantastic initiative online. I think this show will attract a lot of viewers and I look forward to seeing Brenda Branswell on camera.

  8. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …I would keep the majority of guests to ex-Habs/Management, or ex-players/management of other teams that Montreal was their rival, as ex-players and management are freer to express sincere observations and opinions

    …of course, Red Fisher and Boone would make excellent occasional guests too

    …there are some HIO ‘characters’ among the HIO Commentariat that may be interesting and enjoyable as well, like Ian Cobb …as well, those who do not contribute now frequently but remain respected like J.T. in Newfoundland (if in town) and Robert Lefevre, etc.

    …I like the view of the banners in the Forum as a back-drop, but make the fore-set a little more warm (dark wood, deep colors), comfortable and intimate for the guest, and the aesthetic for the viewer

    …finally, like I mentioned before, control Your hands Stu …I was worried Chris was going to illustrate with Yourself what He would do to any coach that ‘tapped Him on the shoulder’ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    • Stu Cowan says:

      Funny how you don’t realize your subconscious body movements/language until you see them on video … lots of comments about my hands (thanks for the constructive criticism). I think Kerry Fraser probably would have given me at least a double-minor. Like Gallagher and Galchenyuk I’m a rookie (but not as talented as them). I’m glad Knuckles didn’t drop the gloves on me. Funniest comment about my hands was probably this one:

      yup, Stuโ€™s gotta learn to keep keep His hands to Himself โ€ฆif He was as touchy-feely at Wandaโ€™s He would get Himself in a bit of trouble

      • Habitant in Surrey says:

        ๐Ÿ™‚ …hmmm, that was Me Stu …one of My comments in the thread

        …but, like I said, other than that, an excellent addition to HIO

        …plus, props to Dave as well …He has a gift of the gab, as well as being a good writer

  9. knucklesnilan says:

    As you can tell by my handle, Chris Nilan
    is one of my all time fav. Habs.
    Chris you are the definition of class and perseverance.
    Any younger Habs fans ask anyone over 30 about what Chris
    meant to Montreal.

    Go Habs Go !!

  10. This blows the doors off any podcast!

    Nice work gents!


    Exploring the Habs history at Le Tir, et Le But! Follow me on Twitter

  11. stephenungar says:

    Great show. Fills a long time need. I love seeing Chris. Hope he is there often

  12. twokaie1 says:

    What a refreshing show gentlemen. Please keep up the interesting conversations and views as this is probably the closest thing to an honest review that I have seen in a while. I’m tired of all the “canned” answers I hear all the time. Congrats to all involved in this show.


  13. J.T. says:

    Nice job, guys. The content was fun and entertaining. I particularly enjoyed Nilan’s memories and insights from his days on the ice with the team.

    If I were to offer any criticism, it would be the positions in which the three of you were sitting. It feels and looks awkward to have all three facing the camera. If Stu’s moderating, he should, perhaps, sit on the end, on an angle that allows him to look both at the panelists and the camera. That kind of arrangement looks a little more natural and conversational. Also, Stu has to stop touching the panelists!

    Other than that, I think it’s a great, fun feature, and an upgrade on the old Puckcasts you were doing. With Dave’s list of Habs-related contacts, this could get really interesting!

  14. SPATS says:

    Congrats Stu. Mission accomplished.

    I grew up in Brossard with Stu and played atom hockey at the Olympia arena in La Praire and remember very well that he was going to be a sports reporter and cover the Habs (and write stories about me cuz I was going to play for the Habs) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Then beers, girls and music got in the way.

    I did get to play in front of 10,000 at the forum in 92 but I wasn’t wearing skates… I was wearing a bass.

    Great memories



    • Stu Cowan says:

      I still remember those 6 a.m. games/practices at the LaPrairie arena before they built an arena in Brossard. Amazing to think how far my hometown of Brossard has come since then with the Habs practice facility now located there. There are now 7 ice surfaces in Brossard and it’s cool watching my 11-year-old son play on the Habs practice rink.

  15. Habimus-Maximus says:

    Really good first show guys, the set look great and lighting and sound is perfect. Chris Nilan is the perfect guest, I hope he becomes a regular. his great stories from the past are priceless. Good job Stu, and Dave Stubbs is a true professional.

    Can’t wait to see more……………….great additions.

    This, with the “play-by-play” /comments really improves the site.

    Stu? Who will be your next guest(s)?

    • Stu Cowan says:

      Will let everyone know who the next guest is once we get confirmation … I have a few people in mind. Will keep you posted. I’m also open to any suggestions from HIO fans.

  16. Habfan10912 says:

    Great job Stu. You were a great host. Everyone was comfortable just sitting around talking hockey with no big ego’s looking to one up each other. I remember HNIC “Hot Stove Report” use to resemble this. Dave Stubbs always impresses me with his intelligence and Knuckles may be the only guy with a Boston accent that I like. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thanks for doing this and I hope it becomes a part of a regular feature here at HIO for a long time.


  17. The Cat says:

    Nice show! Not that the show is looking for ideas but I wouldnt mind seeing Gerry Gallant on there as a guest and talk about his Sherbrooke Castors days and the rivalry with Cornwall and Dale Hawerchuk. Those games were epic.

    [Disclaimer]: I’m a hockey fan. I care about the habs, but probably not as much as you.

  18. HUDSONHAB says:

    Just watched the HIO Show. I really enjoyed it and hope it continues to be as good moving forward.


  19. ProHabs says:

    Hi Stu,
    Really enjoy the show.
    How can I get in touch with Chris Nilan. I am a teacher and would be interested in getting some information about him coming into schools and talking about anti-bullying. Thanks.

  20. SUMO says:

    Fantastic debut! Great job Stu.

    Nilan’s story abt Serge Savard actually choked me up. Hard to believe the Habs had a gentleman of the calibre of Savard as aGM then dropped to a jackoff like Gauthier who wanted to charge Cammalleri a fee for when he wanted to keep his final jersey. Unreal.

    Maybe consider a monthly/quarterly Bulldogs or prospects update?

    Maybe try to bring in Red Fisher as a guest…..

  21. RetroMikey says:

    Site is good but can you bring my idol Jack Todd and Mike Boone on the show?
    We need some media journalists here to butt heads with you guys why the Habs won’t make the playoffs.

    “We will win the Cup one day only with ? in the nets “

  22. AliHaba says:

    Congrats Stu! Very enjoyable. Glad to see you’ll be getting more guests on. Would love to see the Pocket on. He’s my all-time favourite.

  23. Marc10 says:

    Nice work. Great UFA pick up with Mr Nilan! As with all Habs fans, I have a soft spot for Chris who brought it every night. Love the anecdotes and the analysis. I think you guys hit every topic discussed on the boards. Keep it up!

    Suggestions for future shows: Guest appearance by Boone & Evelyne Audet – at the same time of course… ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Ron says:

    Very, very good side bar to HIO. Great to hear some of the opinions put forth. Good to see Chris as your first guest. Keep up the good work.

  25. habstrinifan says:

    Well done!
    May I suggest a more relaxed seating arrangement.. armchairs to start with.

  26. all's well that ends well says:

    … good job at producing a Habs show, gentlemen. Only one complaint I might have, is that it’s a tad too long. But overall, I look forward to the next episode of 24C … oops, I mean next episode of HIO Show

    definition of insanity: keep doing same thing expecting a different result

  27. DDO_Habs_Fan says:

    Thanks guys for the show as it definitely adds to the HIO experience. One production change I would suggest is for Stu, the host, to sit on the right so that he faces both commentators while he speaks. This also would encourage more back and forth debate between the commentators. This is just a viewer opinion; I’m not an experienced TV exec. It was a good show and I’m looking forward to the next one.

    On a side note, I’d like to thank Chris Nilan for all he has brought to the Habs during and after his career. The Habs are known for their championships but, for me, they should be known more for their heroes. Saku never won a championship but he is one of the biggest heroes the franchise has ever had. Chris was a hero on the ice and now has become one off of it by overcoming his demons and turning his life around. Congrats Chris and keep up the good work here and on the radio.

  28. citizenSanto says:

    Great show Stu!
    Looking forward to future webisodes.
    Hope Chris and Dave will be returning as well.
    Mtl Loves Knuckles! Keep fighting the good fight Chris.

  29. Habilis says:

    You guys are spoiling us with all this new content! Y’all have some pretty good timing too, what with the Habs being awesome so far. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Dynamite stuff, HI/O staff. I think I speak for everyone when I say thank you for all the great work you do. You guys and gals consistently rock the casbaugh. Cheers.

  30. Bripro says:

    Just like everyone else here, Stu.
    Great job. You brought the arguments to a personal level.
    I loved your panel selection.
    With the optimism you all presented, this should alleviate any future tanking discussions.

  31. huge_polar_bear says:

    Thank you for bringing this additional format to us. I look forward to future episodes. If I may suggest a table or counter in front of you guys, may make you all look a little more comfortable and give you a place to put down the papers. Then of course some shrewd business person will want to put the logo of HIO and those of the sponsors in the forefront… but I digress…

    Good idea on the format, as I said, I look forward to watching more.

  32. Mats Naslund says:

    Great job guys. This was awesome. Love the idea and who doesn’t love Chris Nilan.

  33. Habs_Norway says:

    Norway loves it. Thumbs up.

    Say no to visors and sign Emelin for 10 years

  34. Chris says:

    Great job, Stu. And good on Chris Nilan for getting involved in the anti-bullying campaign!

    With Swedish prospects like Collberg, Nystrom and Nygren, might I suggest my avatar as a potential future guest? ๐Ÿ˜€

  35. Sportfan says:

    Great Idea for a show! Who else will be a guest on the show? Will there be Boone, or Farber, or Serge Savard?

  36. Habfan17 says:

    Great show guys! I really enjoyed it and look forward to the next one. Great to see Nilan again. I was at the game in Montreal when Number 30 played his first game back with Montreal. It was awesome to see him back!


  37. arrybai says:

    Great idea, good show.

    “A game worth playing is a game worth winning”

  38. Habitant in Surrey says:

    …great addition Stu & Dave …You covered a lot of the most interesting questions and issues, and Chris the perfect person to answer some of them

    …Dave Stubbs, first time I’ve seen You on-screen …You remind Me of Scott Oake …You are as impressive orally as You are with the written word …have You considered branching into broadcasting ?

    Habitant means PASSIONATE HOCKEY

    Campaign to Retire Toe Blake’s Number 6 !!!

    …and, last, but not least: FREE PK !!!

  39. Curtis O Habs says:

    I can see this snowballing into something bigger.

  40. Ian Cobb says:

    This is great stuff Stu!!
    New blood and idea’s,
    Has Bergevin been motivating all things new in your office as well?

    The new HIO,!!!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.