Chris Nilan Knows What’s Up!
Great read courtesy of the Montreal Gazette. (Stick tap to BoF reader Rouven for the link.)
Chris Nilan cuts through the pity fest and stomps on all the bullshit…
“I’m not sayin’ take fightin’ out of hockey,” Nilan said. “I’m not sayin’ I want fighting out of hockey. What I am sayin’ is that (NHL commissioner Gary) Bettman can take it out if he likes … that he might as well take it out because it’s not being used the way it once was. It’s so different now.
“Guys make excuses that oh! the instigator rule makes it too tough to fight. I say take the extra two minutes anyway. These days, they take too many two-minute penalties for hookin’ or holdin’ or stupid, little penalties.”
This is so true. Fighting is definitely not what it used to be. I don’t get the point of having an enforcer if his job is not to clean up the BS for fear of giving up a two-minute minor. Crosby takes a hit to the head? You bet your ass that an enforcer should be sent out and drop a few on whoever did it. Someone keeps running your goalie? Bust them up so next time they think twice. It used to be like that, I don’t know what happened because you rarely see it anymore.
Nilan also had some great words on what Laraque said :…
“Oh, listen to this big bullead sayin’: ‘It’s the toughest job in hockey . that I couldn’t watch a movie the night before a game,’ ” Nilan said, shedding a mock tear or two. “Here he is sayin’ all this s—! Here’s this guy who never had two, three fights in a game. He never had to go into Boston to fight (Stan) Jonathan, (Terry) O’Reilly, (John) Wensink, (Al) Secord or (Gord) Kluzak.
“I won’t sit here and tell you I was never scared,” Nilan continued. “Of course, I was nervous before a game. I knew I had to fight. Before a game I knew that maybe I had to fight two or three guys. But not for a second the previous night was I goin’ around moanin’ I couldn’ watch a movie. Not for a second was I depressed.”
Now here’s Nilan talking about the transition from hockey to retirement. Keep in mind that Nilan made a pittance compares to what today’s NHLers make.
“Was I bummed out and down when I had to retire?” Nilan asked. “Yeah, why wouldn’t’ I be, especially when you’re 34 years old? Did I have the easiest transition in the world outside of hockey? No! But it happens to a lot of guys. It happens to players. It happens to referees. It happens to a lot of peoples who don’t play hockey.”
Here’s a guy owning his life and not making excuses or looking to play the role of the drama queen. Kudos, Mr. Nilan!
Article wraps up perfectly…
“The rest of it . I don’t buy. I truly believe these are three different people and they’re three different cases who had issues in their lives. You can try and tag it they were fighters and that’s why they died, but I don’t buy it.”