CHRIS NILAN was the toughest of customers during his 13-year NHL career. But he's clearly fallen in with the wrong crowd here.
Every hockey fan must see THE LAST GLADIATORS. The documentary, directed by Academy-award winning Alex Gibney, is at The Manor Theatre in Squirrel Hill through next week. THE LAST GLADIATORS looks at the life of an enforcer through the eyes of Nilan, examining not only Nilan's career but also his off-ice problems and addictions.
Nilan is totally forthright. NO FILTER. Shocking, yet inspiring.
The Boston native is now a radio host in Montreal (he played for the 1986 Stanley Cup champion Canadiens) and is promoting an anti-bullying campaign in Montreal schools. Nilan was no mere thug. He stood up for teammates who were being bullied. Mario Lemieux could have used him in Pittsburgh.
I'm not crazy about fighting in hockey. But I respect those who do it, especially if they can play. Nilan scored 110 NHL goals. He took a regular shift on a Stanley Cup champ. He was a perfect combination of player and fighter. Nilan is the perfect protagonist for THE LAST GLADIATORS.