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|1978 NHL DRAFT PICK|
Selected in 19th round
231 overall by
Born February 9, 1958
Height: 6-0 Weight: 180
|BEFORE THE DRAFT|
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
West Roxbury, Massachusetts
||Catholic Memorial||Mass. H.S.
PRE-DRAFT AWARDS AND HONORS
Miscellaneous: Spent part of 1977-78 season with Tri-Valley Squires of New
England Junior Hockey League. ... Attended Catholic Memorial High School in
West Roxbury, Mass., before entering Northeastern University. ... Grew up
idolizing Bobby Orr and dreaming of playing for the Boston Bruins.
| Debut: February 26, 1980 (Montreal at
Numbers: 30 (Montreal); 30 (N.Y. Rangers); 30
Stanley Cup: 1986.
Retired September 1992
|CAREER NHL STATISTICS|
||Montreal, NYR, Boston||688
|CAREER NHL PLAYOFF STATISTICS|
||Montreal, NYR, Boston||111
AWARDS AND HONORS
All-Star Game: 1991 (Boston) (injured, did
NHL Records: Most penalties in one game (10
for Boston vs. Hartford on March 31, 1991 -- six minors, two majors, one
misconduct and one game misconduct), most penalty minutes in playoff year (141 in 1986)
Most career penalty minutes (2,248), most penalty minutes in one game (39 vs.
Washington on Feb. 14, 1981), most career penalty minutes, regular season and
playoffs combined (2,670), most penalty minutes in one season (358 in
1984-85), most penalty minutes in one regular season and playoffs, combined
(439 in 1984-85), most career playoff penalty minutes (422), most penalty
minutes in one playoff year (141 in 1986), most penalty minutes in one playoff
series (79 vs. Quebec in 1985)
Rangers Records: Most penalty minutes in one game (35 at Chicago on Oct.
Boston Records: Most penalties in one game (10 vs. Hartford
on March 31, 1991 -- six minors, two majors, one misconduct and one game
Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1983-84 (Montreal) (338 PIM), 1984-85 (Montreal)
NHL Playoffs Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1984 (Montreal) (81
PIM), 1986 (Montreal) (141 PIM)
Montreal Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1980-81 (262), 1981-82 (204), 1982-83
(213), 1983-84 (338), 1984-85 (358), 1985-86 (274), 1986-87 (266), 1987-88
Montreal Playoffs Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1984 (81), 1985
(81), 1986 (141), 1987 (75)
Boston Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1990-91
(277), 1991-92 (186)
Boston Playoffs Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1991
Career: Named New Jersey assistant coach on Aug. 3, 1995, and remained in
that position until May 1996.
Miscellaneous: Played on line with Guy Carbonneau and Bob Gainey for
Montreal in 1980-81. ... Suspended three games by NHL during 1981-82 season for
throwing puck at Paul Baxter while sitting in penalty box during Montreal's
Nov. 21, 1981, game vs. Pittsburgh. ... Took over as Montreal's all-time
penalty-minutes leader when he broke Maurice Richard's former record of 1,285
penalty minutes during Montreal's Jan. 22, 1985, game at Hartford. ...
Suspended eight games by NHL during 1985-86 season for intentionally injuring
Rick Middleton during Montreal's Oct. 13, 1985, game at Boston. ... Suspended
three games by NHL during 1986-87 season for altercation with Ken Linseman
during Montreal's Nov. 20, 1986, game at Boston. ... Missed parts of 1986-87
season with left knee injury, suffered in February 1987, and with hip injury,
suffered in March 1987. ... Missed part of 1987-88 season with knee injury
suffered during N.Y. Rangers' Feb. 2, 1988, game vs. N.Y. Islanders. ...
Missed most of 1988-89 season with strained ligament of front pelvic bone, an
injury suffered during N.Y. Rangers' Dec. 6, 1988, game at Vancouver and
re-aggravated during N.Y. Rangers Dec. 21, 1988, game vs. Buffalo. Did not
return to action until March 20. ... Missed most of 1989-90 season with
fractured right forearm, an injury suffered during N.Y. Rangers' Nov. 4, 1989, game
at Montreal. Did not return to action until Jan. 27, 1990. ... Missed part of
1989-90 season with sprained left knee, an injury suffered during N.Y.
Rangers' Feb. 14, 1990, game vs. Pittsburgh. Did not return to action until
April 1, 1990. ... Missed end of 1990 playoffs with broken ulnar bone in right arm,
an injury suffered when he was checked by Ken Baumgartner during N.Y. Rangers'
April 11, 1990, game vs. N.Y. Islanders. ... Missed part of 1990-91 season
with knee injury suffered during Boston's Oct. 4, 1990, season-opener vs.
Philadelphia. ... Missed part of 1990-91 season with broken left ankle, an
injury suffered while playing one-on-one basketball after Boston's Jan. 6, 1991, practice. The injury required
surgery on Feb. 8, 1991, and Nilan did not return to action until March 24,
1991. He also missed a chance to play in his first All-Star Game, after he was
named to the team by Wales Conference head coach. His selection was
controversial, since critics accused Milbury of favority Boston players. ... Retired
with No. 2 ranking behind Tiger Williams on the NHL career combined
regular-season and playoff penalty-minutes list.
|Post-Draft Teams: Northeastern (ECAC); Nova
Canada Cup: 1984 (fourth place) (did not play), 1987 (fifth place)
AWARDS AND HONORS
ECHL Coach of Year: 1997-98 (Chesapeake)
AHL Penalty-Minutes Leader: 1979-80
(Nova Scotia) (304 PIM)
Coaching Career: Named Chesapeake (ECHL) head coach prior to inaugural 1997-98
season and held position through 1998-99 season.
Education: Majored in criminal law
Had game-winning goal for Team USA in 5-2 Canada Cup victory over Sweden on
Aug. 31, 1987. ... Suspended five games by ECHL in 1997-98 for failing
to leave a game after getting two bench penalties and a game misconduct while
coaching Chesapeake on Nov. 29, 1997. His team forfeited the game. ... Was active in charitable causes during his playing days in
Montreal, organizing Chris Nilan Golf Classic to raise money for Montreal
Children's Hospital. ... Returned to Boston area and went into the insurance business after retirement.
Spent three years as community relations consultant for John Hancock Mutual
Life Insurance before entering coaching in
1995. ... Hired by Rhode Island Secretary of State Edward S. Inman III as an
executive assistant in April 2001. Matt Brown, who ran against Inman in 2002,
accused Nilan of never showing up for work and claimed Inman was wasting tax
money by paying him. Nilan eventually quit the job. ... Found himself caught
up in the middle of Boston's Catholic Church sex scandal in 2002, when his
friend, Monsignor Frederick J. Ryan, admitted to him that he had molested
three boys in the 1970s and 1980s. Ryan, who performed Nilan's wedding
ceremony, had been chaplain at Catholic Memorial High School when Nilan was a
student there. Nilan was also friendly with Ryan's victims. Nilan confronted
Ryan to learn the truth, and would later be a witness in legal proceedings
against the priest. ... Became active in Oldtimers' charity hockey after his
Personal: Nicknamed "Knuckles." ...
Full name is Christopher John Nilan. ... Son of former U.S. Army Special
Forces member Henry Nilan, a career military man.
|HOW HE GOT AWAY|
|TRADE: Montreal traded Nilan to N.Y. Rangers
in exchange for the option to switch 1989 first-round picks on January 27,
1988. Montreal exercised its option and selected Lindsay Vallis, while N.Y.
Rangers selected Steven Rice. Four years later,
Montreal got Nilan back when it claimed him off waivers from Boston on
February 12, 1992.||
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