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Nilan brings powerful message to P.E.I. midget AAA banquet

NHL alumni Chris Nilan on the ice in Yarmouth April 7 as part of the Gary J. Surette Memorial Hockey Weekend.
NHL alumni Chris Nilan on the ice in Yarmouth April 7 as part of the Gary J. Surette Memorial Hockey Weekend. - Tina Comeau

Former NHLer to speak Feb. 11

POWNAL, P.E.I. – One of the NHL tough guys from the 1980s is coming to Prince Edward Island to speak at the P.E.I. Midget AAA Hockey League awards banquet.
Chris (Knuckles) Nilan played 13 years in the NHL as the resident tough guy for any team he played for. He is best remembered for the leadership and aggressive play he brought to the Montreal Canadiens for 10 years.
During his NHL career, he had more than 200 points and fought them all, racking up more than 3,000 penalty minutes, resulting in a league record with an average of more than four minutes per game.
In 1991, he broke the NHL record for most penalty minutes in a game that was owned by P.E.I.’s Forbes Kennedy.
Although he was one of the most feared players to ever play the game, Nilan brought more than fighting to the rink and he was rewarded in many ways for it. He won a Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1986, played for Team USA in the 1987 Canada Cup and was named to the NHL All-Star Game in 1991.
Chris had a successful and colourful hockey career but his biggest fight in life came after hockey when drinking and prescription drugs took control of him. Eventually the lowest of low times hit him, including a very near-death experience. Immediately after that tragic incident, he began the tough rehabilitation path of becoming alcohol and drug free.
Nilan turned his life around and is now on a new professional path of success with his own radio show and doing personal appearances at corporate and charity events all across Canada. The same honesty, passion and energy he brought to the rink every night is now parlayed into his speaking engagements. His messages are powerful and as exciting as the way he played.
This year’s banquet is being hosted by the Pownal Taco Boys Red Devils at Stratford Town on Feb. 11, from 5 to 7 p.m. There are some tickets available to the general public at a cost of $30 per ticket (includes a chicken dinner). Tickets can be purchased at RinkSide Sports Shop in the Pownal Sports Centre or by calling Blaine at 902-218-4048.

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