Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/22/12 at 03:37 PM ET
from Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette,
The Last Gladiators, a movie about NHL enforcers, was to make its Montreal debut on Oct. 22 at the Starcité Cinema.
Whle the film includes interviews with several retired NHL players, including Marty McSorley, Tony Twist and the late Bob Probert, its main focus is former Canadiens enforcer Chris Nilan, focusing on his NHL career, his descent into addiction after he retired and his subsequent recovery.
Nilan was also one of the fighters Arpon Basu focused on in his book NHL Enforcers: The Rough and Tough Guys of Hockey.
Wrote Basu: “If a Hollywood scriptwriter sat down and tried to depict the life of an NHL enforcer, he’d be hard pressed to come up with a story as compelling as that of former Montreal Canadiens tough guy Chris ‘Knuckles’ Nilan.
“Any stereotype about NHL fighters that fans believe to be true actually is in Nilan’s case; the rough neighbourhood growing up, the street fights every weekend, that me-against-the-world attitude, the fearlessness in fighting anyone and everyone to prove himself and, finally, that ticket to the big leagues that no one believed he would get.”
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