By Allan Muir
Chris Nilan was ready and willing to defend the honor of a teammate during his heyday with the Montreal Canadiens, and he wasn’t shy about taking the offensive, either. So no surprise that the former enforcer was quick to refute reports that Whitey Bulger, the 83-year-old mobster convicted on Monday of 31 counts including murder and racketeering, was in possession of his 1986 Canadiens Stanley Cup ring.
Nilan, who now works for a sports radio station in Montreal, released the following statement on Tuesday:
“Recent media reports have inaccurately asserted that James Bulger is in possession of a 1986 Stanley Cup ring given to him by me. Those reports have no basis in fact. James Bulger was never given a Stanley Cup ring by me at any time.
“I won a Stanley Cup ring as a member of the 1985-86 Montreal Canadiens. I gave that ring to my father, Henry Nilan. I am currently in possession of that ring as it is being re-sized as a gift to my son, Christopher.
“In 1988, Montreal Canadiens general manager Serge Savard heard that I had given my original ring to my Dad and Serge generously presented me with a second Stanley Cup ring which I wear to this day.