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Ryan White; On Board for a Year

There was a guy once – who skated for les Canadiens.

He arrived as an enforcer. Little skill, big fists and a whole lot of spunk. On top of that – the man was from Boston …

How could a dude from Massachusetts possibly play hockey for Montreal and give a crap? Especially when the Bruins and Habs meet! Yup, the guy was destined to be a fourth line player, get in a couple of fights and following three seasons – he’d be sent adrift into the AHL …

Something funny happened.


Not only did the dude bring heart to the ice surface, he brought a whole lotta desire to improve. That guy became a very good defensive player, he tallied more goals than most thought he would and went on to be the backbone for a Montreal team on the cusp of a post- dynasty era.

That man’s name was Chris Nilan and recently signed Ryan White is a clone of that man.

Nilan tossed pucks from the penalty box, Nilan smashed signs with his stick. Nilan recklessly challenged EVERYONE to fight. He stuck up for not just his mates – he stuck up for the CH …

In the short time we have seen White sport le bleu, blanc et rouge – we have seen the same behavior. Ryan will take on everyone at any size. He will recklessly ( at times ), attack when he should be taking notes. He will take a dumb penalty and allow a goal on occasion instead of taking his man.

Youth does that. Ask Nilan what his former coach, Jean Perron said to him on many occasion following Chris’ return from the penalty box. Ask Nilan what his coach told him after a game in Boston when he took on the entire Bruins’ bench.

Grab a seat and ask M. Perron who was a catalyst on a Montreal team which won a Stanley Cup in 1986. Perron will smile and say that aside from Patrick Roy – Chris ‘Knuckles’ Nilan was a huge part of that victory.

Today, the 2012 Canadiens signed Ryan White to a year contract. One question remains …

Does Ryan have to ask Chris Nilan permission to use ‘ knuckles’ ?

As in the ‘Pocket Knuckles’ …


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1 Comment

  1. philippe ouimet

     /  June 27, 2012

    Monsieur Keene
    Like your evaluation…Ryan White definetely has a lot of spunk and the heart of a Lion…the kid is fearless….these qualities are indespensable if we want to be winners. Michel Therrien will have to drill this into some of his players.


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