Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger is going to prison, but wants to keep a Montreal Canadiens 1986 Stanley Cup ring.
According to The Boston Globe, Bulger, 83, has waived his right for a jury’s decision on whether he can keep several items, including cash, but said in a court filing that he will fight to keep the ring.
Guilty verdicts on Bulger were handed down on Monday for the murder of 11 people and numerous other criminal offenses.
The Globe said that Bulger, 83, likely acquired the ring through connections to former Canadiens winger Chris “Knuckles” Nilan. According to the paper, Nilan was once married to Karen Stanley, daughter of Bulger’s late girlfriend Teresa Stanley, and Bulger paid for the couple’s wedding.
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Nilan, who works for TSN radio in Montreal, denies that he ever gave or promised to give a Stanley Cup ring to Bulger.
“Recent media reports have inaccurately asserted that James Bulger is in possession of a 1986 Stanley Cup ring given to him by me,” Nilan said in a statement. “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 resized 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.”
Nilan said he had three women’s Stanley Cup rings made for his mother, former wife and late mother-in-law, Teresa Stanley.
“At no time, to my knowledge, did I or any member of my family give James Bulger a Stanley Cup ring,” the statement said. “I have no idea where any ring in Mr. Bulger’s possession was made, and I hope that this statement provides absolute clarification in this matter.”
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