Report: Whitey Bulger covets '86 ring

8/13/2013 - NHL

Whitey Bulger, set to spend the rest of his life in prison for 11 murders and other gangland crimes, has no problem with the government keeping the guns and $822,000 found in his apartment walls after he was apprehended two years ago in California.

All he wants is his Stanley Cup ring.

Bulger, according to a Boston Globe report, waived his right for a jury's decision on whether he could keep the cash, guns and other personal possessions after guilty verdicts that were handed down Monday.

But Bulger, 83, will apparently put up a fight for a 1986 Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup ring, according to a court filing.

The Globe reported that Bulger likely acquired the ring through various connections to Chris "Knuckles" Nilan, a 13-year NHL veteran before his retirement after the 1991-92 season.

Nilan, in an interview with Canadian station TSN Radio 960, denied the ring was his, saying Bulger had made his own copy.

"I gave my dad my Stanley Cup ring," said Nilan, adding he had only made copies for his mother, mother-in-law and wife.

"He saw mine, the one I gave my dad, and he wanted one," Nilan said. "He used to come up to the games and watch the games. He thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a good time for him to get away and not be around all the nonsense. The people up here didn't know who he was so he could kind of walk around and have a decent couple of days when he was up here visiting."

Nilan played 72 games with 19 goals and 15 assists for the Canadiens in 1985-86, having led the NHL in penalty minutes the previous two seasons.

"Hopefully he can keep it and hang on to something while he spends the rest of his days in jail," Nilan said. "If that makes him happy, then it's good for him. He's never going to see the light of day again. He spends 23 hours a day in a cell and, you know, it's payback time. That's the way it goes. He's a big-enough man."

The ring remains in the government's possession and is property that falls into a category eligible to be permanently seized, the Boston Globe's report said.

"He knows what he did, and he knew when the day he got caught that this was going to happen," Nilan added. "And believe me, he's accepted it and that's life when you live that life. It's going to come back on you."