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The Last Gladiators film premier in Minneapolis will benefit the Herb Brooks Foundation

By Barclay Kruse, Herb Brooks Foundation Media Contact, 02/14/13, 4:15PM CST


Blaine, Minn. (February 11, 2013) – Friday night, February 15, the Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Jigsaw Productions and the Herb Brooks Foundation (HBF) will present the Minnesota premier of The Last Gladiators, a film by Academy Award winning director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side, 2007)

The documentary film takes an unprecedented look at the National Hockey League’s most feared enforcers and explores the career of Chris "Knuckles" Nilan. The role an enforcer was simple: protect their teammates no matter the cost. For Nilan this meant a shattered body, addiction to drugs, and harming the people closest to him. But in the process, he won the love of hockey’s holy city, Montreal, and helped the team win the Stanley Cup. Through interviews with hockey’s toughest guys, the film explores what it means to enforce the unspoken code of the NHL.

The movie is based on the best-selling book, The Code, written by current HBF President and well-known Minnesota author Ross Bernstein.

The premier will be held at the St. Anthony Main Theatres, 115 Main St. SE, in Minneapolis, with curtain at 7 p.m. Following the film, there will be a question and answer period with Bernstein and Nilan on stage, along with other NHL players. The panel will discuss the movie, as well as the current state of hockey, and how concussion and physical play have changed the game, as well as how public perception of hockey violence has changed over the years. The film will also be shown at 5 and 9:30 p.m.

A portion of the proceeds from the Minnesota premier of the film will benefit the Herb Brooks Foundation.

More information is available through the Film Society of Minneapolis/St. Paul, 612.331.7563,,