Bill Nyrop

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Bill Nyrop
Born (1952-07-23)July 23, 1952
Washington, D.C., USA
Died December 31, 1995(1995-12-31) (aged 43)
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
Position Defense
Shot Left
Played for Montreal Canadiens
Minnesota North Stars
NHL Draft 66th overall, 1972
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1974–1983

William Donald Nyrop (July 23, 1952 – December 31, 1995) was a professional ice hockey player who won three Stanley Cups with the Montreal Canadiens in 1976, 1977, and 1978.

Early life[edit]

Born in Washington, D.C., his father, Donald Nyrop, served as U.S. Administrator of Civil Aeronautics (now the Federal Aviation Administration) and Chairman of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board (now National Transportation Safety Board) under President Harry S. Truman in the early 1950s.[1] Donald Nyrop moved his family to Edina, Minnesota, where he served as president, CEO and chairman of the board of Northwest Airlines from 1954–1976. As a boy, Nyrop attended Edina High School, where he was an all-star athlete, playing quarterback for an undefeated football team and leading the hockey team to the state title in 1969.[2]

After graduation from high school in 1970, Nyrop attended the University of Notre Dame. He tried out for the Notre Dame football team in 1971 and won a spot on the roster as the backup quarterback. However, he was injured in practice and never played for the team, instead playing hockey during his four years in college.[1] After his sophomore year with the Fighting Irish in 1971–1972, Nyrop was selected 66th overall by the Montreal Canadiens at the Amateur Draft.[2] He attended his first pro training camp in September 1972, and in 1973 he was voted on to the WCHA first all-star team and the NCAA west first all-American team. The next year he represented the United States at the "B" Pool Ice Hockey World Championship where he was named to the tournament All-Star team as the best defenseman.[2]

Pro career[edit]

During his first pro season with the American Hockey League's Nova Scotia Voyageurs in 1974–1975, Nyrop played with the stability of a seasoned veteran. He made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut the next year on February 22, 1976 with the Montreal Canadiens, suiting up for 19 games and became a regular on defense in the playoffs as the Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. Later that year Nyrop scored two points in five games and was stalwart on the defense as team captain for the United States team at the inaugural 1976 Canada Cup. Nyrop spent two years on the Montreal defence and helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 1977 and 1978. After the 1977–1978 season, Nyrop stepped away from the game to study law. His rights were traded by the Canadiens to the Minnesota North Stars in September 1980 and he returned to the NHL a year later. He dressed for 42 regular season games with the Stars and two post-season contests in which his team was upset by Chicago in the first round. Nyrop also played briefly for Kölner Haie of the German league in 1982–1983 before retiring for good.[2]

Post career[edit]

After retirement, he attended Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, earning his Juris Doctor (J.D.) in 1986. He set up his law practice, but then returned to hockey as the coach of the Knoxville (TN) Cherokees (ECHL) in 1991-92. The following season he became owner and coach of the Sunshine Hockey League's West Palm Beach Blaze. After guiding the club to three straight league championships, he sold his interest in the club due to failing health. In September 1995 he was diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer (that spread to his liver and lungs) and died three months later in his father's home in Minneapolis at age 43.[1]

Career statistics[edit]


1967–1970 Edina Hornets (Edina High School) Minnesota High School League
1970–1971 University of Notre Dame WCHA 30 2 4 6 40
1971–1972 University of Notre Dame WCHA 31 3 18 21 44
1972–1973 University of Notre Dame WCHA 38 3 21 24 46
1973–1974 University of Notre Dame WCHA 33 9 29 38 44
1974–1975 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 75 2 22 24 76 6 0 5 5 0
1975–1976 Montreal Canadiens NHL 19 0 3 3 8 +21 13 0 3 3 12
1975–1976 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 52 3 25 28 30
1976–1977 United States Canada Cup 5 1 1 2 0
1976–1977 Montreal Canadiens NHL 74 3 19 22 21 +42 8 1 0 1 4
1977–1978 Montreal Canadiens NHL 72 5 21 26 37 +56 12 0 4 4 6
1980–1981 Minnesota North Stars DN-Cup 3 2 1 3 0
1981–1982 Minnesota North Stars NHL 42 4 8 12 35 +14 2 0 0 0 0
1982–1983 Kölner Haie German league 19 3 2 5 8
NHL Totals 207 12 51 63 101 35 1 7 8 22

Awards and achievements[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hockey Draft Central, Bill Nyrop profile
  2. ^ a b c d e Legends of Hockey, Bill Nyrop's biography at Legends of Hockey

External links[edit]