Currently in his tenth season as the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Network Play-By-Play Announcer, and sixth as the head of the broadcasting and communications department, Wills has called a number of historically significant games such as the AHL's Conference Finals on three occasions (2002, 2003, 2007), the Calder Cup Finals twice (2003, 2007), and the second-longest game in AHL history (Game 2 of the 2002 Calder Cup Finals). Wills was also selected to provide the play-by-play for the exclusive radio broadcast and league-wide online broadcast of the 2004 AHL All-Star Game in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In 2004-2005, Wills was named winner of the American Hockey League's prestigious James H. Ellery Memorial Award, in the radio category. The Ellery Awards are presented annually by the AHL to recognize one member of the radio, television, and print media deemed to have provided the most outstanding coverage of the league.
Entering the 2010-2011 season, Wills had called 819 consecutive regular season and post-season Hamilton Bulldogs games, the longest current streak for any broadcaster in the AHL.
On January 25th, 2010, Wills made his National Hockey League debut, filling in for legendary Buffalo Play-By-Play Announcer Rick Jeanneret and working with Colour Commentator Harry Neale in the Sabres' 3-2 loss to the Canucks at General Motors Place in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Wills, 34, currently resides in Stoney Creek, Ontario with his girlfriend, Jen.
YourCanadiens is aware that Mr. Wills does have interest in this position. Since I first broke the news of the Team 990 picking up Habs games and suggested Mr. Wills in that article, "wills canadiens team 990" or similar strings have been one of the most common google search terms leading to my blog. You can follow him on Twitter at @DogsPlayByPlay
Nilan should need no introduction to long-time Habs fans, but for the younger generation...
Chris Nilan played 688 NHL regular season games over a 13 season NHL career. Though he spent time with each of the Canadiens, New York Rangers, and Boston Bruins, he retired a Hab forever in his heart, earning a Stanley Cup ring with the team in the 1986 season. While Mr. Nilan did amass 225 points over his NHL career, he will be best remembered for his work as perhaps the toughest customer in the league, never afraid to take the body or to drop the gloves in a pinch to come to a teammate's defense. Chris's career was unfortunately shortened due to injury, which also made him miss the 1991 NHL All-Star game after he had been selected by his coach, Mike Milbury, to participate.
Now at age 53, Nilan, a native of Boston, MA, recently moved back to Montreal on a full-time basis where he has done a number of guest spots on The Team 990 and gone on an autograph appearance tour with current Canadien Max Pacioretty. You can follow him on Twitter at @KnucklesNilan30
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