Bill Nyrop

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.

Bill Nyrop
Born (1952-07-23)July 23, 1952
Washington, D.C., USA
Died December 31, 1995(1995-12-31) (aged 43)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 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
National team  United States
NHL Draft 66th overall, 1972
Montreal Canadiens
Playing career 1974–1983

Early lifeEdit

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 1971–72, Nyrop was selected 66th overall by the Montreal Canadiens at the 1972 NHL 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 careerEdit

During his first pro season with the American Hockey League's Nova Scotia Voyageurs in 1974–75, 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, dressing 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 defense and helped the team win the Stanley Cup in 1977 and 1978. After the 1977–78 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 1982–83 before retiring for good.[2]

Post careerEdit

After retirement, Nyrop 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 Cherokees of the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) in 1991-92. The following season, Nyrop 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, Nyrop was diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer, which had spread to his liver and lungs. He died three months later in his father's home in Minneapolis at age 43.[1]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1967–68 Edina High School HS-MN
1968–69 Edina High School HS-MN
1969–70 Edina High School HS-MN
1970–71 Notre Dame Fighting Irish WCHA 30 2 4 6 40
1971–72 Notre Dame Fighting Irish WCHA 31 3 18 21 44
1972–73 Notre Dame Fighting Irish WCHA 38 3 21 24 46
1973–74 Notre Dame Fighting Irish WCHA 33 9 29 38 44
1974–75 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 75 2 22 24 76 6 0 5 5 0
1975–76 Montréal Canadiens NHL 19 0 3 3 8 13 0 3 3 12
1975–76 Nova Scotia Voyageurs AHL 52 3 25 28 30
1976–77 Montréal Canadiens NHL 74 3 19 22 21 8 1 0 1 4
1977–78 Montréal Canadiens NHL 72 5 21 26 37 12 0 4 4 6
1981–82 Minnesota North Stars NHL 42 4 8 12 35 2 0 0 0 0
1982–83 Kölner EC 1.GBun 19 3 2 5 8
NHL totals 207 12 51 63 101 35 1 7 8 22


Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1974 United States WC B
1976 United States CC 5 1 1 2 0

Awards and honorsEdit

Award Year
All-WCHA Second Team 1972–73 [3]
AHCA West All-American 1972–73 [4]
  • Stanley Cup champion in 1976, 1977 and 1978
  • Member of the 1978 National Hockey League All-Star team[5]
  • WEC-B All-Star Team in 1974


  1. ^ a b c Hockey Draft Central, Bill Nyrop profile
  2. ^ a b c d Bill Nyrop biography at Legends of Hockey
  3. ^ "WCHA All-Teams". College Hockey Historical Archives. Retrieved May 19, 2013.
  4. ^ "Men's Ice Hockey Award Winners" (PDF). Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  5. ^

External linksEdit