Pumper-Nicholl had some issues with Roger Neilson during the 1990-91 season. Bernie was born pigeon toed. It affected his skating. Neil Smith acquired him from LA for Tomas Sandstrom and Tony Granato at the All Star Game in 1990 which was held in Pittsburgh. He played for the West even though he had been traded to the East the previous day. The Rangers later traded Ulf Dahlen to Minnesota for Mike Gartner to give Bernie a winger.When the Rangers traded him to Edmonton,Nicholls didn't report because his wife Heather was having a difficult pregnancy and was confined to her bed. Nicholls did eventually report to Edmonton and was traded to Jersey a year late because he hated playing there. If you look at the tape from game 6 in 1994 against Jersey,Nicholls is talking trash to Mark Messier in a scrum behind the net when the score was 2-0. You can read Messier's lips "**** you".
Bernie was a trash talker. Wasn't a big fan of the LA trade. He was not very good with the Rangers. Too much of a whiner. Roger didn't like him. Good riddance.
The Messier trade was not a trade. Paramount/Gulf and Western sent something like $6-8 million to Edmonton for Messier.
I asked him about the cheap shot on Kovalev in the 94 semis and he said "I just lost it" he also said on the ice he did "stuff" in the heat of competition that he would never do off the ice. I think he basically had bad temper on the ice.
I will ask him all these questions, including the bench one. They are all good ones. I didn't know about the Neilson stuff either.