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The Last Gladiators: A Powerful Documentary About The Life Of NHL Tough Guys Set To Hit Theatres
October 13, 2012
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Well, this was supposed to be the first Saturday night of a new NHL season but of course, the lockout has screwed up those plans.

Day 28 and counting. But don't worry, Hockey Night In Canada isn't going to let a work stoppage get in the way of a nation's hockey fix.

Tonight is the first broadcast of 'Hockey Night In Canada Your Pick' - your chance to pick which game you want to see.

There's five memorable games to choose from each week. You go online and vote.

Once the votes are counted, that game will air the following Saturday night. And you can vote as often as you want.

To vote on this week's games, click here.

This weekend also marks the start of 'The Last Gladiators: Bare "KNUCKLES" Tour' across the country.

'The Last Gladiators' is a documentary that explores the unspoken code of fighters and enforcers in the NHL.

the-last-gladiators-powerful-documentary-about-the-life-of-nhl-tough-guys-set-to-hit-theatres-feature2.jpgThe film focuses on former NHL tough guy Chris Nilan, who spent most of his career with the Montreal Canadiens winning a Stanley Cup in 1986.

But when his 13 year career ended, Nilan was beat up, got hooked on painkillers, drugs and alcohol, and has had to battle back from his addiction.

At its core, the film asks a question for all hockey tough guys: When your career is over, how do you stop being an enforcer and get back to a normal life?

Here's the trailer.

'The Last Gladiators' was directed Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney and features interviews with other former NHL tough guys, including Marty McSorley, Tony Twist and the late Bob Probert.

They talk honestly and candidly about their role on the ice - to protect their teammates at all costs. For a lot of tough guys, that's their ticket to staying in the NHL.

As Gibney says, "That's a very poignant thing, because what they really wanted was to play pro hockey, but their way in was not through their blades, but through their fists."

He was on the show last season after 'The Last Gladiators' had its world premiere at TIFF.

In this clip, he talks about getting guys, like Nilan, to open up about their feelings.

You can see the full interview here.

Over the next week and a half, there will be exclusive advance screenings of the film in seven cities. Here are the dates and theatres.

October 14, Calgary - Cineplex Odeon Sunridge Spectrum Cinemas
October 15, Winnipeg - SilverCity Polo Park Cinemas
October 17, Vancouver - Cineplex Odeon International Village Cinemas
October 18, Edmonton - Cineplex Odeon South Edmonton Cinemas
October 22, Montreal - Cinemas StarCité Montréal
October 24, Toronto - Cineplex Odeon Yonge and Dundas Cinemas
October 25, Ottawa - SilverCity Gloucester Cinemas

Showtimes in each city are 7:30 p.m. local time. 'The Last Gladiators' opens in theatres across Canada beginning October 26.

Gibney, by the way, has made several critically acclaimed docs including 'Taxi to the Dark Side', which exposed the Bush administration's role in the torture of U.S. military detainees.

He won an Oscar for that and was in the red chair a few seasons ago to talk about it. You can see that interview here.

He also made 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room', which showed how a handful of executives could bankrupt a company and still walk away with millions.

It was nominated for an Oscar, but lost to 'March Of The Penguins'.

He's also directed 'Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer', who resigned as Governor of New York after it was revealed he was a regular client of an escort agency.

You can check out all of his films here.

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