The Blues signed forward Scott Nichol to a one-year contract this summer, bringing veteran leadership to a young team on the rise.
Nichol has previously played with five NHL teams, recording 52 goals and 66 assists (118 points) in 552 games. He has spent the last two seasons with the San Jose Sharks, a team that made it to the Western Conference Finals both years.
A Veteran Presence
Scott Nichol signed as a free agent and will play a key role in killing penalties and on faceoffs (Getty Images).
Known for his penalty-killing and ability to win faceoffs, Nichol will play an important role on this year's team. He took some time recently to answer a few questions for stlouisblues.com.
Was it easy to decide on signing with St. Louis when GM Doug Armstrong expressed interest in bringing you to the Blues? Yeah, I’ve always respected their game, just by playing against them when I was in Nashville and San Jose. They fit my style: on the puck, real aggressive, two-man forecheck…I love that style of play. It’s in your face.
As a member of two conference rivals (Nashville and San Jose), how did your teams prepare to play the Blues? You knew when you played the Blues it was going to be a man’s game. We talked about that a lot last year (in San Jose). You better be ready to compete and win your puck battles against these guys. They’re young and hungry and now it’s fun to be a part of that.
The Blues were a relatively young team last year, but they’ve added some veterans to help provide some guidance. As one of those veterans, what do you expect to bring to this roster? Maybe just my experience. The last couple years I went to the Western Conference Finals, and trying to keep the roller coaster ride out of the season. We want to be real consistent in winning games and get into the mindset that we can win every single game.
That’s a good habit to get into: having the positive thinking that we’re going to win tonight.
How would you describe your game? I just never stop. I like to forecheck. I’m not a big guy, but I like to get in there, get on the puck and cause turnovers. (I like to) hit, good on faceoffs and help the penalty kill. I think those are the reasons why they signed me.
You scored 10 goals during the 2007-08 season, and four of them came against the Blues. Any particular reason why? I know. I guess I need to pick another team to score against.
What do you hope to contribute to the Blues this season? I’d like to contribute 10 goals, that would be nice. I'd like to get our penalty kill into the Top 5, get our faceoffs from 28th in the league to the Top 10. I think we all have to take pride in that, not just the centermen, but the wingers and defenseman (too). I think if you start with the puck, you’re going to win a lot more games than not. I like to start with bringing some of those habits.