On June 5, the Nashville Predators welcomed Scott Nichol back to the franchise as its new director of player development. The Edmonton, Alta. native played in 209 regular-season games in a Predators uniform from 2005-09 recording 47 points (24g-23a). He left his mark on the Predators’ record books when he scored two shorthanded goals in the second period of a 5-2 victory over St. Louis on January 19, 2008. Known as a perennial face-off man, he led the NHL in face-off efficiency during the 2007-08 season.
“I think it’s invaluable, first and foremost, that he was a former,” Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile said. “So he knows about Nashville, our thought process, the way I run the hockey club, the way Barry coaches, what our expectations are for the players,”
The 38-year-old Nichol recently completed a 20-season career which saw him post 127 points (56g-71a) and 916 penalty minutes in 662 NHL games. His career included stints in Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Nashville, San Jose and St. Louis.
”You want to do something at the end of your career; you want to be a part of something,” Nichol said. “I wanted to be a part of hockey. Hockey has treated me so well, I wanted to give back.”
As the director of player development, Nichol will follow and evaluate prospects drafted by Nashville. He will work with players on all levels in the United States, Canada, and Europe. He will assist players with the maturation process from a prospect to NHL caliber player by focusing on off-ice conditioning and workouts, practice habits, nutrition, and game performance.
“I have always been team first, showing them what it takes day in and day out. Coming to the rink early, preparing, making sure you never take a practice off, and the good habits of being a pro. I think that is how they learn to carry themselves. Sometimes it’s not the best players that make the best hockey players. You want to be surrounded by good people.”
Nichol was a well-respected player known for his hustle and grit. Having just wrapped up a successful playing career, his message should clearly resonate with the up-and-coming younger players. He will join the Predators in Newark, N.J., for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft on June 30. From there, he will immediately take an active role in the Predators Development Camp, which runs from July 7-14 in Nashville.