Acquired by the Sharks in 2009, Scott Nichol is known as a fighter in the faceoff circle leading the NHL in faceoff percentage last season with a 60.6 success rate. The 35-year-old center also established career highs in single-season points, assists and games played during the 2009-10 season. Nichol was originally drafted by Buffalo in the 1993 NHL Entry draft and played in his 500th career game on Oct. 19 vs. Carolina.
In this week’s Ask the Sharks, you wanted to know about Nichol’s intense energy, his work ethic and how he wins so many faceoffs. In the answers below, the native of Edmonton, Canada also reveals his envy concerning a fellow teammate’s sleeping habits, and where the nickname “Pigeon” came from.1. After so many years playing hockey how do you keep your intensity and work ethic so high?—Sherwin
I think it’s from the way I was raised and seeing how hard my parents work. It has become a habit and the way that I prepare. It’s just the way I go about my business I guess.2. If you could switch lives with a fellow teammate for a week who would it be and why?—Kaitlynn
I would probably switch with Logan Couture
because then I could sleep in as late as I wanted to.3. Being from Edmonton, did you grow up a Gretzky fan, and what was your reaction when he was traded?—Chad
I did grow up a Gretzky fan. I liked the Edmonton Oilers, and I think every Canadian was shocked to find out he was going from Edmonton to Los Angeles because back in those days you wouldn’t think Los Angeles would be a hockey hotbed. Yeah, it was a pretty crazy day.4.I know you like to listen to country music. Do you have a favorite country singer and have you ever been part of a live country show?—Philip
I kind of like everybody from Brad Paisley to Garth Brooks. I was a big Garth Brooks fan growing up and I actually had a chance to meet him when he put a private concert on for our team in Nashville. It was a cool experience. 5. How did you get so good at winning faceoffs?—Ed
I had good coaches. When I started playing junior hockey I had a lot of former NHL coaches and that was kind of their role. They taught me the tricks of the trade when it came to line checking and faceoffs. I just try to work hard and battle on every faceoff. And win. 6. A couple of times a year it seems like you go a little haywire. What does it take to set you off?—Tom
I don’t know. I guess I’ve got a short fuse and sometimes my wires cross. Maybe that’s why I’ve played in the league a long time. Sometimes it’s a good thing and sometimes it’s a bad thing. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.7.Some of your nicknames are “Pigeon” and “Scooter.” Where did these names come from and which do you prefer?—Alexis
I don’t really like either of them. I don’t know how Pigeon became my nickname because I always call everyone else Pigeon. I guess they just turned the tables around and started calling me a pigeon. They nicknamed me Scooter in Nashville. It just comes from Scott. I don’t really mind. I’m sure I have been called a lot worse, so I can deal with those two nicknames.
8.If you were the captain of the All-Star team who is the first player you would pick?
I’d probably stick with our team. I’d probably pick Patrick Marleau
.9.Who do you sit next to on the plane and how do you guys pass the time on flights?—Brian
I sit beside Kent Huskins on the team plane and we usually watch movies or talk. A lot of the guys play video games. Mostly movies though.10.Your birthday is coming up at the end of this month. Do you have any special celebration plans?—Danielle
No, now that I’m getting older I don’t celebrate my birthdays anymore. I try to go backwards. Usually we play, but I don’t think we are playing this year. My kids will probably make a cake and have a birthday party for me. It’s up to them. It will probably be like a “Transformer” party or a “Power Rangers” party.