For new Sharks forward Scott Nichol, signing with a new team was a rather simple decision once San Jose expressed interest.
“I think I’m pretty familiar with San Jose, having played them in the playoffs and so many times in the regular season,” said Nichol, who was signed as a free agent after playing last year with Nashville.
“I’ve always liked their team and the organization. I like their winning habits and thought it would be a really good fit for me,” Nichol added. “I’m really excited about going to a contender with the Presidents’ Trophy winner. San Jose was in the top three teams I wanted to go to. I’m 34 and I want to go to a team that’s committed to winning. They have a great team and a great organization. That’s why I picked this team.”
Nichol may only stand 5-foot-9, but he brings the type of game Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson wants.
“I think I bring a lot of energy and a lot of intangibles,” Nichol said. “A little bit of penalty killing and faceoff duty. A little bit of an in-your-face kind of style. Hopefully that’s a little contagious throughout the team. I’m not a big guy, so I scratch and claw for everything I can get. The way the game is now, the athletes are so big and strong, you’ve got to take every inch you can.”
If you want to check out Nichol’s intensity, go to youtube.com and check out his fight with Joe Thornton
last season. He didn’t win the battle, but did show his mettle.
“It’s the heat of the moment and that’s why hockey is one of the best sports in the world,” Nichol said. “You play with passion. Sometimes I bite off a little more than I can chew and sometimes that gets me in trouble. It’s an emotional game, but as long as you can channel that (the emotions), I think it helps this organization.”
“Scott is an ultra-competitive by nature,” Wilson said. “He utilizes his speed and compete factor to be involved every time he steps on the ice. We’re very familiar with his game and we’re happy to have him on our team as opposed to playing against him.”
Nichol, a native of Edmonton, has played in 417 games for Nashville, Chicago, Calgary and Buffalo, collecting 92 points (44 goals and 48 assists), while accumulating 686 penalty minutes. He was originally drafted by Buffalo in the 1993 NHL Entry draft (11th round, 272nd overall).
Nichol is basically a rink rat and that’s a good thing.
“I love and enjoy the game,” he said. “I’ve played it my whole life. I’m probably the biggest fan of the game. I love the competitive nature of hockey. It must be in my blood. I enjoy giving it my all every game and every shift.”
Nichol isn’t the biggest offensive contributor, but he’s not without talent and posted 10 points in a half-season of hockey last year.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re on the first or fourth line,” he said. “Every year you want to be a good team by doing all the little things. You want to be more than just an energy guy. You want to pitch in a goal here or there.”
Nichol missed a half-season last year because of a concussion, but now he’s cleared to play.
“Everything is good,” he said. “I came back and played the last 15 games of our playoff drive. It was a wild ride and we ended up missing it by two points. I have a family and kids and if my head wasn’t right, there’s no way I would put my family in that situation. The style I play, you’re bound to get knocked in the head a little bit.”
Nichol signed a one-year deal for $750,000 and hopes to get to know his teammates soon.
Nichol said the Sharks may be the only team where he doesn’t know anyone. “I guess I’ll get to know them,” he said. “I think it will be a good fit.”
If his feistiness is contagious, it will be a perfect fit.