For Scott Nichol, the summer is going just swimmingly. After one year in San Jose, the veteran forward and the club’s management team mutually agreed on year two. It seemed to be a fit all the way around.
“I think we’ll have a team as strong as we had this year,” Nichol said.
The time in San Jose not only carried Nichol as far as he’d ever gone as a hockey player, but also rejuvenated him.
“I really enjoyed playing here and it felt like my first year as a pro,” Nichol said. “When you’re on a good team that is winning, everything is better. The food tastes better, the sun is brighter.”
Like all Sharks players, one of Nichol’s favorite parts of San Jose was the game atmosphere.
“I was really surprised by the fans,” Nichol said. “When you are the opponent they are loud, but when you play here, they are loud every game. It’s a great hockey atmosphere.”
Off the ice, Nichol noticed the love for the men in teal extended further than just the rink.
“I think I was recognized more in San Jose than anywhere I’ve played,” Nichol said. “Maybe it’s because we’re San Jose’s only team. Maybe because we go out a little more as a family.”
That’s still a pretty amazing comment considering Nichol has previous stops in places like Chicago and Calgary.
“This is a great pocket of crazy hockey fans,” Nichol said.
Nichol said the negotiations on year two were fairly straight forward as the desire to win is the driving force for the dynamic faceoff man.
“Maybe you can make a little more with a team not as close to the cap, but here you’ve got a good team,” Nichol said. “As you get a little older, it boils down to wanting to win. Just getting a taste of being in the Western Conference Finals, you want to get back and more.”
As for the summer plans, life revolves around his family’s home in the Rochester, New York area.
“We’re just going to hang out here,” Nichol said. “It’s only 8 weeks and then we start school again August 23. We’re putting a pool in the back yard. The stuff around it is not in yet but you can swim. The weather is off and on a little bit. We’ve got a little boat and head to the lake when we can.”
Rochester is where Nichol played for six AHL seasons before making it to the NHL and that is where he likely will hang up the skates when he retires. The time spent there during the summer is like having a vacation home.
“We haven’t had to winter here in a long time, but the summers are pretty good,” Nichol said. “This is our vacation home and we’re never here. One year we did the basement. One year we painted. We just enjoy hanging out.”
He’ll hang out for another two months and then it’s back to San Jose for school and the early captain’s practices that usually precede training camp.