A familiar, popular name returned to the Nashville Predators organization yesterday, as Scott Nichol was named Director of Player Development. This post had been held by Martin Gelinas, before Gelinas joined the Calgary Flames as an assistant coach last summer.
Scooter should be the ideal sort of guy to help mentor prospects as they try to make it to the big leagues - he was as competitive a player as we've ever seen in Nashville, and just wrapped up his playing career at the age of 38, so you know he has the work ethic to keep himself in game shape. I would guess that if one of the kids needs their proverbial Cheerios urinated upon, Nichol can do the job.
The full text of the Predators' press release follows:
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has named former Predator Scott Nichol the team’s Director of Player Development.
Nichol will be responsible for following and evaluating prospects drafted by Nashville. The Edmonton, Alta., native will work with players on all levels throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, assisting them with their maturation process into an NHL player by focusing on off-ice workouts and conditioning, practice habits, game performance and nutrition.
"As an organization that prides itself on developing homegrown talent, Scott Nichol will play a vital role in helping our prospects reach their full potential," Poile said. "Scott was a player who had to work hard for everything in his career, and he will bring energy, enthusiasm and work ethic to this job. As a newly retired player he also has the ability to relate to players at all levels and help in their development."
"During the last few years of my playing career, working with the younger players was something I really got a lot of enjoyment out of," Nichol said. "It’s a great opportunity for me and I’m excited to be a part of the Predators organization again and have the chance to work with David Poile and the Predators staff."
Nichol, who played 209 regular season games (24g-23a-47pts) for the Predators from 2005-09, recently completed a 20-season professional career from 1994-95 to 2012-13 which saw him post 127 points (56g-71a) and 916 penalty minutes in 662 NHL games with Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Nashville, San Jose and St. Louis and 211 points (90g-121a) and 1,029 penalty minutes in 398 games at the American and International Hockey League level.
Perennially one of the NHL’s top face-off men, Nichol led the League in face-off efficiency during the 2009-10 season with San Jose, and in 2007-08 with Nashville. He also holds a Nashville franchise record for shorthanded goals in a game/period with two in the second period of a 5-2 victory at St. Louis on Jan. 19, 2008. Buffalo’s ninth selection, 272nd overall (11th round), in the 1993 Entry Draft was coached by Predators Hockey Operations Advisor Brent Peterson with the Portland Winterhawks from 1992-94, and was a member of the 1996 Calder Cup Champion Rochester Americans.
Nichol will join the Predators in Newark, N.J. for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft on June 30 and will take an active role in Predators Development Camp from July 7-14. He, his wife Christie, sons Hayden and Foster, and daughter Sophia reside in Rochester, N.Y.