Predators eager to tap into Scott Nichol's experience

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 2:33pm

Maybe Scott Nichol has not seen it all or done it all.

The 38-year-old certainly has seen and done enough in a 20-year professional career, however, that he qualifies as an expert in the life of a hockey player. Plus, at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds he had to do things the right way or he easily would have been overlooked.

Just weeks into his retirement, Nichol joined the Nashville Predators on Wednesday as the director of Player Development, a role in which he will counsel Predators prospects at all levels on a wide range of matters in order to help them maximize their opportunity.

“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,” general manager David Poile said in a statement. “As a newly retired player he also has the ability to relate to players at all levels and help in their development.”

The Predators know first-hand of Nichol’s approach.

He spent four seasons with them beginning in 2005-06. In 209 games with Nashville he had 47 points (24 goals, 23 assists) and 271 penalty minutes. He is the only Predators player ever to score two shorthanded goals in a game — and he did so in a single period Jan. 19, 2008, against St. Louis. That same season he led the league in faceoff percentage.

Nichol replaces Martin Gelinas, who left last summer to become an assistant coach with the Calgary Flames. The position has been vacant since that time.

“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 spent the last two seasons with the St. Louis Blues, who were eliminated in the first round of the 2013 NHL playoffs.

He made his NHL debut in 1995-96 with Buffalo, became a full-time NHL player with Calgary in 2001-02 and eventually played 662 games with six franchises. He also appeared in 398 games in the International and American Hockey Leagues.

Nichol will begin his official duties at the NHL entry draft, June 30 at New Jersey, and will have a prominent role the prospects conditioning camp, July 7-14.