It’s the end of a 12-year playing career for Scott Nichol, but the beginning of a new adventure for the veteran . Nichol announced on Wednesday that his playing days are over, and that he will be starting a new journey as the Director of Player Development for the Nashville Predators.
Nichol spent the last two seasons with the St. Louis Blues after being signed by the club in the 2011 offseason. Before joining the Blues, Nichol split time between five other National Hockey League teams, including the Sharks, Predators, Blackhawks, Flames, and Sabres. Nashville is a familiar place for Nichol, who spent four NHL seasons playing as a Predator.
Nichol’s NHL career included 662 regular season games, 56 goals, and 71 assists. Nichol never was a scorer, but his tenacity, and persistence were welcomed by many NHL teams.
In his most recent season with the Blues, Nichol played in just 30 games, and had just one point. Towards the end of the season, Nichol was battling an injury that kept him sidelined for a few games. When Nichol was able to return, the line of Adam Cracknell, Chris Porter, and Ryan Reaves was playing so well that inserting Nichol into the lineup was out of the question.
Nichol was the oldest player on the Blues roster at age 38. In two seasons with the Blues, he accumulated nine points (four goals, five assists) in 110 games. Nichol received an offer from the Predators that was too good to pass up, he told St. Louis Post Dispatch writer Jeremy Rutherford. For Nichol, his new position is his best chance to stay around the game he loves. It was not a hard decision for him to make.
Nichol’s job with the Predators will be evaluating prospects that the team drafts. Because he has been through so much in his career, Nichol feels he can help the newly-drafted players reach their potential and overcome obstacles of their own.
The Blues chose to move forward without Nichol when they recently re-signed Adam Cracknell to a one-year, one-way contract. Instead of trying to play elsewhere, Nichol felt it best to pursue another option.
Nichol was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the 11th round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. His leadership made him a valuable member of the Blues the past two seasons. But his leadership will also allow him to thrive in his new position with Nashville.