Blues Sign Scott Nichol
photo © 2010 Dan4th Nicholas | more info (via: Wylio)
Depth - it's all about depth. The Blues needed to add another center to their ranks and that's exactly what they did today by announcing they have signed Scott Nichol to a one-year contract, as reported by the team's official site
. The deal is worth $600,000 with an additional $100,000 in potential bonuses, as reported by Jeremy Rutherford
. Perhaps more importantly, Nichol brings some needed experience to a fairly young roster.
Skating with the San Jose Sharks in each of the past two seasons, Nichol is the second member of the Sharks from the 2010-11 roster to join the Blues in the past three days - the first being defenseman Kent Huskins.
The article on the team's site includes a couple comments from GM Doug Armstrong, who mentioned that Nichol is an excellent face off guy and will provide veteran leadership for the current group of skaters.
Nichol's career in the NHL started back in Buffalo with the Sabres during the 1995-96 season. Since then, the forward has gone on to skate with the Calgary Flames, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators and finally the San Jose Sharks. In all, he has skated in 552 games in the NHL, compiling 52 goals, 66 assists and a whopping 808 penalty minutes.
The Blues have had to be delicate in how they build this year's roster as the current search for a new owner has left the team with little money to work with. It's extremely doubtful you'll see the Blues involved in any big free agent talks, but that being said, the team has done well to improve itself over the past few days. More importantly, they have addressed several needs (backup goaltender, left-handed defenseman, left-handed winger, depth at center) all in the first few days of July.
Taking draws is often an overlooked aspect of the game and it's important to have centers that can win the decision more often than not. The acquisition of Nichol gives the Blues another option in the circle and should boost their overall face off percentage.
In addition, Nichol likes to throw his body around on the ice and brings a toughness that should certainly help the Blues following the news that Cam Janssen won't be back with the team.
Overall, chalk this up as another smart, reasonable signing for the Blues. Again, they brought in a player that fits what they needed (center, veteran leader, physical) without breaking the bank - or even stretching the bank for that matter.
Building on the conversation of Nichol bringing toughness to the ice is the below video featuring a huge hit by the newest member of the St. Louis Blues.