As the lockout progresses, more and more NHL players are leaving the states and going overseas to play hockey. Some names include Joe Thornton, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Zdeno Chara and plenty of others.
One person on that list that many Ranger fans have a mixed reaction about playing overseas is winger Rick Nash. Over the summer, the New York Rangers acquired Rick Nash, which had many fans excited about the upcoming season. However, with the NHL season currently being locked out and games already getting cancelled, many fans are weary about their players playing overseas, especially Rick Nash.
Nash already gave Ranger fans a mini-heart attack when he suffered a shoulder injury in a game. However, an MRI revealed no damage. Still, the news of a possible injury must have put Ranger fans on edge, as they are hoping the lockout ends soon before a serious injury does happen.
Ranger fans, I am here to reassure you that Rick Nash playing for HC Davos in Switzerland will benefit Rick Nash.
Here are three benefits of Rick Nash playing in Europe while the season is locked out.
Hockey is one of the most physically demanding sports in the world. During a lockout, it is hard for players to stay in shape when they have so much free time on their hands. With all the free time, some players might become lazy.
Younger players will spend their time partying or doing things they wouldn’t be able to do during the season, such as taking vacations to exotic places. The older players may focus on family values, thus going to family events or traveling with family. Working out or free skating may get lost in the shuffle.
Rick Nash being in Switzerland ensures that he will stay in top physical form. Not only does he have to work out and make sure his body is rock solid, but playing in games will help keeps his stamina up.
Also, if there is a season, Nash will be able to make an easy transition since there will be no rust on that stick of his.
Prior to the lockout, the line everyone projected Nash to be on was a line with Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik once he returned from injury.
Many wondered how Nash would fair with playing alongside two players that are equally skilled as him. Some felt the chemistry could be off.
However, with Nash playing for HC Davos alongside San Jose Shark center Joe Thornton, it seems like Nash will have no problem adjusting to playing with a highly skillful center like Brad Richards.
Nash and Thornton worked well together in their debut. Nash scored a natural hat trick and Thornton assisted on each of the goals.
During the 2004-05 lockout, Nash played for HC Davos. The next season when NHL played resumed, Nash was able to score 54 points in 54 games, including 31 goals.
Yes, Nash missed a quarter of the season due to injury, but nothing indicates that overseas play had anything to do with the injuries he suffered the next year.
Still, Nash played at a high level and averaged one point a game, which many Ranger fans will gladly take when/if NHL play resumes.