Is Rick Nash the last piece to the puzzle for the New York Rangers? The Blueshirts fell in the Eastern Conference Finals last season and appeared to be one player away. The Rangers needed another scoring threat.
Now granted, the NHL will have a shortened season here, but the debut of Nash in New York is highly anticipated for hockey fans in the Big Apple. It’s going to be a tall task to build chemistry in a shortened season, but Nash is happy to be in New York and can’t wait to start on Saturday.
Rick Nash joined ESPN New York with The Michael Kay Show to discuss his excitement to join the New York Rangers this season, the difficulty in building chemistry in a lockout-shortened season, working extra hard to build chemistry, the Rangers being a ‘class’ organization and the status of his shoulder injury suffered in Switzerland in September.
How excited are you to join this team and how good do you think this team can be?
“Very excited, obviously, after watching them last year. They are a very good team and their expectations are high after the season they had. Coming into this season, expectations are going to be even higher, so anything I can do to help and fit in I am going to try to do that.”
How difficult is it to build chemistry in one week of training camp?
“It’s tough. If you look at some of the best lines around in the league and they’ve been playing for a couple of years together and they understand each other’s game, but we are doing our best. We’re trying to figure out, on the ice, where we are going to be off the ice. We are talking a lot and it just comes down to jelling together and understanding each other’s game.”
Are the Rangers trying to make you comfortable as the new guy in this shortened season?
“Yeah, I think there are four new guys that they really have been focusing on. They play a different system than we are all used to and it’s obviously one that works and we’ve had success with. We’ve spent some extra time trying to figure things out and I’ll have new linemates as well, and it takes some time to gain chemistry and we’re working extra hard on trying to do that.”
In your mind, how are the New York Rangers a ;class’ organization?
“It’s great, coming from Toronto where hockey is a huge deal. It’s basically the only sport up there. I had a great tenure in Columbus and I had a lot of fun there, but this team is a little bit different to me. Ranger fans are really passionate. They are really excited, and as for the organization, they’ve been first class. It’s tough to explain over the radio and over the phone. It really is amazing how they make you feel like you are at home.”
You went to Switzerland over the lockout. You injured your shoulder. How does it feel?
“Everything is good. That was in September. I’ve been home, basically since early December, seeing doctors and getting everything fixed up, so I am ready to go.”