Thursday, the yet-to-be-named Las Vegas NHL franchise announced the hiring of Wil Nichol as the organization’s new Director of Player Development.
LAS VEGAS (August 4, 2016) – Bill Foley, majority owner of the newly awarded NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and Black Knight Sports & Entertainment, LLC, announced today that Wil Nichol has been hired as the team’s Director of Player Development.
Prior to joining the Las Vegas NHL team, Nichol had been a player scout for the Washington Capitals since 2011. Nichol was the coach of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Men’s Hockey team from 2007-2011, and he played for the team from 1994-1998.
Nichol reunites in Vegas with George McPhee, the man who first hired him into the Caps organization in 2011. According to CSN’s Tarik El-Bashir, Nichol was one of eight amateur scouts on the Caps staff.
Here’s how the scouting staff looks now with Nichol’s departure.
The move is a promotion that Nichol may not have been able to achieve in Washington.
Steve Richmond serves as the Capitals’ Director of Player Development and is highly regarded. One of his biggest accomplishments was getting Evgeny Kuznetsov to commit to playing in Washington after years of indecision.
Late last summer, much was made of Caps head coach Adam Oates traveling to Russia to see Caps captain Alex Ovechkin, and to make a side trip to Chelyabinsk to get his first look at Kuznetsov on the ice with his KHL team, Chelyabinsk Traktor. But few people are aware that Richmond went on that trip along with Oates. And while the primary reason for Oates’ travel was to visit with Ovechkin, Richmond’s reason for heading to Russia was to spend some quality time with Kuznetsov.
“The main part of the trip for me was to spend time with Kuzy and his wife and go to his hometown [of Chelyabinsk],” Richmond tells me. “It meant a lot to the kid and his family that we took the trip there to see where he is from and what he is about. And he was really proud to have us there as his guest.
“We saw two games and it was terrific. He set up everything for us, set up the hotel and got us tickets for the game. We met his parents and sat with his parents at one game. I met his wife last year. We went to dinner after both games, and spent a lot of time with them, like three hours after the game. It was all open arms, even with the organization, too. It wasn’t like we were a threat to them coming in there and stealing their star player. They couldn’t be more friendly.”
The Las Vegas NHL franchise will begin play in the 2017-2018 season.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.