Nash heads to Europe to play with Davos

The news yesterday was that newly acquired winger Rick Nash will be headed to Switzerland to play with Davos in the Swiss leagues. Nash will re-join Joe Thornton with the club, as they both played there during the 2004-2005 lockout.

Nash is the first –and likely only– Ranger to head oversea, but he is not the first player to announce he is heading to Europe. Several players have already announced their intentions to play in the KHL and Czech league, and now the Swiss leagues are becoming a league of refuge.

There seems to be some sort of outrage over this, which is something that is extremely puzzling. The argument being made is that since the rest of the team is staying here, then Nash should remain with the team to develop chemistry. The chemistry argument is a generally a valid argument, but not in this case. In this case, considering Nash has never played under John Tortorella, staying in hockey shape is more important than running practice drills.

This is not to put shame on those sticking around to rent the training facility ice and practice with teammates, but it’s irresponsible to fault Nash for wanting to stay in game shape and stay sharp on the ice. Chemistry is important, but there’s only so much you can develop while running drills and scrimmaging. True chemistry comes from playing games. Since that opportunity is not being presented to Nash, he chose to stay in game shape. Tough to fault a guy for that.

Plus, if you remember the NFL lockout, many players came back and were rusty. Add this to the plethora of minor strains/pulls that occurred in games, and the need to stay in game shape intensifies.

Nash’s contract with Davos likely has an out-clause when the NHL season gets underway. Instead of finding something to complain about, let’s be happy Nash is staying on the ice.

11 Responses to “Nash heads to Europe to play with Davos”

  1. Nick says:

    Nobody should have any kind of problem with this. Plus he is gonna play with Thorton, so it will be nice for him to get use to once again playing with a center that can actually dish the puck (i.e. like Richie)

  2. Walt says:

    What’s the problem with him being in Europe playing?

    The man will come back in playing shape, ready for the NHL season, assuming there is a season, and we Ranger fans will enjoy this man’s play that much more. I only hope that he stays healthy, and has some fun in the process!

  3. Justin says:

    I’m glad you wrote about this Dave. I’ve been seeing a lot of negative sentiment surrounding Nash’s decision, but I don’t understand why. The guy is going overseas to keep himself in game shape, which will be more beneficial to the team upon the conclusion of the lockout than if he was here running drills.

    • The Suit says:

      Indeed. I think all of us who have ever played hockey at any level would agree the best way to simulate games and get into game shape is to actually play in them.

      I am actually very happy that Nash chose to go to the Swiss league over the KHL. They have better facilities and less travel than the KHL. I believe the Swiss & German league also have a lot more Americans than any other league in Europe, since there is no cap on the amount of foreign players they can sign. If I was in their situation, that is where I’d be going.

  4. Mark says:

    I don’t unserstand the negativity at all. I think that more Rangers should sign with Davos if they would have them so that they can gain “game shape chemistry” with their star winger. Not sure if Davos would have them, but considering he is already playing alongside a puck moving center, maybe a guy like Kreider would really benefit from a month of game play, preparation, and practice with these professionals. I’m not sure if there are rules for rookies, but it would really go a long way in his maturation. PLus then when he comes back to the states to play in the NHL it would be a seamless transition.

    That’s just one example but I think more Rangers should do it with the exceptions of Hank and our defensive core just because they log so many minutes it makes more sense for them to rest up then to get in “game shape”

    • Walt says:

      Agree with all but the part about the Kreider kid. He will play with the Whale, learn the Ranger system, and be in game shape when the time comes.

  5. Joe says:

    Well said I agree 100%.

  6. Mikeyyy says:

    It would be nice if the entire team can play on one team in Europe.

  7. upstate tom says:

    let’s not be worrying about nash at davos but about the two greedy sides that can’t get an agreement done to play nhl hockey. not only should they get an agreement done for the fans but for all the little guys that can’t make a living because of it. need i remind everyone that some of these concession, maintanence and accesory jobs pertaining to nhl hockey feed the mouths of their families. all i can say is that their (the owners and the league first along with the players) are nothing but a bunch of greedy f**king bastards.

  8. Phil says:

    I really understand that you are disappointed that the lockout takes place now. However we in Davos are very happy and proud that Nash and Thornton seem to play in Davos during this lockout again. If I look back 8 years, when they played here last time, it was a great time! Unfortunately it is a question of money for the swiss teams to get more players from the NHL….

  9. TxRanger says:

    Well, I think he’s risking getting hurt and with the money he’s making he shouldn’t be allowed by the team to do this. I’d rather see him gain chemistry with our players than with the guy that called the Rangers soft and who Torts openly said hasn’t done shit in his career.