The bright lights of Broadway have been a new experience for winger Rick Nash, who was acquired by the Rangers in the blockbuster trade of the summer. Nash tells ESPNNewYork.com's Katie Strang about that transition, including what he loves about New York and the perks of playing in the Eastern Conference, in this week's installment of the New York Minute.
STRANG: So, did you play basketball growing up?
STRANG: Do you know why I ask?
NASH: Because of Steve Nash?
STRANG: Ha! No, because when you pull off your patented breakaway move, it looks like you're actually boxing the defender out.
NASH: That just came to me, using my body to my advantage. It's pretty tough to beat a guy one-on-one, especially when he has good gap. At least this way I can use it to my advantage to hopefully get off a shot.
STRANG: Did you find that you had any more room to maneuver coming from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference, at least at first, in terms of your tendencies and teams not having as much experience playing against you? Or does all the video scouting pretty much negate that?
NASH: No. I don't think so. Like you said, with all the video out there and those sort of things, it really is tough to have an edge or [for teams] to not know a guy, so I find it's the same as it was.
STRANG: How much of a change has it been travel-wise coming from Columbus?
NASH: You spend a lot more nights in your own bed, that's for sure. The biggest thing is the time change, too. Everywhere we traveled, except Detroit, was a time change. So you're always getting back an hour later, obviously getting there an hour earlier and, besides Detroit and maybe Nashville, everything is pretty much over two-hour flights. So, here we're taking a train or 30-minute flights. It's just a lot better. A lot better travel. You're not on a plane for two hours, getting home really late. It is definitely a perk, playing in the East.
STRANG: Have you taken much time to reflect back on the circumstances that brought you here? The trade deadline and everything that followed?
NASH: I have a short-term memory in that situation. That six months is definitely behind me. Everything worked out the way I wanted it to.
STRANG: How has that transition been, coming to New York? Are you pretty adept at hailing a taxi now, navigating the city?
NASH: You know, it's going to take some time, but I love it. I don't know if it's a matter of me getting it or not; I think the more important thing is that I really like it. It seems like the fans are great, so passionate for hockey, and there's such a life to the city that it's fun to be around. It's fun to experience. I think the biggest thing, to me, was being in a hockey town where hockey [is] such a big deal. That's what I love the most.
STRANG: Brad Richards has talked a lot about the difficulty of moving from a small-market to a big-market city. Did you get any good advice from him?
NASH: More so where to live and what parts of town are cool. That's really the only advice from him, but for me I'm pretty adaptable. I feel I can honestly go anywhere and adapt to the situation, but it is unique being in a huge city, a huge market. But I definitely feel comfortable.
STRANG: Well, I know he has dragged you out golfing, at least.
NASH: I've been to a few with him, for sure. That's a perk, the golf [around here].
STRANG: Which one of you is the better golfer?
NASH: He is, for sure.
STRANG: And this is not just you being diplomatic?
NASH: [Laughing] No, definitely not. He knows where he's hitting it. I have no idea where it's going.