Goodnight and Good Luck – Nicky Chinn

Well Friday brought a deluge of news out of Bisonland with three players departing. The club put a press release on the team website today (Friday 27/4) that two players would not be returning. The more prominent of these was captain for the past 3 seasons, Nicky Chinn.

 

What have we lost?

It’s very easy to point out the obvious things the club loses with Chinn leaving the Bison; he’s experienced and a very vocal leader. Chinn continually talks on the bench and on the ice, always with a word to try and raise the team or chastise it when it’s not doing what it should. He’s also very popular with sections of the fanbase (including myself) because you’re not likely to find a player who cares more than Nicky Chinn. I said it in the end of season player review but it bears repeating. The main reason I like Nicky Chinn is the fact that whilst he may not turn in an NHL calibre performance every game, he’d go out and arguably care more about his game, the game he was in and the shirt he was wearing than anybody else on the ice. If something was going wrong, he’d be angry about it. If something was going right, he’d celebrate with the best of them.

People have criticised Chinn over his 3 year tenure with the Bison for being off the pace or the frequency of his turnovers and some of that is true. It certainly didn’t help when he found himself on defence, wildly out of position and it did result in him getting caught out. “The brain was willing, the flesh was weak” some would say.

That said you have to look at all areas and Chinn, despite all his criticism has finished 3rd, 4th and 4th in scoring for the three years he was here. I think the term “polarising” seems to sum him up.

 

Where has he gone?

At the moment, nowhere. There have been rumours flying around of Swindon and Milton Keynes, even Guildford were thrown into the mix but as of yet it’s watch this space.

 

Who replaces him?

At the moment, still nobody. The only player under contract in the public knowledge is Coach Sheppard himself.

 

Final words

Judging by the words I’ve heard and seen today, this decision isn’t a popular one. Chinny, as mentioned above is very popular with sections of the fanbase. If nothing else, he’s Welsh! What’s not to love?

The thing many seem to be forgetting is that a new coach means a change of direction and some players won’t be back. Would I have re-signed Chinn? Yes, yes I would have because he’s a high assists scorer who provides toughness, veteran leadership and the heart of a lion. However I don’t make the team, the coach does and for whatever reason known only to Doug Sheppard, Nicky Chinn won’t be back and we’ll have a new captain of the Basingstoke Bison.

I’m not going to blow smoke up Nicky’s behind, he knows he’s not got the pace or legs he did as a 20 year old but the experience and dedication he possesses cannot be equalled and I’ll miss seeing him on the ice. I suppose we’ll always have twitter.

All the best Nick, Cymru am Byth!

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