IN THE NEWS
DEREK NESBITT EAGER FOR OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY IN OKC
By Chad Hudson,
Derek Nesbitt Profile
Weight: 185 pounds
Born: April 16, 1981
Hometown: Egmondville, Ontario, Canada
Current Residence: Atlanta, Georgia
Favorite Food: Steak
Favorite Music: Open to everything
iPod before game: A little bit of hip hop and rock
Although he was born in Canada, one hockey player has migrated his home to the South and grown accustom to the Southern way.
Derek Nesbitt has had a busy this summer: training for the upcoming season, getting married in June and moving to Georgia.
Outside of training and the wedding, some of the summer was spent relaxing and out on the golf course. Mostly, it was spent enjoying the Southern lifestyle he has come to love.
“I’ve lived here in the South for a majority of the last eight years since I’ve been playing pro,” Nesbitt said. “I like the South, I like the people…I do like the Southern lifestyle and the Southern atmosphere.”
In those eight seasons of pro hockey, Nesbitt has played for eight teams, with the Oklahoma City Barons being his ninth stop along the way. For many, that may seem like a lot of places, but Nesbitt’s love of and familiarity with the game keeps him coming back for more.
“[Hockey’s] what I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. For a lot of us, it’s what we know, it’s what we do, it’s what we care about, it’s our passion,” Nesbitt said.
“What would I do when I was done [playing hockey]? I don’t know. It is really hard to think of anything but hockey when it is your life.”
Nesbitt has made a living playing hockey by bringing energy and shooting the puck a lot. He said he likes to bring the fans a little offensive excitement while being responsible defensively in his own zone. Fans can also expect Nesbitt to be a leader for this team because, at 32 years old, he has a lot of experience to give the younger players.
Being 32, he grew up in the era of the dominant Edmonton Oilers. He loved watching Wayne Gretzky, but also Jari Kurri which is why he wears number 17. Just do not expect Nesbitt, or any hockey player for that matter, to compare their playing style to The Great One.
“Our coach in Peoria last year, who worked with the [New York] Islanders, called me a ‘poor man’s Matt Moulson,’” Nesbitt said.
Off the ice, Nesbitt is excited to get to the Oklahoma City community, because he’s heard good things. He emphasizes that he has migrated south and enjoyed the life.
“A Northerner has migrated south, there’s not many of us, but there’s a lot more than [Southerner’s] think,” Nesbitt said. “I’ve definitely adapted to the lifestyle.”
When he finally gets to Oklahoma City to start the season, he said he looks forward to playing in front of the passionate fans and adding on to the success the Barons have had in their first three seasons in the AHL.
“I’m super excited to get there,” Nesbitt said. “I’ve heard good things about the people and city, and the way the organization is run.”
photos courtesy Bob Hunt & Steven Christy
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