This time of year is great not just because of the weather, the foliage and the food, it’s also a fantastic time for sports. We just watched baseball come to an end after a magical Cubs season (#FlytheW!), and we’ve been thoroughly enjoying football season, but now it’s time for some hockey. As a brand with Midwest roots, we’re pretty die-hard fans around here. We also have a good friend playing in the NHL, which makes it even more fun to follow. Our buddy, Riley Nash (who, not surprisingly, hails all the way from Western Canada. Kamloops, British Columbia to be exact…) has played in more than 250 professional games and… get this, still has all of his original teeth (*knocks on wood*). He played for the Carolina Hurricanes Organization for six seasons before signing with the Boston Bruins in 2016, and he’s a big fan of johnnie-O, of course (about 40% of wardrobe consists of it…). We sat down with him to give you a little behind-the-scenes look into his life on and off the ice.
JO: Okay, first question, has anybody ever figured out what “eh” means in Canadian jargon?
RN: “Eh” is a Canadian term that only Canadians understand. It’s a Canadian secret!
JO: Who is the last person in the league you’d like to fight?
RN: That would be [Milan] Lucic. He is one big, scary man.
JO: This is your seventh professional season. What was it like the first time you were called up to play an NHL game?
RN: My first NHL game is kind of a blur. I remember finding out the night before I’d be called up and from then on, I was nervous. I had a hard time sleeping that night and the next day but ended up playing pretty well that night. It was such a surreal experience to accomplish something I had dreamt about since I first touched the ice and strapped on the skates at age 3. To say I’ve played seven years professionally now makes me feel so lucky and old. I can’t believe the time has passed so fast.
JO: How has the move to Boston been?
RN: It’s been exciting and nerve-wracking so far. Going into a place where I only knew a handful of people made me nervous, but I’ve made some new friends and enjoyed getting to know the city of Boston and embracing all the history that it has.
JO: What’s it like to be a part of an iconic hockey team with a heritage of championships and players who were some of the greatest in the sport? Do you feel a certain pressure to uphold the legacy?
RN: Growing up playing hockey, I always dreamt about playing for a city that loves the game of hockey. Boston definitely fits that criteria. There is some pressure that goes along with it to continue the legacy and keep the winning tradition alive, but I hope our team can channel that pressure into motivation and add another chapter to the already storied franchise.
JO: What’s your favorite restaurant in Boston so far?
RN: That would be the Navy Yard Bistro. It’s close to where I live, and they always have a delicious special on the menu. The swordfish is a 10 out of 10!
JO: Do you have any pregame rituals or routines? We heard something about ice cream…
RN: In Carolina, we had an ice cream machine at home that I may have tried out on more than a few occasions. However, here they don’t have that magical machine, so I’ve been forced to have fruit instead. Probably a wise decision in the long run.
JO: How do you keep busy on the road when you’re not playing?
RN: On the road, guys will often get together for lunches and dinners, taking up some time. I try to read on my Kindle as much as possible and whenever the hotels have a USA Today newspaper, I’ll give the crossword a go. My crossword game has steadily improved over the course of my professional career. I sit beside Dominic Moore, who is a Harvard grad, and also a crossword junkie, so if I’m ever stuck I always have him to help me along.
JO: What’s your favorite cocktail?
RN: Rum and coke or vodka water with lime or lime juice.
JO: What’s your favorite place to vacation?
RN: That would be my cabin back home in BC. A slice of heaven on earth in the summertime.
JO: What’s your favorite activity off the ice?
RN: I do a lot of boating and golfing in the off-season back home. As far as a vacation away from home, I’d have to go with Turks and Caicos. Ibiza is on my shortlist for future vacations.
JO: We hear you’re a pretty avid golfer, what is your favorite course you’ve played so far? Which ones are on your wishlist?
RN: I had the privilege of playing a couple of nice courses last year. Pebble Beach had some spectacular views, Spyglass had some great holes and an awesome course layout, but Chambers Bay in Seattle is my favorite thus far. I didn’t play too well but still had an unbelievable time there. Back in Kamloops, my favorite is Talking Rock Resort. It’s located right beside a lake with some awe-inspiring views and holes. I definitely recommend it to anybody that is ever up in that area.
JO: We know you introduced johnnie-O to several teammates during your time with the Carolina Hurricanes, and they really seemed to get on board. What about the brand do you think resonates with guys?
RN: The johnnie-O story is one of my favorite parts about the brand. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know John on a personal level, and he’s one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met. I couldn’t be happier to see his company succeeding the way it is. Also, the clothes are so comfortable and look great, what better combo can you ask for?
JO: What is your favorite johnnie-O product?
RN: Picking one johnnie-O product as my favorite is too hard, so I’ll list my top three. The button-down shirts are a must for any guy, as well as the PREP-FORMANCE polos for those hot days on the course. I’ve had my best rounds by far playing in those polos. And then recently I was introduced to the pants, which I wear more than someone should admit. The fit is great, they move with my active lifestyle, and they downright look great.
You can look as great as Riley too… head on over to our website to find your favorite pieces, and be sure to cheer him and Bruins on this season!