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John Scott (ice hockey)

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John Scott
John Scott.png
Scott pictured during his tenure with the Chicago Blackhawks
Born (1982-09-26) September 26, 1982 (age 36)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Height 6 ft 8[1] in (203 cm)
Weight 260[1] lb (120 kg; 18 st 8 lb)
Position Left wing
Shot Left
Played for Minnesota Wild
Chicago Blackhawks
New York Rangers
Buffalo Sabres
San Jose Sharks
Arizona Coyotes
Montreal Canadiens
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2006–2016

John Howard Scott (born September 26, 1982) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey defenceman/winger. A professional player for nearly 10 seasons, Scott saw National Hockey League action with the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens. Scott was born in Edmonton, Alberta, but grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. He graduated from Michigan Technological University in 2006.

Scott gained prominence in January 2016 when, after an online campaign, he was named captain of the Pacific Division team for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, despite only having scored five goals in his career, and only one assist in his time with the Coyotes. Despite a trade to the Montreal Canadiens, and subsequently being sent down to the St. John's IceCaps, the Canadiens AHL affiliate, the NHL confirmed on January 19, 2016, that Scott would participate in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game as the captain of the Pacific Division.[2] Scott scored two goals in the tournament that helped his team advance to the finals where they were winners by a score of 1–0, and was voted the Most Valuable Player.[3][4]

A film based on Scott's final professional season and the events surrounding his All-Star appearance is currently in development.[5]

Playing career[edit]

While growing up in Ontario, Scott was a Boston Bruins fan and decided to be a defenseman following Ray Bourque. Undrafted, Scott committed to a four-year collegiate hockey career with Michigan Tech in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, hoping to at least have a degree if his hockey career did not pan out.[6] As an enforcing physical defenceman, Scott recorded 19 points with 347 penalty minutes in his time with the Huskies. Prior to his senior year, Scott was involved in an automobile accident while driving under the influence; he was convicted and spent an unspecified amount of time in jail.[7]

A free agent, Scott joined the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League in 2006. During his first professional season in 2006–07 he was signed by the Minnesota Wild to an entry-level contract.[8] The first time he was called up, he was unable to play in the game because it was against the Maple Leafs in Toronto, and he did not have his passport.[9] His first NHL game came one month later in Detroit against the Red Wings. In the 2009–10 season Scott scored his first NHL goal on November 15, 2009, against Michael Leighton of the Carolina Hurricanes in a 5–4 loss in a shootout.[10]

On July 1, 2010, Scott left the Wild as a free agent and signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks.

In the second year of his contract in the 2011–12 season, Scott was dealt at the trade deadline to the New York Rangers for a fifth-round draft pick in 2012 on February 27, 2012.[11]

On July 1, 2012, Scott agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Buffalo Sabres.[12] On May 20, 2013, the Sabres re-signed Scott to a one-year contract extension worth $750,000.

On October 31, 2013, Scott was suspended seven games for an illegal check to the head of the Bruins' Loui Eriksson a week prior.

On December 27, 2013, Scott scored his second career goal vs Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier.

On July 2, 2014, Scott signed as a free agent to a one-year contract with the San Jose Sharks.[13]

On October 26, 2014, against the Anaheim Ducks, Scott was subbed in via legal line change, and immediately began fighting Tim Jackman without attempting to play the puck,[14] though head coach Todd McLellan stated Scott had already been on the ice at the time, and the fight escalated into a line-brawl.[15] The next day, he was suspended for the next two games;[14] it was officially recorded as for "leaving the bench on a legal line change and starting an altercation".[16] According to the NHL's Department of Player Safety video, Scott said he left the bench with the desire to fight Jackman.[17]

On December 24, 2014, Scott was suspended for four games as "punishment for punching an unsuspecting opponent and causing an injury" on December 22 according to the NHL's Department of Player Safety. The punch/hit with stick was, again, on Jackman.[18]

On July 10, 2015, Scott signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Coyotes.[19]

All-Star season[edit]

Scott's entrance at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game

In the 2015–16 season, on January 2, 2016, Scott was announced as the winner of the NHL All Star Game fan vote, as the captain for the team representing the Pacific Division of the Western Conference.[20] Scott received the most votes of any player, despite having only recorded 1 point in 11 games played with the Coyotes (Scott spent much of the season as a healthy scratch) and scoring 5 goals in his entire career up to this point. The situation was compared to Rory Fitzpatrick's All Star campaign in 2007, in which fans vote for a player who would not conventionally be chosen as an All-Star to highlight a role player.[21][22]

TSN analyst Bob McKenzie reported that the NHL and the Coyotes had requested that Scott remove himself from the All-Star team. After being advised of the campaign, Scott made a statement to NHL fans, saying "Listen. I don’t deserve this. Vote for my teammates." After he was declared the winner of the fan vote, Scott decided that he would play in the game.[23]

On January 15, 2016, Scott was traded to the Montreal Canadiens along with Victor Bartley for Jarred Tinordi and Stefan Fournier. After Scott was traded, the Canadiens sent him down to their American Hockey League affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps. Arizona general manager Don Maloney insisted the trade was a business move, and not an attempt at keeping Scott out of the All-Star Game. Speculation surfaced that Scott was potentially to be ruled ineligible to be on the All-Star team because of his move to an AHL roster and to an NHL team in the Atlantic division.[24][25][26] On January 19 Scott was officially declared by the NHL to be the captain of the Pacific Division roster at the 2016 All-Star Game.[2] Scott later penned an article for The Players' Tribune, entitled A Guy Like Me, in which he stated the NHL tried to persuade him not to play in the game.[6]

During the All-Star Game, Scott scored two goals in the semifinal of the tournament to propel his team into the final—which the Pacific Division ultimately won, and was named All-Star Game MVP, despite not being included in the voting.[27] When he was excluded, fans (including players such as Henrik Lundqvist and official team accounts for the Ottawa Senators, Philadelphia Flyers, Vancouver Canucks, and Edmonton Oilers among others) took to Twitter with the hashtag #VoteMVPScott. Faced with this overwhelming support, the NHL awarded Scott the title.[28]

Scott's helmet at the All-Star game was sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame,[29] and Scott's agent was approached about a film based on Scott's career as well as several endorsement deals.[30]

On April 3, 2016, Scott was called up from the St. John's IceCaps by the Canadiens.[31] It was his first time back in the NHL since December 31, 2015. On April 5, 2016, Scott played in his first NHL game with the Canadiens, where he had 3 shots, 7 hits, and 2 penalty minutes. Directly after the game he was given the option to return to St. John's to finish the season or return to Michigan to see his family for the first time in nearly two months. Scott returned home, ending his season.[32]

On December 7, 2016, Scott announced his retirement from hockey in a Players' Tribune article titled Five Goals, Four Kids, One Hell of a Good Time.[33]

Personal life[edit]

Scott has a mechanical engineering degree from Michigan Tech, where he played his college hockey with the Huskies. Sidelined by his career, Scott graduated only in 2010.[34] He still has a home in Traverse City, Michigan.[35] Scott and his wife Danielle, a fellow Michigan Tech student who graduated in biomedical engineering,[34] have five daughters, including a set of identical twins, who were born a week after his All-Star Game appearance.[36][37]

Scott's autobiography, A Guy Like Me: Fighting to Make the Cut, was released December 27, 2016.[38]

In the media and legacy[edit]

After taking the hockey world by storm as a write-in for the All Star Game captaincy, Scott was discouraged from participating by the NHL yet ultimately took part and was chosen as the MVP after winning the tournament. Following the game, it was reported that Mandalay Sports Media acquired the rights to create a movie about the enforcer. The film script will be written by Mitch Albom, who is a sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press and a regular on ESPN's Sports Reporters and SportsCenter. He has written three movies, four plays and seven books but explained that each project is different. According to Albom, Scott's story is comparable to that of fictional character, Rocky Balboa.[39] As of early 2019, Scott has confirmed that casting has almost concluded.[40]

Da Beauty League, a recreational summer ice hockey league that features numerous NHL stars, named its championship cup the "John Scott Cup" and awarded Scott an honorary commissioner position in the league. The league's logo is a silhouette of Scott.[41]

In 2017, Scott appeared in an episode of the TV series S.W.A.T. called "Imposters"; he portrayed Bobby Strock, a hockey player who needs protection from the show's protagonists after receiving death threats for injuring a popular hometown player on a dirty hit.[42]

In 2019, Radiolab released a podcast about Scott and his All-Star Game appearance titled "The Punchline".[43]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2001–02 Chicago Freeze NAHL 53 4 8 12 240
2002–03 Michigan Tech WCHA 31 1 3 4 64
2003–04 Michigan Tech WCHA 35 1 3 4 100
2004–05 Michigan Tech WCHA 36 2 4 6 101
2005–06 Michigan Tech WCHA 24 3 2 5 82
2006–07 Houston Aeros AHL 65 1 5 6 107
2007–08 Houston Aeros AHL 64 3 0 3 184 5 0 0 0 13
2008–09 Minnesota Wild NHL 20 0 1 1 21
2008–09 Houston Aeros AHL 44 2 2 4 111
2009–10 Minnesota Wild NHL 51 1 1 2 90
2010–11 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 40 0 1 1 72 4 0 0 0 22
2011–12 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 29 0 1 1 48
2011–12 New York Rangers NHL 6 0 0 0 5
2012–13 Buffalo Sabres NHL 34 0 0 0 69
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 56 1 0 1 125
2014–15 San Jose Sharks NHL 38 3 1 4 87
2015–16 Arizona Coyotes NHL 11 0 1 1 25
2015–16 St. John's IceCaps AHL 27 2 2 4 85
2015–16 Montreal Canadiens NHL 1 0 0 0 2
NHL totals 286 5 6 11 544 4 0 0 0 22

Awards and achievements[edit]

Award Year(s) awarded
NHL All-Star Game 2016 (Pacific Division captain)[2]
NHL All-Star Game MVP 2016[3]
NHL Star of the Week Jan. 25–31, 2016[44]


  1. ^ a b "John Scott Stats and News". Retrieved 3 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "John Scott will captain Pacific Division All-Stars". Retrieved January 19, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "John Scott scores 2 goals, wins MVP, proves he belongs in NHL all-star game". The Associated Press. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Burke, Timothy. "John Scott Scores Two Goals In NHL All-Star Game, Wins MVP Trophy". Screengrabber. Deadspin. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  5. ^ Fox, Luke. "The John Scott movie is going to happen 'fairly quickly'". SportsNet. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b Scott, John (January 28, 2016). "A Guy Like Me". The Players' Tribune. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Wild signs D John Scott to a contract". Minnesota Wild. 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2010-07-01.
  9. ^ Minton, Jack (February 3, 2016). "Why John Scott Matters". Third Stone Pop.
  10. ^ "Jokinen gets shootout winner to help Hurricanes snap 14-game slide". CBS Sports.
  11. ^ "Rangers obtain Scott from Blackhawks". New York Rangers. February 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
  12. ^ "Sabres agreed to terms with Forward John Scott". Buffalo Sabres. 2012-07-01. Retrieved 2012-07-01.
  13. ^ "Scott, Fedun sign one-year contracts with Sharks". National Hockey League. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-01.
  14. ^ a b Associated Press (October 27, 2014). "F John Scott suspended by NHL". ESPN. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  15. ^ Pashelka, Curtis (October 26, 2014). "San Jose Sharks blast Ducks to halt losing streak". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2014-10-27.
  16. ^ "John Scott Suspended Two Games". National Hockey League. 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2014-10-28.
  17. ^ "John Scott learns lesson from Phil Kessel incident". Yahoo! Sports. 2014-10-28. Retrieved 2014-10-28.
  18. ^ "San Jose Sharks forward John Scott handed four-game suspension". National Hockey League. 2014-12-24. Retrieved 2014-12-24.
  19. ^ Mahiban, Dhiren (July 10, 2015). "Beefing up: Coyotes ink John Scott". NBC Sports. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  20. ^ "Fans elect division captains for 2016 All-Star Game". Retrieved January 2, 2016.
  21. ^ Traikos, Michael (December 2, 2015). "John Scott, an enforcer with five career goals and a sense of humour, might be just what the NHL All-Star Game needs". National Post. Postmedia Network. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  22. ^ Mirtle, James (December 2, 2015). "If fans vote enforcer John Scott into all-star game, NHL says he's going". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  23. ^ Grautski, Amara. "John Scott explains lengths NHL went to in attempt to keep him out of All-Star Game". New York Daily News. NYDailyNews. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  24. ^ "John Scott deal further complicates All-Star debacle". Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  25. ^ "John Scott's AHL demotion may make him ineligible for NHL All-Star Game". Habs Eyes On the Prize (SBNation). Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  26. ^ "Montreal Canadiens acquire all-star John Scott in trade". Retrieved January 15, 2016.
  27. ^ "John Scott scores twice in first NHL All-Star Game". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
  28. ^ "John Scott wasn't a NHL All-Star MVP finalist, but still won with overwhelming fan support". SB Nation. January 31, 2016. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  29. ^ Arthur, Bruce (2016-01-31). "All-star MVP John Scott saved hockey, for a day: Arthur". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  30. ^ Seravalli, Frank (2016-02-01). "#MondayMustRead: Scott approached about movie". TSN. Retrieved 2016-02-02.
  31. ^ John Scott recalled by Canadiens
  32. ^ John Scott relishes first, possibly last, game for Canadiens
  33. ^ Scott, John (December 7, 2016). "Five Goals, Four Kids, One Hell of a Good Time". The Players' Tribune. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  34. ^ a b Heart of a Husky
  35. ^ Branch, John (2016-04-04). "Coming In From the Cold: John Scott Is Joining the Canadiens". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-08-09.
  36. ^ Peters, Chris (February 5, 2016). "NHL All-Star MVP John Scott's wife gives birth to twin girls". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  37. ^ "John Scott 'welcome' at NHL All-Star Game, Bettman says". Retrieved 2016-01-31.
  38. ^
  39. ^ MacDonald, Joe. "Mitch Albom calls John Scott's journey 'a story for our time'". Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  40. ^ "Catching up with John Scott". WGN Radio - 720 AM. 2019-02-04. Retrieved 2019-02-04.
  41. ^
  42. ^ Kenney, Madeline (November 27, 2017). "Former Blackhawks player to star as 'tough guy' in S.W.A.T. on CBS". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  43. ^ Nasser, Latif (January 16, 2019). "The Punchline". Radiolab. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  44. ^ "Scott, Atkinson, Eichel named stars of week". NHL. Retrieved February 1, 2016.

External links[edit]