There are not a lot of opposing players who could bring an entire crowd to their feet, but John Scott did just that at the 2016 All-Star Game in Nashville, Tennessee.
His attitude was infectious, his handling of the situation was applaud-worthy, and he even showed off a little skill — clocking a 96 mile-per-hour slapshot and scoring two goals. Though Scott stole the show at Bridgestone Arena, the suggestion that he could be part of the solution to the Montreal Canadiens’ problems is beyond crazy.
It’s no secret the Habs are riding a never-ending skid. Their impressive 9-0 start is like a mystical dream now. What was once a team running away with their division is now a team that has less than a coin-flip’s chance of making the playoffs. Montreal’s in trouble, and nobody seems to have the answers. Michel Therrien does not. Marc Bergevin does not. Geoff Molson does not.
#Habs lose 16 of 20 for 1st time since Jan 27-Mar 17, 1940 (2-16-2). 9 pts in 20 games= .225 pts%. That’s a 37 point pace over a full 82 GP
— StatsCentre (@StatsCentre) January 18, 2016
As the Canadiens continue to pile on the losses, panic is starting to set in, and with panic comes wild proposals. Some fans want head coach Michel Therrien fired. Others believe a blockbuster trade might turn this team around. One idea that has recently gained a lot of traction is recalling Scott from the minors.
Since The Players’ Tribune ran John Scott’s story called ‘A Guy Like Me,’ there’s been a lot of hype surrounding the 33-year-old. The article really tugs at the heartstrings and suggests there’s a lot more to Scott than his ability to drop the gloves.
That’s evident in the video below.
Scott has talent — that’s a given. His work ethic is second-to-none, and he’d undoubtedly bolster the Habs’ size, grit and character up front, but that’s just not enough to justify recalling him from the St. John’s Ice Caps.
Scott has 11 points in 285 NHL games. Sure, you could argue his anemic offensive production is because he’s never really been given a chance to produce, but that’s still a 0.04 point-per-game pace. The Habs couldn’t put a beach ball in the ocean right now, let alone a puck in the net. Scott can’t score. The Canadiens can’t score. It just doesn’t make sense for Scott to take up a spot on the roster, while a player like Sven Andrighetto — who has tremendous offensive instincts — rots in the minors.
Scott can shoot the puck. He can even score the odd goal every now and then, but he can’t keep up with the pace of the game today. He’s a notorious possession drag and brings down pretty much every teammate he plays with.
Enforcers continue to be phased out of the NHL, as speedy skilled players take over the game. Scott would be lucky to get five minutes of ice time per game on Montreal. That’s essentially like playing a man down. Why waste a spot on a guy like Scott, who has no future with the team, when you could be giving valuable playing time to a developing prospect?
The Canadiens’ playoff hopes are dwindling, and it might even be smart to tank at this point — Scott could help with that. However, in a multi-billion dollar business, teams don’t do that. As former New York Jets head coach Herm Edwards put it, “You play to win the game.”
Scott’s road to the All-Star Game was incredibly inspiring, and the performance he put on was memorable. The reality is, that may be the last we see of John Scott in the NHL, and he couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out. Montreal needs to leave it that way.
Ryan graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2015 and is now pursuing a career in sports media. He also works at STATS LLC as a hockey reporter and the Rant Media Network as a copy editor.