Chicago Blackhawks’ John Scott
John Scott came to the Chicago Blackhawks before the 2011-12 season. Coming off a cup win in 2010, the Blackhawks saw many key role players depart because of salary cap constraints.
Key players, as in Adam Burish, Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd.
Scott was a guy who was supposed to help replace some of the physical roles played by guys like Burish and Eager, especially. He largely did just that as his physicality and ability as an enforcer were both keys to Blackhawks teams during his time in Chicago.
For example, there was a game in which Pittsburgh Penguins’ defenseman Deryk Engelland raised his elbow, left his feet and hit Blackhawks center Marcus Kruger in the head.
Kruger never saw it coming and went on to miss games with a concussion.
Kruger didn’t see Engelland coming, however Engelland should’ve seen Scott coming. Watch this clip and see just how fast Scott jumps into the play.
I don’t think John Scott let Engelland get a punch in.
Scott earned himself a reputation as one of the best enforcers in the league all because he wanted to stand up for his teammates. He wanted to fire the guys on the bench up.
John wanted to have their backs.
He recalls his first fight in the AHL as something he’ll never forget. So much so that he wrote about this experience (and so, so much more) in his Players Tribune piece, titled “A Guy Like Me.”
"We’re ready to go out onto the ice, and my coach looks around the room. Then he looks right at me, dead in the eyes. “Scott. Do. Not. Fight. D.J. King.” I’m like, “Who the h*ll is D.J. King?” His eyes are bulging now, like, “D.J. King is a billed heavyweight. D.J. King is a freaking animal.” So what I did was … I fought D.J. King. And what he did was … he busted me right in the jaw. At that moment, I realized, Oh, okay. Wow. This is what it feels like to get really hit. But somehow, I was able to keep my feet and kind of win the fight. My teammates went nuts. And then I realized another thing: Oh, okay. Wow. This feels good. Not my face. That feels bad. But it feels good to make my teammates go nuts."
From that point on, Scott was an enforcer. It wasn’t because that’s who he was as a player (all his life he was a rock-solid stay at home defenseman) however he saw it as a way to move up the ladder.
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In fact, he never even saw himself as someone who had a shot at making the NHL. He played college hockey at Michigan Tech University on a scholarship.
By the team he graduated, he had an engineering degree, a wife and an offer to play in the American Hockey League.
Not a bad four years there, John.
Scott promised his wife he’d try it for three years. If he didn’t make it, he’d sign a contract with the real world and take his engineering to an office in Ontario.
In those three years, Scott eventually got his chance and broke into the NHL. He’d spend the next 10 years across seven different NHL organizations.
John made some memories in Chicago, but the story which transpired while with the Arizona Coyotes is one which needs to be told.