Boston Bruins: Claude Julien Shows Respect For John Scott
Those words were said shortly after John Scott laid out Loui Eriksson and fought Adam McQuaid before leaving the game with a match penalty on October 23rd, 2013. Loui Eriksson was skating in his first season as a member of the Boston Bruins and had just finished dumping the puck into the Buffalo Sabres end of the ice before being blindsided by future NHL All-Star Game captain and MVP John Scott. Eriksson was clearly dazed on the hit and was eventually diagnosed with a concussion; one that took him the better part of two seasons to fully come back from.
As the NHL described, Loui Eriksson was allowed to be checked on this play. The main point of contact on the hit was Loui Eriksson‘s head, and the force was clearly excessive, which led to a seven game suspension for John Scott.
Fast forward three years and John Scott was voted into the NHL All-Star game as a result of the fan-voting that the NHL implemented over the last two All-Star games. Scott was of course traded from the Arizona Coyotes (of the Pacific Division) to the Montreal Canadiens (of the Atlantic Division) and assigned to the St-Johns Icecaps (of the AHL) making him ineligible for the 2016 NHL All-Star game altogether. The uproar that this caused throughout the league was enough for Gary Bettman and the NHL to back-peddle and allow John Scott to participate in the game as the Pacific Division’s captain. What happened next shocked the entire hockey world.
John Scott scored two goals in the Pacific Division’s first game against the Central Division and eventually went on to be voted as the MVP of the entire All-Star Game after the Pacific Division won the tournament. Whether John Scott is a figure that people love, or hate, the All-Star weekend was clearly one that he enjoyed, and one that his peers, both players and coaches, felt he deserved.
“For what it’s worth, I think the fact that they had the big guy in there created excitement,” said Julien. “John Scott created some excitement, and not only that but I thought he handled himself well with the media. I thought he handled himself well on the ice. It certainly was something that was viewed at first as maybe negative, or a joke or whatever people wanted to call it.”
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Julien continued by saying “But I think he did an outstanding job standing up for himself, and standing up for his beliefs. The players in the league seemed to want that as well, and I thought he even did a great job even in the 3-on-3. Did anybody here even think he’d be as good as he was? I thought he did a great job. I give him a lot of credit for what he did, and I think at the same time it created some curiosity in the games. The 3-on-3 was probably one of the most interesting things that people wanted to see, but also the Scott situation as well. I don’t know what the ratings were, but I’m sure they were better than the last ones that were played.
Claude Julien had some high praise for a player that he described as essentially one-dimensional just three seasons ago after the Loui Eriksson situation. The All-Star Weekend is over. John Scott will more than likely fade into the background in the AHL for the remainder of the season. While those statements might both be true, for those who had a chance to witness the festivities in Nashville, the story of John Scott at the All-Star game will live forever.
Per TSN, John Scott has already been approached about the possibility of turning his story into a movie.
“The John Scott ride has been nothing short of a roller coaster to an incredible ending,” Scott’s agent, Ben Hankinson of Hockey Octagon said. “We do have a lot of different options for him to pursue, but he’s not looking to do everything there is. He’s going to have some different routes that he can take as far as books and even a potential movie. He can take it as far as he wants to.”
It isn’t every day that a player with the reputation of John Scott gets such wide-spread admiration, but the hockey community works in funny ways sometimes.
Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @BShareCohen to discuss all things Bruins and sports