So it ends. Right before the Trade Deadline Big John Scott moved faster than he ever has in his entire life as he was traded to the New York Rangers for a
bag of pucks Fifth Round Draft Pick. This bold move left the Noble Citizens of Hawks Nation stunned. Many tried to hide their shock by bursting into uncontrollable laughter. Others found themselves involuntarily dancing around the room. There was at least one report of a man running down the streets of Columbus hugging random strangers. Grief manifests itself in many ways.
Now that we've had a few days to reflect on Scott's departure it feels right to take a moment to remember the Man Never Known As Long John Quicksilver.The Man Behind The Fists:
John Scott was born in St.Catherines, ON. He first showed hints of the player that he would become in Elementary School. Recalls his Second Grade Teacher:
I remember that a big kid called Gordie McSmash was terrorizing the smaller children at recess, taking their lunch money and giving them wedgies. Well, when Johnny got to hear about it he went tearing out there after him. Unfortunately by the time Johnny got to the yard all the kids had gone back to class and Johnny had to serve a detention for being tardy after recess.
Soon John moved on to Michigan Tech where he earned a Degree in Mechanical Engineering in order to help with dressing himself in the morning. He also played for their Collegiate team and punched his way to an AHL contract with the Houston Aeros, feeder team for the Minnesota Wild, who he joined for the 06/07 Season. The Hockey world was stunned on Nov 15 2009 when Scott scored his first and (thus far) only NHL goal. Then they heard it was against Michael Leighton and said "Ahh! OK then".
The "Fluffy" Era Begins:
In the 2010 Offseason Stan Bowman created a storm of controversy (especially among all those hordes who were calling for his head even back then, oh yes) by signing John Scott to the Chicago Blackhawks. Many expressed concern that a slow-moving Human Pylon would not fit in with the Hawks speedy, puck-retention game and that Coach Quenneville would never play him. They were half-right.
Soon Big John was stunning Hawks Fans with his complete inability to skate, failure to protect our smaller players and capacity for taking dumb penalties at critical moments. What was even more of a shock was Coach Q's apparent man-crush on the player now know as "Fluffy". Then in a press conference, he made his true feelings clear in an unguarded moment:
"Sure, John can only play three minutes a night, Keith is just going to have to suck it up. we're already producing a One-Goal shot that says he's got, like, "500% the Lung Capacity of a normal guy, yadda yadda". The fans will buy that. And yeah, he skates like a stoned sloth trying to swim through a lake of molasses and yeah, no-one is dumb enough to actually fight him. But hey, he's versatile."
Because these candid remarks were addressed to Hawks Beat Reporters we only ever got to hear the last sentence. "What" we wondered "does he mean by versatile?" . We soon found out. There was seemingly no end to John Scott's lack of talent: he turned up everywhere, sucking at Defense, being a terrible Winger, screwing up the PP and being a liability on the PK. His TOI increased to maybe 4 minutes a night. Duncan Keith began to ignore line change calls as by the time he made it to the bench he'd be due back on the ice.
But what of the main reason that Scott was brought to the Hawks? Where was the protection for Kane, Toews and Sharp that had been promised. Well, a big part of the problem was Scott's lack of speed which meant that,unless he'd already so badly maimed an opponent that he couldn't crawl, he was incapable of catching the perpetrators.
Said Famous Canucks Douchecopter Kevin "Chimpy McSmirkton" Bieksa in his irritating voice:
"Scott? Guess I'll just skate away from him and then, when I'm safe behind the bench, give him the finger and call him nasty names. Then I'll just go back to cheap-shotting people as usual. If he does catch me then I'll just Turtle anyway. I'm great, aren't I?"
However, some were either too slow, too stupid or both. They answered the belll and they fell to the Fists Of Fluffy. Soon, like a Who's-Who of Hockey Penisloafs, the names of Cam "Bag Of Dicks" Janssen, Zack Stortini and Brad Winchester were being ticked off in Scott's "Scrapbook of Idiots I've Punched". But it was on November 27th 2010, in a game against the Kings that the fight for which Treebeard will most be remembered occurred.
Scott's mauling of Westgarth remains one of the few occasions that he is recalled with something like love by Blackhawks fans. Sadly it also drastically reduced the number of opponents willing to re-enact the Hockey-Equivalent of the "Fire-Extinguisher Scene" in Irreversible. (Do NOT look this up unless you have a strong, strong stomach). However, in his final season with the Hawks John Scott managed a couple more memorable brawls including one with Arch-Asshat Ryan Reaves of the Blues and, in a game against Columbus, a bout with Derek Dorsett that Deadspin famously referred to as Small Child Attempts To Fight Professional Hockey Player
Of course, it wasn't all about the fighting and the falling over for Big John. While fans wept and ground their teeth as the words "Lepisto" and "Healthy Scratch" appeared over and over again before our eyes, Scott had become a firm favourite among his fellow players and also their Union rep. Word is that Fehr will be bringing him along to the CBA negotiations. Expect to see Player Salaries triple, Jacuzzis in every Locker Room and Gary Bettman becoming the latest member of the Ice Crew.
Johns acting abilities were also amply demonstrated in the hilarious Freshwave Commercials on BHTV, and also in a long-running tragicomic drama where he pretended to be a NHL Player.
But all good things must come to an end. Sun up, Sun down. We would all like to wish Fluffy the very best of luck in the Big Apple and hope to see him pureeing Milan Lucic in the near future. Our loss is the NY Pressbox's gain.
So Farewell, you Prince Of Punchups, You Potentate Of The Pressbox, Favourite of Meatheads everywhere. We'll not see your like again (Bollig can skate, aapparently). Until we meet again, either in This Life or the Next (or March 9th if NYR have a SHITLOAD of injuries). And I guess this means I'm going to have to come up with some new jokes. Damn
Now go on, SCOOT!