New York hockey player says Jeremy Lin can punch him

On Monday, the NHL had its annual trade deadline, with the New York Rangers swinging one deal to obtain enforcer John Scott from the Chicago Blackhawks. This move was only notable in NBA circles, because, two weeks ago, he caught a Knicks game at Madison Square Garden and informed reporters that Derrick Rose could take Jeremy Lin with no problem. That might not seem like a terribly shocking opinion, given that Rose is the league's reigning MVP and quite possibly the most explosive point guard of all time, but we call this whole thing "Linsanity" for a reason.

Now that he works in New York, Scott needs to take a different approach. So, like any normal person, he walked back his comments and said that Lin can punch him if he wants. From Christopher Botta for The New York Times' Slap Shot blog (via PBT):

Now that Scott is a member the Rangers and works for the same parent company as Lin, he was offered a chance to soften his review.

"No, it's O.K.," Scott said, laughing. "You can't kill a guy for offering his opinion. I was just saying he had one weakness to work on. Most of us have a lot more than that. Look at me. No one thought I could make it to the N.H.L., and there are a lot of people who still don't think I belong.

"I haven't come close to reaching his level, and I never will, but I can relate to Jeremy. I hope I get to meet him soon at the Garden or the practice facility. For what I said, he can even punch me in the hallway if he wants to."

Again, Scott has nothing to apologize for, because Lin would probably agree that he's not as good as Rose. He made these statements to appeal to the fans of his new team, which is no shameful act. Everyone wants to work in a positive environment.

[Related: Jeremy Lin brings big surge to New York Knicks websites]

Or maybe I'm just misunderstanding Scott's hockey etiquette. As an enforcer, punching is a part of his life. It's possible that asking someone to punch him is a sign of respect, or the way hockey players ask each other if they want to go to their birthday parties.

I don't get that world at all. Did you know that the prime minister of Scott's native Canada is a moose?

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