John Scott will return to the NHL for the end of the 2015-16 season with the Montreal Canadiens.
The enforcer, who was selected for the NHL All-Star Game as a Pacific Division captain with an internet fan vote and won game MVP honors, had been with the Habs’ AHL team in St. John’s since a Jan. 15 trade from the Arizona Coyotes.
The New York Times’ John Branch tweeted out the news, which the Canadiens later confirmed. Since Scott’s trade to the Canadiens the idea of a recall had never been seriously broached in public as the team tried to turn around their year and make the playoffs, though coach Michel Therrien hinted that it could happen at some point following the All-Star Game.
Scott’s previous NHL regular season game came on Dec. 31 with the Coyotes. He has one assist in 11 games played and 25 penalty minutes, all with Arizona.
In 27 games with the IceCaps this season, Scott had four points and 85 penalty minutes. Amongst hockey fans he has turned into somewhat of a folk hero.
When Scott returned to St. John’s following his trip to Nashville for All-Star weekend he was showered with cheers and ‘MVP’ chants.
Scott’s story has been so touching that it led to a movie deal with Mitch Albom writing the script.
Scott recently delved into his playing future with Sportsnet, though the discussion was more about after this season than about a recall from the Canadiens. He is on a one-year $575,000 contract.
His future in the game depends on what team will take him, either in the AHL or NHL, and whether it’s a good set-up for Danielle and his daughters. “I would like any NHL market, honestly. It’s not like I’m gonna turn down a one-way. Beggars can’t be choosers. I can’t be picky.”
Either way, if Scott has played his final game in the NHL, he left a mark. He stopped reading about himself weeks before the All-Star Game, but his dad kept telling him his “feel-good” story was everywhere, like a gift to the NHL.
“And then I was gone,” Scott says, smiling. “Greatest gift to the AHL.”
The Canadiens are out of the playoff picture and have three games remaining. Their next game is Tuesday, April 5 at home against the Florida Panthers. Scott's recall provides a storybook ending to his year and gives the Canadiens something positive to promote in a disappointing season.
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