With a career high three goals in his 2014-2015 campaign, oversized enforcer John Scott wasn’t brought back by the San Jose Sharks for another term.
Instead, he’s been picked up on a one year deal by the Arizona Coyotes — who seemingly have little use for him, but made the pick-up anyway.
With the announcement of the deal, Scott becomes the twelfth forward inked at the NHL level by the Pacific Division club — presumably taking the place of last year’s enforcer B.J. Crombeen, with a more likely home sitting in the press box. He’s the new Paul Bissonnette on a club that walked away from the fan favorite just one calendar year prior, but with less of a reputation for partying.
In terms of on-ice skill, this is almost a step backwards. Scott outplayed what many considered to be his talent ceiling with a three goal season in 2014-2015 for the underperforming Sharks, but that’s still a three goal season.
For the Coyotes, though, that may be the attitude they’re looking for — someone who outperformed what was expected of them and served as a positive role model off the ice, while costing them very little and posing very minimal risk.
A graduate of Michigan Tech, the 6 foot 8, 259 lb. Scott has now played in 274 NHL games, recording five goals and five assists over nearly eight years in the league. Four of those points came last year alone.
A friendly face who’s good to fans and even better to the community, Scott provides that ‘cult fan favorite’ without the team having to worry about him being a letdown. If he scores, it’s genuinely exciting. If he’s in the press box, what should be a league minimum contract isn’t causing outrage — and when he’s spending time with the slew of young skaters the Coyotes have, he’s an extremely positive voice to have whispering in their ears.
Overall, it’s no secret that the Coyotes are looking to add youth and hoping to see improvement, all while trying to balance the obtainment of fan trust under new ownership and the legal circus they’re embroiled in with the City of Glendale. Somewhere along the way, there’s going to be a player who doesn’t score like he should — so adding one who was the stark contrast to his frustrated teammates last year isn’t as crazy as it initially seems. When the shock wears off, plenty of fans are going to welcome the goofy but gentle giant who once wore a shirt commemorating his first goal of the season. Looking past the obvious talent drop-off, Scott is far from a bad person to have around your team.