A trade was apparently the last thing John Scott had on his mind Monday morning, but by 2 p.m. he found out he'd no longer be wearing an Indian-head sweater. The 6-foot-8 enforcer was dealt to the New York Rangers in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft.
"I was shocked. I didn't really expect to get moved at the trade deadline, that's for sure," Scott said. "I talked to a couple guys and they were shocked, too. They were wondering why I was traded. I don't know, but it's sad to leave those guys. I built a couple good friendships here over the last two years, so it was a sad day that's for sure."
"John was a very popular guy and I had a good chat with him today," general manager Stan Bowman said Monday on Chicago Tribune Live. "I think he's improved quite a bit from when we first got him and I think that's a credit to him for all the hard work he put in. He's a very likeable player. Obviously he brings that toughness to the mix. We never got him enough minutes, really, to be a big contributor. But he had a great attitude, he's a team guy... we wish John all the best."
Scott played 69 games in nearly two seasons with the Hawks, picking up two assists to go along with 89 hits and 120 penalty minutes and he is leaving with a dead even rating in the plusminus category.
"It was a frustrating year and a half as far as hockey goes," Scott admitted. "I don't think I really got too much of an opportunity to play as much as I wanted to, but it is what it is and I just didn't really fit in. But as for off the ice friendships and bonding with teammates it was as good as I've seen it anywhere. That team is awesome, the guys are great. It's sad to leave, I definitely made some lifelong friends on that team. I hope to see them along the line somewhere."
He'll see them sooner rather than later as New York visits the United Center on Friday, March 9 -- a date Scott already has circled.
"Oh, I'm very aware of that."
Probably not the way the Blackhawks wanted to start their second half of the season.
After a five-day break, the Blackhawks suffered a brutal 7-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday night at the United Center. This coming after a 4-0 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on home ice last Sunday.
"It was a game we had to win," Quenneville said after Saturday's loss. "Disappointing in a lot of ways."
The Blackhawks needed both goaltenders to get through 60 minutes. Anton Forsberg and Jeff Glass combined for 39 saves on 46 shots.
On the offensive side of things, Patrick Kane hit a milestone.
The 29-year-old had two goals and an assist and recorded his 800th career point, becoming the fifth player in franchise history to reach 800 points.
The Blackhawks are now 22-18-6 on the season with 50 points and rank last in the Central Division, five points behind the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild.
The Blackhawks' schedule doesn't get any easier when the Tampa Bay Lightning — the league-leader in points — come to town on Monday.
See what Quenneville and Kane had to say about Saturday's loss in the video above.
Here are Three Things to Watch when the Blackhawks take on the New York Islanders tonight on NBC Sports Chicago and streaming live on the NBC Sports app. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live.
1. Erik Gustafsson's season debut.
The Blackhawks recalled one of their top defensive prospects on Jan. 9 but haven't been able to get him some game action yet. All signs point to that changing tonight.
He skated on a pairing with Brent Seabrook during Friday's practice, and was even placed on the second power play unit during special teams drills. Joel Quenneville was excited about the possibility of finally getting Gustafsson into the lineup.
"Good option, good opportunity," Quenneville said. "We’re not for sure but certainly he’s been around, he’s eager to go. I look forward to seeing what he can do."
2. Anthony Duclair's promotion.
He hasn't been in Chicago for very long but Duclair is quickly working his way up the lineup. The newly-acquired Blackhawk registered an assist in his team debut last Friday in a 2-1 victory over Winnipeg, and was put on a power play unit as well.
On Friday, Duclair was promoted to the top line with Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews and continued getting reps on the second power-play unit. Let's see if the 22-year-old can take advantage of that opportunity in a top-six role.
3. Mathew Barzal.
Three rookies will be named finalists for the Calder Trophy at the end of the season. Barzal is a lock to be one of them.
He not only leads all rookies with 48 points, but he ranks 15th in the entire league in the scoring race and is the only first-year player averaging at least a point per game.
The 20-year-old center has been sensational and he already has two five-point games in his young professional career. To put that into perspective, Patrick Kane recorded his first NHL five-point effort two weeks ago against the Ottawa Senators.