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Sharks say Scott adds ‘element of security’

John Scott

Buffalo Sabres’ John Scott (32) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Edmonton, Alberta, on Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jason Franson)


More than a few stats-leaning San Jose Sharks fans groaned when they heard that the team signed seemingly one-dimensional fighter John Scott this summer, but the hard-hitter doesn’t seem to think he’s so limited. He told as much on Sunday:

“If I couldn’t play or get up and down the ice I think I’d be out of the league,” Scott said. “I think they’ve gotten rid of the one-dimensional guys who just drop their mitts and play two seconds.”

It’s true that Scott, 31, played more than two seconds per night ... but he didn’t see much time. He logged an average of 6:45 time on ice per game, easily the lowest of any Buffalo Sabres regular last season; fellow “limited” forward Patrick Kaleta saw the second-lowest ice time per contest with 8:20.

Sharks head coach Todd McLellan praised Scott’s hockey IQ (stating that he has the “set of tools in him” to play on both defense and at forward”), but the quote that really means anything states that it really is about “dropping the mitts.”

“He brings an element of security,” McLellan said.

Scott made the usual and divisive “having an enforcer serves as a deterrent for dirty hits” argument, but such a theory remains up to debate. The bottom line is that the Sharks have to hope that Scott will be dealing more damage to opponents than his flawed play does to his team when he’s on the ice.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins