The pros and cons of calling up John Scott

The Montreal Canadiens seemed destined for a deep playoff run early in this NHL season but, after a terrible slump, just making it to the post season at this point will be an accomplishment.

As the Montreal Canadiens drift further from the playoffs, is it time to call up John Scott from the minors?

John Scott celebrates after scoring a goal 47 seconds into the all-star game. He ended up scoring twice and his team won 9-6 to advance to the final. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens seemed destined for a deep playoff run early in this NHL season but after a terrible slump, just making it to the post season at this point will be an accomplishment.

The Habs need help and after John Scott's M.V.P. performance during the All-Star weekend, many fans are starting to wonder why he's toiling away in the minor leagues when he could be playing in Montreal.

Is bringing John Scott up from the minors the right move? Here are some of the pros and cons:

Pro: Scott is popular

John Scott has emerged as one of the best stories in pro sports this year and while voting him into the All-Star game may have started as a joke, he embraced the moment and endeared himself to the fans. 

The chants of M-V-P rained down from the fans in Nashville while he was hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates at the end of the game. It was like a moment out of a movie (and reportedly could be on track to be made into a movie too). 

Fans clearly like John Scott, so what better gift to give to the suffering Habs faithful than putting him in uniform for a game at the Bell Centre?

There hasn't been much to cheer about in Montreal recently, why not orchestrate a roar by putting Scott on the ice?

Pro: Other players like him 

But it's not just the fans who clearly love John Scott. By all accounts, he's a great teammate.

The players in the league describe him as a great guy to have in the locker room and a great guy to have on their side when things get hairy on the ice.

He could be a unifying element in the Habs room if he's called up. He could be the factor that balances that ever elusive "team chemistry." 

Con: AHL Fans love him too

Fans of the St. John's Ice Caps in Newfoundland were vocal enough with their support for John Scott that they managed to convince the team to temporarily change its Twitter handle to the "St JohnScott Ice Caps."

How will they feel on 'The Rock' if the Habs rip away an opportunity to cheer for the man in person?

I know many Montrealers aren't happy about Newfoundland's Rick Mercer's pipeline rant last week, but stealing Scott away from them hardly seems like a fair reprisal.

Con: He can't really play hockey

Unfortunately for those who are riding the Pro-John Scott band wagon right now, there is one tiny problem: John Scott is not much of a 'hockey' player. 

Yes, John Scott was in the NHL for parts of 8 seasons, but that has more to do with his size than his skill. And yes, John Scott scored two goals in the All-Star game, but that says more about how bad the quality of the hockey is during the All-Star game than anything else. 

The fact is that the Habs' biggest problem regarding their slump has been a lack of goal scoring and John Scott is not going to help the team in that department.

Pro: Habs are at rock bottom 

But what does the team have to lose at this point? They're mired in an epic slump which has been low-lighted by miscues which end up costing them game after game.

How much worse could John Scott make it for the Habs at this point anyway? They can't get any worse, right? 

Pro - Justify the trade

To acquire John Scott, the Habs made a trade which makes no logic from a hockey perspective. Montreal gave up Jarred Tinordi (a former 1st round draft pick) and prospect Stefan Fournier for Scott and Victor Bartley. Scott was immediately sent down to the minors and Bartley – the supposed centre piece of the transaction – followed him to the AHL only a few days later. 

Tinordi was a real hockey player who Montreal spent years developing. Why would they give him away for two guys who aren't going to play in the NHL? The circumstances around this trade are suspicious and Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin didn't offer an explanation for it when he was asked at a news conference before the All-Star break.

If Scott gets called up and gets the Habs fans on their feet – even if only for a brief moment – isn't that better than no return at the NHL-level for this trade?

About the Author

Douglas Gelevan

Douglas Gelevan, a national award-winning sports journalist, has been a member of the CBC team since 2010. He is currently the sports journalist for CBC News Montreal.


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