By Johnny Carey, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — From all-star to movie star, it’s just another week in the life of St. John’s IceCaps legend John Scott.
The big man who captured the attention of the hockey world over the past few weeks may soon be immortalized on the big screen. According to Scott’s agent Ben Hankinson, movies, books, and just about everything short of a bust in the Hockey Hall of Fame could be on the horizon for the All-Star Game MVP.
“The John Scott ride has been nothing short of a roller coaster to an incredible ending,” Hankinson told TSN. “We do have a lot of different options for him to pursue, but he’s not looking to do everything there is. He’s going to have some different routes that he can take as far as books and even a potential movie. He can take it as far as he wants to.”
That just doesn’t sound right. I mean, a John Scott movie?
It’s baffling, actually.
The All-Star Game MVP who has racked up 11 points in 285 career NHL games was widely criticized for an elbow to the head of Loui Eriksson less than three years ago, as fans and media alike called for the removal of the “goon” from the NHL. Now it appears that Scott is the most popular player in hockey.
Maybe I just inadvertently made a case for the John Scott story — an underdog tale with a little bit of nuance. Either way, it’s hard to think of another athlete whose perception has changed so drastically, so quickly.
Fun fact: Former Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston was fined in September 2013 for “Player Selection and Team Conduct” after choosing to put John Scott on the ice after a brawl. Essentially, the NHL deemed it illegal to put John Scott on the ice because they saw it as intent to injure, not to win. Fines like that are just about unheard of in the NHL, but then again, John Scott has always proven to be an exception to the rule.
Scott’s newfound popularity has a lot to do with a powerful Players’ Tribune Article in which he delved into his own perspective on everything from the all-star process to his goon label. The narrative exposed the NHL’s shameful treatment of Scott, which is all the more provocative given the current climate of distrust between fans and leadership across sports. If you haven’t already checked it out, you should.
One man, however, has always been very, very anti-John Scott, and he’s not buying any of this winter’s Scott-mania.
That man is former Bruin Mike Milbury of NBC Sports. After the Eriksson hit in October 2013, Milbury went on an infamous, and perhaps excessive rant about Scott.
A man who once climbed into the stands and beat a fan with a shoe called for the expulsion of a player on the grounds that the player was a goon. I hate the term “hot take” but that opinion was nothing less than scorching.
Either way, it’s safe to say Mike Milbury is not a fan of John Scott.
Throughout the entire All-Star Game process, Milbury criticized the inclusion of Scott, once again citing that he didn’t belong. He even criticized the fans who wanted to include Scott.
When analyzing the John Scott-centered Pacific All-Star line, Milbury had this to say.
“The next line is the doughnut line, (with) the hole in the middle” said Milbury. “We got [Corey] Perry who can score, [Daniel] Sedin who can score, and Scott will take short shifts.”
Those comments haven’t gone over so well. In fact, more than 13,000 people have signed a petition to remove Milbury from the NHL on NBC specifically because of those comments. People love John Scott nowadays.
Part of the Change.com petition reads:
“Former NHL player, coach, general manager and current NBC Sports Network desk analyst Mike Milbury has proved time in and time out that he is unfit to do his job properly. His rude and demeaning matter has not only made many of the NBCSN Intermission reports significantly less enjoyable but has also caused many of the fans to call for a change, something that NBC has failed to do. Please do the fans, players, media personalities and John Scott a favor by signing this petition to remove the embarrassment that is Milbury from NBC Sports Network entirely, thank you.”
I doubt Milbury will be pre-ordering his tickets to the John Scott movie.
Unsurprisingly, it appears that John Scott isn’t much of a Mike Milbury fan either. When asked who could play him in the movie, Scott took advantage of his chance to shoot back at Milbury.
“I think maybe Mike Milbury, right? That’d be perfect,” said Scott. “He’d have to lose some weight.”
I love this quarrel. Two guys who are best known for throwing punches on the ice throwing verbal barbs at each other is awesome. You would think Milbury would enjoy a player like Scott more than he does. Perhaps he’s just a contrarian. Maybe even at his argument’s core, he’s right. After all, John Scott is not a good NHL player. Either way, it’s a fun and refreshing back-and-forth that feels like it could only happen in hockey.
It really is too bad those two never got to drop the gloves against each other.
Even further, it got me thinking about who would play Scott in the movie other than Milbury. Liev Schrieber is out since he essentially already played John Scott in the cinematic classic “Goon.”
I keep coming to the same conclusion: Vince Vaughn. He’s a big guy who’s usually funny, and pretty much has the John Scott look down. It’s too easy to pass up. As long as we find a spot for Owen Wilson, Vaughn is perfect for the role.
I actually think it’d be a pretty compelling movie, and I can’t wait to get a full review of “The John Scott Story” by none other than Mike Milbury.
Johnny Carey is a senior at Boston College. You can find him on Twitter @JohnnyHeights.