Best wishes to RJ

John Scott could be facing a long suspension. ©2013, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Apologetic and emotional over head hit, Sabres tough guy John Scott says he belongs in NHL

Bill Hoppe     Olean Times Herald

BUFFALO – Sabres tough guy John Scott acknowledges that, yes, 5:49 into the third period Wednesday, his powerful hit to Loui Eriksson’s head, while not intentional, was illegal.

“It happened pretty fast,” an apologetic Scott said after practicing this morning inside the First Niagara Center. “I just thought I was completing a check. But, obviously, I hit his head. It wasn’t exactly what I was aiming for. I didn’t want to do that. It’s just a bad play, unfortunate it happened.”

Update: The Bruins have announced Eriksson has a concussion and is out indefinitely.

But the 6-foot-8 Scott, who had never been suspended in his 187-game NHL career, bristles at the cries he’s a dirty player and doesn’t belong in the league.

“I don’t think I’m a dirty player,” Scott said. “I try to play within the code, within the rules. This is my first suspension. I don’t think I’m dirty. I don’t try to be a dirty player. I kind of feel really upset. I was sick to my stomach last night knowing what happened watching the video. I just kind of regret the whole situation. I don’t want to be a dirty player.”

Scott, who skated 5:15 in the Sabres’ 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins, said “it’s just nonsense” some observers are saying coach Ron Rolston had his enforcer on the ice to hurt someone.

“There was 14 minutes left in the game,” Scott said. “If you watch my shifts, our line was doing pretty well. We had zone time, we were playing really well. So to say he sends me out there just to hurt somebody is just asinine, is just completely false and not what happens at all.”

Then Scott started becoming a bit emotional.

“I’m a hockey player,” he said. “I go out there and I play my game. I’m physical, I hit. That’s my role. Like, I’m not going to score a million goals. I get frustrated. I get frustrated when people say I’m a goon and this and that.

“I have a role, I do it. I go out and I’m physical. It’s unfortunate what happened last night. But to say that Ron sent me out there to do anything with any malcontent or anything is just completely false.”

Scott said he didn’t know he had hit Eriksson’s head right away.

“I honest to God didn’t realize it was that bad of a hit, because I was in the box, I was asking the ref, like, ‘Was it a head hit?’” he said. “I didn’t set out to do that. I knew something was going to happen, but I didn’t realize what happened.”

Scott, who’s suspended pending a hearing, got Eriksson’s number from Sabres co-captain Steve Ott, the Swede’s teammate in Dallas. A woozy Eriksson left the game and stayed overnight in Buffalo for observation.

“I texted him and told him, ‘Sorry for the hit,’” Scott said. “I didn’t realize it was a hit to the head. So it was unfortunate.”

The hit on the 6-foot-2 Eriksson “could’ve gone either way,” he said.

“I was finishing my check,” Scott said. “He was leaning forward, so I definitely made contact with him. … Ten years ago, that would’ve been good. But now that’s the hit they’re getting out of the game. So I totally understand that.”

Scott said he doesn’t know his hearing date.

In other Sabres news, the club has placed forward Kevin Porter on waivers, according to reports. With Ville Leino and Cody McCormick nearing returns, possibly this weekend during the Sabres’ short two-game Florida trip, the Sabres needed to create a roster spot.

Update: NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has upheld Patrick Kaleta’s 10-game suspension for hitting Columbus’ Jack Johnson in the head. Read about the decision here. The winger can now go to a neutral arbitrator. Kaleta has served six games.

Related: Woeful Sabres fall to Bruins, lose John Scott to likely suspension

New Sabres tough guy Scott ready to protect teammates: ‘I’ll take care of it’

12 comments
  1. Dave says: 10.24.135:56 pm

    Awww that poor talentless meathead. Showing regret and being apologetic means NOTHING when you hit a defenseless player with a hit that TARGETS the head, is late, and from the blindside.
    It is no different than the Cooke-Savard hit.
    I’m sure Scott’s a great guy off ice, but that hit is inexcusable no matter how you cut it. The NHL would be better off without him.

  2. Joe says: 10.24.136:05 pm

    Yeah, and Milan Lucic wrecked Miller last year deliberately. A good half of the guys in the NHL have no respect for one another. People need to stop singling this guy out as some exception. Anyone ever watch the hit Todd Bertuzzi put out, yet he is still in the league, and ‘respected’ tough guy. Give me a break.

  3. Joe says: 10.24.136:07 pm

    Furthermore, Milbury is a hypocrite. He’s as old school dirty as them come, and yet he is all high and might about this situation. A situation that repeats itself several dozen times a year.

  4. Dave says: 10.24.137:07 pm

    No arguments on Milbury. Cant stand the guy.
    Weird thing about the two players to mentioned, they are both good players that contribute positively to their teams. There are 29 teams that would LOVE to have Milan Lucic on their team.
    Apples and Oranges man.
    Scott does not have any right to play on the same ice as half the players in the league.
    He can hardly skate and adds absolutely nothing than fighting other teams’ skating clowns and dishing out headshots to skilled players.
    Between the hit last night and him trying to fight Phil Kessel I wonder what ‘code’ John Scott plays by?

  5. Buck says: 10.24.137:13 pm

    Yeah, Lucic and Scott are practically the same player. Except that Lucic scored more goals last night than Scott will score in his career. But other than that, identical.

  6. Matt A. says: 10.24.139:30 pm

    If the Lucic hit on Miller was so dirty, why didn’t any of his teammates come to his defense?

    The problem with that hit shouldn’t be with Lucic, Miller skated out of his crease and into Lucic’s path.

  7. george says: 10.24.139:31 pm

    Did somebody just say that John Scott and Milan Lucic are the same player??? They may be the single dumbest comment i have ever heard. i really hope you don’t believe that or life is going to be tough trying to live with the rest of society and their fully developed brains.

  8. BruinsSuck says: 10.25.1312:19 am

    Awwwww poor little big bad bruins….cry babies. JScott is the reason there were no further cheap shots. Hit on Miller was dirty and no the Sabres had no physical players to jump to the aid of Miller….most of them no longer on the team.

  9. […] holds true especially for Scott himself, who wanted to apologize for the hit on Thursday and said he felt sick knowing […]

  10. Dave says: 10.25.131:15 pm

    No more cheap shots?
    Miller came out to the face off dot in a race to the puck and got hit. It happens.
    Enjoy the sour grapes, classless organization (way to play big bad john with a player being helped off the ice btw, pure class), and bottom of the standings Maybe youll get a really high draft pick?!.
    I have never spoken to any nhl fan who likes or respects the sabres.
    Enjoy being the laughing stock of hockey for years to come.

  11. TB says: 10.26.134:28 am

    The only problem I have with the hit is that it was from the blind side. I remember during the 90s Scott Stevens would have a half dozen of these types of hits a year and didn’t get penalized. Erikssos should keep his head up or else he’ll be sitting out getting his vagina waxed.

  12. hammerhead says: 10.30.133:41 pm

    stop trying to compare a goon cheapshot to the head to Miller skating 20 feet out of his crease directly into Lucic who was playing the puck!

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