John Scott will be remembered forever by NHL fans for two big moments. In 2017, Scott was named All-Star MVP after a fan campaign voted the behemoth enforcer into the midseason event despite the NHL’s objections. The second was Scott’s preseason fight with Phil Kessel in 2013, which saw the overmatched Leafs star wield his hockey stick like a sword to try and elude Scott’s bear-like paws.
Scott, now retired after 10 professional seasons, has a podcast and gave the full story behind the Kessel fight last week.
According to Scott, the fight was the result of a game of chicken between him and then-Leafs coach Randy Carlyle. After the Leafs’ Jamie Devane “beat the doors off” the Sabres’ Corey Tropp and breaking his jaw, an enraged Scott told Carlyle he would fight whichever player lined up across from him during the next faceoff.
“Carlyle gives me this little grin and then he sends out the first line,” Scott said. “I can’t imagine what’s going through their head as they go on the ice because I’m like Red Ross. I’m just like ‘Oh my gosh.’ He sends out Kessel and a bunch of skill guys. And I’m just like, ‘What do I do? What do I do?’
Scott went forward with his promise and the rest is history.