Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rangers add toughness with Scott

Monday's trade deadline came and went like a March breeze. Well, relatively speaking. Few teams made a big splash. One that didn't was the Rangers, who's last ditch effort to acquire Rick Nash was turned down by Columbus. As we previously noted yesterday, that might not be such a bad thing. Instead, Nash who handled himself well after breaking his silence about why he asked for a trade due to a rebuild, will likely be moved this summer. We can always reexamine that when the time comes.

While Ranger President and GM Glen Sather couldn't add much needed scoring or a depth defenseman, he did execute one deal to make the club even tougher. With Brandon Prust basically reduced to one arm as evidenced in his scrap the other night with Eric Boulton, Slats traded a fifth round pick to Chicago for big enforcer John Scott. The 29-year old forward/defenseman is as tough as they come, going 6-8, 270. He's not a guy you want to mess with. As he noted after the trade to his third NHL team, few messed around with former Hawk teammates Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa.

Scott is one tough customer. He was a late bloomer in college, playing all four years with Michigan Tech before Minnesota signed him as a free agent. It took three years in the AHL with the Houston Aeros before the Wild gave him a shot. Scott played parts of two seasons in St. Paul, getting into 71 games while racking up 111 penalty minutes and even scoring his only career NHL goal in '09-10. The Blackhawks signed him in 2010 and he got into 69 contests. In his Chicago stay, Scott had two assists with 120 PIM while adding a physical element.

"He’s a real good factor to stop the fooling around that happens at this time of year,” Slats said. “[Brandon Prust and Mike Rupp] have done all the heavy lifting this year. If someone gets hurt, he’s another asset.

Now, he'll join his third team (2nd Original Six) for tomorrow's road game at Carolina. While John Tortorella has said he won't play tomorrow and doesn't see any lineup changes for now, that can always change. You can bet your bottom dollar Scott will get in for the Hudson rematch next Tuesday. It also may not be a bad idea to play him versus Boston this weekend. Especially given their nasty reputation. With Mike Rupp picking his spots, this move makes sense.

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