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John Scott plays potential final NHL game

All-Star MVP heads home to Michigan after his debut with Canadiens

by Arpon Basu @ArponBasu / Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- John Scott's Montreal Canadiens No. 22 jersey was folded neatly on top of his equipment bag as he addressed the media.

Scott was fully aware it might be the last NHL jersey he ever wears.

"I asked for it, I wanted to have it," Scott said after getting 9:01 of ice time in a 4-1 Canadiens loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. "It'll go up in the basement; it's one of the special ones. [The] Canadiens, obviously, it's got a lot of pull behind it. It'll be a good jersey to look up at when I hang it up."

There was a lot of emotion in Scott's voice as he spoke afterward, knowing he would be heading home to Traverse City, Mich., on Wednesday to join his wife, Danielle, and their four young children. His memorable 2015-16 season ended a few minutes earlier with him on the ice at Bell Centre when the final horn sounded, just as it had begun with him in the starting lineup, standing next to living legend Jaromir Jagr for the opening faceoff.

Though the Panthers scored 10 seconds after that faceoff on a play that Scott played no part in, he appreciated the gesture from coach Michel Therrien.

"That's what this organization was all about; it's a class organization," he said. "I don't deserve any of this. When they put me out there, that was really, really, really nice. I didn't expect any of that."

Video: Scott on tonight's game

Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin spoke to Scott prior to the game and gave him the choice to either go back to St. John's of the American Hockey League or return home to be with his family for the first time in two months.

Scott chose his family, and throughout the game he knew it was his final one of the season, and perhaps his career.

Pulling on his Canadiens jersey prior to the game, in a locker room featuring the faces of all of Montreal's members of the Hall of Fame looking at him, Scott took a moment to appreciate what it all meant.

"It's funny, I used to hate the Habs because I was a big Bruins fan growing up," he said. "But then you grow to understand the history and the guys who used to play here, and I look around the walls and it's just like, 'Holy cow, this is the best franchise in probably all of sports.' It's just one of those things where I can sit back and say, 'I'm a part of that now.' So it's kind of cool."

Scott's been a part of a lot this season. From winning the vote to be named Pacific Division captain at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game, to being named the Most Valuable Player of said game, to the birth of his twin girls and finally playing one game for the storied Canadiens.

If Scott's NHL career did indeed come to an end Tuesday after 286 games over eight seasons with seven teams, he has a lot to be proud of.

"Just playing in the best league for eight years," he said. "I kind of carved out my niche, bounced around [from] defense to forward, played on a bunch of teams and got to know just a bunch of great guys.

"I've had a good career."

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