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Scott faces old team in return to Chicago

by Brian Hedger
CHICAGO -- After he was dealt to the New York Rangers at the NHL's trade deadline on Feb. 27, former Chicago Blackhawks enforcer John Scott said he was shocked at the move.

Scott, in his second year of playing for the Hawks, was traded for a fifth-round pick in the NHL Draft this June. On Friday, he was already back in the Windy City with his new team a little more than a week after the deal was completed.

"It'll be weird in warmups, but I think that will go away as soon as the game starts," said Scott, whose wife and infant daughter remained in Chicago after the trade. "It's worn off by now, but it took a solid couple days just to take it all in and realize, 'Hey, I'm not in Chicago anymore. I'm in New York.' Change of venues. Change of scenery. It's sunk in now, and I'm used to it."

Scott, a defenseman by trade, spent time playing on the blue line and up front for the Hawks. He's found himself as a fourth-line forward for the Rangers and expects to stay there for the time being. He's played five straight games and could find himself back in the lineup on Friday night at the United Center against his old team thanks to an injury that will keep Brandon Dubinsky out for a second straight game.

"I fit in nicely on the fourth line," the 6-foot-8 Scott said. "We've been doing pretty well, getting some chances here and there. I didn't really want to mess things up. They had a good thing going when I got
there. I just went in there and tried to lay low and not mess up the winning ways they had going."

As for the talent that teams really love about him, his fighting acumen, Scott said he won't be surprised if several former teammates ask him to square off. After Scott's departure, Chicago recalled
6-foot-2, 225-pound rookie forward Brandon Bollig to fill the vacant fighting role -- and he's scrapped in two straight games.

"He'll probably ask me to go," Scott said. "They've got [Jamal Mayers] and [Andrew Shaw], so they've got a tough team and it's always a lively game versus Chicago. I won't turn anybody down, no."

Scott was informed that Hawks forward Bryan Bickell said he knew his former teammates' tricks during scraps, to which the new Rangers' tough guy kiddingly responded: "Well, I'll turn Bickell down then."

Scott never scored a goal for the Blackhawks, but found himself on a breakaway on Thursday night in Ottawa -- getting stopped by Ben Bishop. Scott said it was actually the second breakaway attempt of his NHL career, with the first happening against the Phoenix Coyotes when he was with the Minnesota Wild.

He didn't score on that one either.

"Oh my God, another breakaway," Scott said of Thursday's golden scoring opportunity. "[Bishop] is a big goalie. I tried to go low blocker, but he kicked it away.  I just missed the net the first time [against Phoenix]."

Scott will not only have his wife and in-laws at the United Center for Friday's game, but also some friends from California who originally planned the trip before he was traded.

Still, if you're going to get traded ...

"... it could've been to a worse place right?" Scott mused. "If I had a list of teams, this would probably been top three that I'd wanted to go to, so I was ecstatic when I heard it was the Rangers. I could've gone to a lot worse teams, that's for sure."
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