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Da Beauty League 'Commissioner' Makes Minnesota Return

Former Wild forward and NHL All-Star Game MVP enjoying retirement in Michigan

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

EDINA -- Rarely during his hockey career has John Scott been counted on as an offensive catalyst. It's a role he enjoys in his current league. 

A former defenseman at Michigan Tech University, Scott was converted to forward in his time with the Wild organization. Even then, scoring big goals wasn't really his forte. 

At 6-foot-8 and 260 pounds, Scott became a fan favorite because of his sand paper grit and willingness to drop the mitts. In 286 games, Scott scored five goals and had 11 points.

Now, away from the NHL spotlight, the former All-Star Game MVP is a vital offensive cog for his team ... in a 55 and over hockey league in Traverse City, Michigan.

"They'll give me the wink when it's like, 'Alright John, we need a couple goals,' and I'm like, 'OK, I can do that,'" Scott said last week after a Da Beauty League game at Braemar Arena. "It's nice, because I can actually go and score and people are amazed by my skill. It's fun, it's a good time."

Scott broke into the NHL during the 2008-09 season, playing in 20 games with the Wild. He scored his first NHL goal and skated in 51 games with Minnesota the following season before moving onto the Chicago Blackhawks, where he played for two seasons. 

Scott also played for the New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Arizona Coyotes before finishing his pro hockey career with the Montreal Canadiens in 2016.

Best known as an enforcer, Scott had 544 career penalty minutes in the NHL, but was a respected presence and a favorite of teammates in every dressing room he was in.

It's why fans voted him as captain of the Pacific Division All Stars in 2016, despite the fact that he played in just 11 games that season with the Coyotes.

He captured the attention of the NHL world during All-Star weekend in Nashville that year, scoring two goals to help the Pacific to a 9-6 win over the Central Division. The Pacific went on to defeat the Atlantic 1-0 in the All-Star Finals. 

For his efforts, Scott won MVP honors. It was the highlight of his hockey career. He played one final game for the Canadiens later that season before exiting pro hockey for good. 

"I still pinch myself anytime I get an interview request or someone wants me to do something," Scott said. "I'm like, 'Wait a minute, why do you want me to do it? I'm kind of a Joe Schmoe.' But it's still goosebumps when I think about it. I hope it doesn't die off ever because it's kind of cool."

In the time since retirement, Scott has become the face of Da Beauty League in Edina. Like Jerry West's iconic outline in the NBA logo, or Major League Baseball's official symbol, Scott's goal celebration in the All-Star Game has become the shadow in the background of Da Beauty League's logo.

 

"It is only Da Beauty League, it's not quite the NBA or [MLB] yet," Scott said with a laugh. "It's flattering. I always take a second glance every time I see it, I'm like, 'Wait a minute, that's me.' They've done a good job with the promotion and the banners and everything going to charity."

Scott is also the League's 'Commissioner,' checking in every once in a while to make sure the league is operating at an appropriate standard. He, his wife Danielle and their children will get back to the area at least once per summer to spend time with friends. They still own a home in the Twin Cities as well. 

Last year, he returned to see the championship "trophy" -- a metal barrel named the "John Scott Cup," awarded to the winning team.

When he's back, Scott is sure to check in on his namesake league and skate with players more his own age.

"That's why it was such a treat for me to be able to do this," Scott said. "I don't skate [often], and when I do, it's with 50 or 60-year old men. I try to keep up with these young guys. It was a good time."

With time to reflect on his career and his continuing post-career, Scott said he enjoyed his time in Minnesota the most.

"It was just the people. My wife was working here at the time so just being able to be here with her and all her friends, and fulfilling a lifelong dream in such a great town, it was just a dream come true," Scott said. "It made it even better to do it at the Xcel [Energy Center] with the fans. By far my favorite city to play in."

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