Scott was recalled by the Canadiens on Sunday after scoring two goals and two assists in 27 games with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
“We want to show our respect because he’s been a real pro since he joined us, and we wanted to give him the opportunity to play a game with the Montreal Canadiens,” said head coach Michel Therrien.
The six-foot-eight left winger was acquired by Montreal on Jan. 15 in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes. Defenceman Victor Bartley was also acquired by the Habs for defenceman Jarred Tinordi and forward prospect Stefan Fournier.
Scott captained the Pacific Division at the NHL all-star game despite initial thought that his relegation to the AHL might impede him from appearing in Nashville.
The St. Catharines, Ont., native earned the all-star game’s most valuable player honours.
Five days later, Scott’s wife, Danielle, gave birth to twin girls. He left his wife and four daughters to return to the IceCaps on Feb. 13.
“It’s been the hardest on them,” said Scott. “I have the easy job. My wife’s the one at home with the four kids trying to pull her hair out every day.
“It’s kinda come full circle; we started in the NHL and now we’re going to end up here. It’s definitely been a whirlwind from where I’ve gone and where I’ve been and to here. It’s been good and bad, but I think at the end of the day it was a good season, so far.”
Scott wasn’t interested in revisiting the trade that brought him to Montreal and the circumstances that would’ve kept him from participating in all-star weekend. He preferred to express his excitement for the opportunity the Canadiens offered him with three games remaining in their season.
“(Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin) approached me this past weekend and asked if I’d play a game and I said, ‘I’d love to come play a game,’” said Scott. “So he did me a solid and let me come up and play a game.”
Scott practised on a line with Canadiens forwards Torrey Mitchell and Paul Byron on Monday. The enforcer hopes he’ll receive a friendly reception at the Bell Centre Tuesday night.
“Montreal’s a smart fan base, so hopefully they can get behind me a little bit and show the respect for what I’ve gone through,” said Scott.
Injured Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban, who was Montreal’s representative at the all-star game, is happy that Scott received the opportunity.
“It’s good to have some energy in the room,” said Subban. “John brings that and he’s a well-liked guy.”
Scott traveled to Montreal with defenceman Ryan Johnston, who will make his NHL debut Tuesday. Scott and Johnston will become the 19th and 20th players to appear in at least a game this season with both the IceCaps and Canadiens.
Johnston, the nephew of former Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Johnston, signed a two-year contract with Montreal in July. He suffered a disc herniation in his back and underwent a discectomy operation in September before debuting with the IceCaps in mid-January.
“If I didn’t get called up this year it wasn’t going to be a problem,” said Johnston. “I knew I needed my time in the AHL this year to develop.
“I’ll take any chance I can get, and I’ll definitely savour the moment. But I definitely wasn’t expecting it.”