Blackhawks put 6’8″ John Scott into lineup for Game 3; Is he the new Dustin Byfuglien?

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You might say the Chicago Blackhawks are in a bit of a desperate situation. They’re down 2-0 to Vancouver and with Game 3 tonight in Chicago, they need to do a bit more to try to get through to Roberto Luongo and make him uncomfortable.

Enter 6’8″ defenseman and part-time forward John Scott.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville is putting Scott into the lineup for Game 3 in place of Bryan Bickell (out with a cut wrist) and his reason for getting him in there is simple: “Size.”

As for Scott himself, he’s of course excited to get the chance to play in the playoffs and potentially play the same kind of role that Dustin Byfuglien did the last two years for Chicago in that he makes life uncomfortable for Luongo and creates enough of a distraction so the Canucks get off their game. Ben Kuzma of The White Towel hears it from Scott about what he’s looking to do tonight.

“I’ve got to go and throw the weight around. I’m going to hit as much as I can but I’m not going to be crazy. We’ve got to throw everything we have at the net. We’ve given him [Luongo] too many easy saves. We kind of let him off the hook a bit.”

Scott has a reputation as a guy unafraid to throw off the gloves and throw punches instead, something Vancouver fans might recall a bit too well. Scott’s well aware that he can provide that spark if needed as well.

“Yeah, we go back to Minnesota days and I beat up a couple of their guys a couple of times,” said Scott. “If they want to go tonight, I’ll be happy to oblige.”

Someone please hide Alexandre Bolduc in a safe house so he doesn’t start having flashbacks to the time when Scott pummeled him playing for Minnesota. Suffice to say, I don’t think anyone wants to drop the gloves in the playoffs, never mind with a monster like John Scott.

The real analysis on this move though is that Chicago is desperate to change things up a bit and they want to get Vancouver to get really uncomfortable one way or another whether its through John Scott casting shadows on Luongo or punching everyone’s lights out. It’s a curious choice by Chicago but if it works out and Vancouver goes back down the rabbit hole and melts down psychologically, it’s absolutely worth it.

That said, if John Scott is the key to beating Vancouver, we give up on the Canucks. We’re betting that Vancouver is loving this lineup change because Scott isn’t exactly a world beater on the ice and they’ve got Chicago on the ropes. That could all change though if Chicago pulls off a win.

‘A good start’ — Stamkos stands out in preseason debut

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The Tampa Bay Lightning and National Hockey League unveiled the 2018 All-Star Game logo Friday.

Far more importantly for the Bolts this evening was the return of their all-star center Steven Stamkos, as he made his preseason debut in what was his first game in 10 months.

His 2016-17 season was abruptly ended in the middle of November because of a knee injury and subsequent surgery, making it the second time in four years his regular season had been disrupted by a major injury.

It may still take a while before Stamkos feels truly comfortable coming back from this injury.But his performance on Friday proved to be a very promising start for No. 91, the Bolts and their fans in Tampa Bay.

He didn’t score, but he assisted on two first period goals, including a nice set-up to linemate Nikita Kucherov, and the Lightning beat the Nashville Predators by a score of 3-1. Stamkos also received a healthy dose of ice time, playing more than 19 minutes, including 5:32 on the power play.

His pass to Kucherov resulted in a power play goal.

“It was exciting to get out there, I was pretty anxious about it… It was a good start, something to build on,” said Stamkos afterward, per the Lightning. “It was nice to just go through a game day, I haven’t done it in a long time… I was glad with how the first one went.”

Golden Knights assign 2017 first-round picks Glass, Suzuki to junior

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The Vegas Golden Knights continue to make roster moves during their inaugural training camp.

On Friday, the expansion club assigned four players to junior. That includes 2017 first-round picks Cody Glass of the Portland Winterhawks and Nick Suzuki of the Owen Sound Attack.

The Golden Knights made franchise history by taking Glass with the sixth overall pick and then selected Suzuki at 13th overall. Both players appeared in two preseason games for Vegas, each recording two points in the exhibition opener versus the Vancouver Canucks.

“Nobody is going to rush (the rookies), that’s for sure,” Golden Knights coach Gerard Gallant told the Las Vegas Sun following the club’s 9-4 win over Vancouver on Sunday.

“We are in a position where we want to make sure they are ready to play. They are going to be good players when they’re healthy and strong enough to play in the league.”

Vegas has all three 2017 first-round picks — Glass, Suzuki and Erik Brannstrom — signed to three-year entry-level contracts.

Mitchell signed PTO with Blue Jackets — shortly after getting cut by Blackhawks

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When the Chicago Blackhawks announced their roster moves yesterday, John Mitchell was among the cuts.

His professional tryout with the Blackhawks had come to an end, as it did for veterans Mark Stuart and Drew Miller.

It can be an uphill battle to make an NHL roster for veterans on professional tryouts. But for Mitchell, he quickly received another opportunity to attend a camp and try to land a spot, signing a PTO with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Mitchell, 32, has appeared in 548 NHL regular season games with 70 goals and 177 points.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets are still without forward and restricted free agent Josh Anderson, as the two sides are stuck in a contract impasse right now. It was reported on Thursday that his representatives have been in contact with Hockey Canada about the 2018 Olympics.

Calgary mayor: ‘Errors of omission’ in Flames arena proposal

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On Thursday, the Calgary Flames released a report claiming they were prepared to contribute $275 million for a new arena, with additional funding — in the ball park of $225 million — from a Community Revitalization Levy.

On Friday, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi responded to the proposal and the events of yesterday.

“I wouldn’t say dishonesty. I would, however, say that there are perhaps some errors of omission,” Nenshi told reporters, according to Global Calgary, when asked if there had been a level of dishonesty from the Flames with their proposal.

The Flames not only released a report with financial details to their website, but they also took out ads in local newspapers. Nenshi took issue with the details the Flames released yesterday.

“What was in that ad was not actually what the last deal on the table with the city was,” he said.

“For example, yesterday you saw that the Flames’ owners are claiming that they’re putting $275 million up front. Makes it sound like a (check) is being put on the table. Certainly that has not been discussed. That would’ve really changed things had that been the discussion.

“The discussion, the last I saw, was the Flames were putting $100 million in and the rest would be a ticket tax, which they wanted the city to take out, to get for and to front. I’m not quite sure how that equals the Flames putting in money up front.”

Yesterday, the Flames added in their report that, after two years of discussions with the city about a new arena, they will no longer pursue a new arena in Calgary.

The Flames currently play at the Saddledome, which is now 34 years old.