<span class="vcard">Cam Tucker</span>

John Scott is ‘more than welcome to be here,’ says Bettman


John Scott‘s rather unflattering account for The Players’ Tribune of how the NHL apparently tried to dissuade him from attending the 2016 All-Star Game is the latest in this storyline that has dominated the mid-season showcase event for months now.

Here’s the passage:

So when someone from the NHL calls me and says, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?”

However, according to multiple reports, the veteran enforcer Scott, voted into the skills competition and three-on-three event, and commissioner Gary Bettman have spoken, and from what we’re led to believe, their chat was a positive one.

After all, the NHL doesn’t really have much choice on the matter. Scott, joke or not, was voted into the All-Star event by the fans.

“And he’s more than welcome to be here,” Bettman told the Associated Press. “We’re happy he’s here. The fans spoke, and we’re happy to reflect their will.”

Scott reiterated that same message, according to ProHockeyTalk’s Mike Halford.

“Now that I’m here, it’s nice. They’ve been very welcoming. I sat down with Gary and we had a little, quick chat. It was good,” said Scott.

“He said we’re happy to have you here and we’re going to have a good time and make the best of it, and just have fun in Nashville.”

Scott was also asked if he and Bettman addressed what was written in The Players’ Tribune article.

“No, we just had a quick talk because I think he was worried about me not feeling welcome, and me being uncomfortable with this whole situation,” said Scott.

“He just said ‘we’re happy you’re here, we wanted you to be here and just go and have fun and our support’s behind you.’ It was nice to hear that, coming from him. Because there was a time I wasn’t sure what the league felt, but he kind of put those thoughts at rest.”

For his part, Scott said today that he plans on enjoying the festivities before heading back to the “real world.”


Video: Avalanche come back to knock off Kings despite lopsided shot totals


Of course the Colorado Avalanche beat the L.A. Kings on Wednesday.

Yes, the shot totals were not kind to the Avalanche. They surrendered 72 shots attempts, including 50 at five-on-five, compared to just 37 attempts for (22 at even strength), according to hockeystats.ca, yet they were able to beat Jonathan Quick four times on the way to a 4-3 victory that keeps Colorado in the first Wild Card spot.

(Nashville has now won four straight after a victory in Calgary earlier in the evening, which pushes Minnesota out of a Wild Card spot in the West going into the All-Star break.)

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A few quick strikes on offence certainly helped the Avalanche.

Down 2-0 after the first period, and after being outshot 18-5, the Avalanche began the comeback on goals from Matt Duchene just 42 seconds into the second period and Gabriel Landeskog almost seven minutes later.

Down a goal in the third period, Landeskog once again got the Avalanche back on even terms late in a four-on-three power play. Just 2:57 later, Nathan MacKinnon scored what would be the eventual winner for Colorado.

Quick made only 15 stops on 19 shots faced, while Calvin Pickard made 35 saves for the win.

This game turned feisty, especially in the first period, when Milan Lucic accidentally punched linesman Jay Sharrers in the face during a scrum.


Video: Wideman says he apologized to linesman for ‘completely unintentional’ collision


Dennis Wideman‘s collision with linesman Don Henderson lit an instant reaction on social media, but the Calgary Flames defenseman maintained to reporters that he couldn’t avoid the contact and there was no intent behind it.

Wideman was hit awkwardly into the boards a few seconds before colliding with Henderson in the neutral zone. As Wideman skated slowly to the bench, he hit Henderson — who was facing the play as he backed up, and did not see the Calgary blue liner — hard to the ice, with two hands on his stick similar to a cross check.

There was no call on the play. The Flames lost by a final score of 2-1 to the visiting Nashville Predators.

“I was just trying to get off the ice. And, at the last second, I looked up and saw him,” Wideman told Kristen Odland of Postmedia.


Video: Milan Lucic catches linesman with punch to the face during scrum


It’s been a tough night for NHL linesmen.

It started with Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman causing a stir on social media after knocking down linesman Don Henderson during the second period against Nashville.

L.A. Kings’ forward Milan Lucic followed that up by accidentally catching Jay Sharrers with a shot to the face during a scrum in front of the Colorado Avalanche net.

The video clearly shows Lucic trying to punch Cody McLeod during the scrum, however he missed and his right glove hit Sharrers instead.

In fact, it almost appears Lucic apologized to Sharrers immediately after it happened.

Video: Flames’ Wideman knocks over linesman Don Henderson


Calgary Flames defenseman Dennis Wideman knocked over linesman Don Henderson during the second period of Wednesday’s game versus the Nashville Predators.

The incident occurred seconds after Wideman took an awkward hit into the boards from Miikka Salomaki.

As the veteran blue liner was slowly skating back to the Calgary bench, and with Henderson focused on the play in front of him as he skated backwards through neutral zone, Wideman ran right into the linesman, sending him hard to the ice.

Wideman appeared to follow through similar to a cross check. There was no call on the play.