James O'Brien

I am a contributing editor/writer/troublemaker for NBC's Pro Hockey Talk blog.

2016 NHL All-Star Game draws record ratings for NBCSN


Credit the 3-on-3 tournament, John Scott or any number of factors, but either way, the 2016 NHL All-Star Game generated impressive ratings for NBCSN.

NBC Sports PR shared the word on Monday, including the following:

Overall, it was a smash success for the NHL and Nashville. Would you like to see this format return for next time?

John Scott’s story: Coming to a theater near you?


John Scott‘s journey from enforcer to voting punch-line to All-Star Game MVP smells a bit like hockey’s “Rudy,” so why shouldn’t his story hit theaters, too?*

He remarked that you “can’t write this stuff” on Sunday, but that’s not stopping the multimedia opportunities from piling in, as his agent Ben Hankinson explained to TSN.

“The John Scott ride has been nothing short of a rollercoaster to an incredible ending,” Hankinson said. “We do have a lot of different options for him to pursue, but he’s not looking to do everything there is. He’s going to have some different routes that he can take as far as books and even a potential movie. He can take it as far as he wants to.”

Scott’s story really has a little of everything.

Family drama to elicit some tears following the triumphant moment when Scott was named All-Star Game MVP.

Not to mention plenty of comic relief.

The NHL may be a little concerned about playing the bad guy, especially if this Players’ Tribune piece is heavily sourced. (The league did soften its stance with this nice gesture, though, at least.)

There will be those who complain about Scott extended his 15 minutes of fame to the 90-minute format of a biopic, but either way, Hankerson is probably right in saying that Scott’s career has been changed forever.

In other words, maybe he won’t have to plunge into the “real world” as soon as he expected.

P.S. – Have fun armchair casting the movie.

* – Seriously, Google “John Scott Rudy” and you’ll get a ton of stuff, including Bruce Arthur’s great National Post column.

Bruins tweaks: Gustavsson on IR, Subban and Pastrnak recalled


The Boston Bruins made some noteworthy roster moves as the All-Star break draws to a close on Monday.

Let’s start in net. Jonas Gustavsson was placed on injured reserve, opening up an emergency recall for fellow goalie Malcolm Subban.

The larger on-ice impact may come with David Pastrnak (pictured) being recalled, however. While he hasn’t quite got off the ground at the NHL level so far in 2015-16, he closed out last season on a tear, so we’ll see if he can give the B’s a boost heading into a hopeful playoff run.

It may not be a long stay on IR for Gustavsson, aka “The Monster.”

“We placed Jonas on injured reserve as we await his final test results,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney said. “Pending those final test results, he will be cleared for full participation by our medical staff.”

Louis Domingue snatches January’s Rookie of the Month honors


Louis Domingue emerged as the Arizona Coyotes’ surprise starting goalie in January – at least for now – and that effort helped him get the Rookie of the Month nod from the NHL.

The league notes that Domingue generated a 6-3-2 record with a .925 save percentage in 11 games played, helping the Coyotes remain in the West’s playoff picture in the process.

He’s the second straight goalie to nab this monthly honor, as Anaheim Ducks All-Star netminder John Gibson took the December honors.

This has been a big month for Domingue off the ice as well, by the way:

Dream ride continues: John Scott named NHL’s first star of the week


When it comes to embracing the big story of John Scott at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game, the league may be graded as “better late than never.”

Continuing a dizzying few days that feel fabricated from a Hollywood script, Scott was named the first star of the week by the NHL.

His name rounded out a group that also includes forwards Cam Atkinson (second star) and Jack Eichel (third).

Here’s the league’s entry on Scott.

Scott was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville on Sunday after scoring two goals with a plus-2 rating for the Pacific Division in its 9-6 win against the Central Division in the semifinals. The Pacific went on to win the All-Star Game with a 1-0 win against the Atlantic Division in the final.

Scott was named Pacific Division captain while a member of the Arizona Coyotes. He was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 15 and sent to St. John’s of the American Hockey League. He tipped a Brent Burns shot for his first goal and beat goalie Devan Dubnyk on a breakaway for his second of the game.

You can read up on their summary of the nice short-weeks by Atkinson and Eichel here.

If you’re among those hockey fans who have been left grumpy by Scott’s ride … well, his magical ride might be just about over.


More on Scott’s Cinderella story

Winning All-Star MVP

“You can’t write this stuff”

Scott opens up about all the drama

His All-Star shirts sold out in little time