Buffalo Sabres' John Scott: "I don't want to be a dirty player."
John Scott showed up for practice today in Buffalo, looking to hone the skills that have allowed him to score one goal in 187 career games and skate less than five minutes a night for the league's worst team.
It's probably the last official team activity he'll take part in for a while after he delivered a vicious cheap shot to the head of Boston forward Loui Eriksson Wednesday night. And with the threat of a lengthy suspension looming, Scott wanted to take the opportunity to get his woeful side of the story out through the local media.
Amazingly, he seemed sincerely surprised to see how he is being characterized in the hockey world.
"I'm not a dirty player." Scott said told WGR radio. "I try to play within the code and within the rules and this is my first suspension. I feel really upset. I was sick to my stomach last night knowing what happened and I regret the whole situation. I don't want to be a dirty player.
"I'm a hockey player and I go out there and play my game. I'm physical. I hit. That's my role. I'm not going to score a million goals and I get frustrated when people say I'm a goon. I have a role, I do it and I go out and be physical and it's unfortunate what happened last night."
Scott also revealed that he reached out to Eriksson last night with the help of Steve Ott, who played with Scott's victim in Dallas.
"I texted him last night and told him that I was sorry for the hit," he said. "I didn't realize it was a hit to the head."
Scott didn't say whether Eriksson responded, or whether he was capable of differentiating between the head and, say, the shoulders of an opponent. There's still no word yet from the Bruins on the condition of Eriksson, or from the league as to when Scott will have his disciplinary hearing.