League suspends John Scott, unfortunately for just two games
How will the Sharks recover from this devastating loss?
When the Sharks signed John Scott this summer, it wasn't difficult to predict that he would eventually find himself suspended. After all, this is a player whose head coach the NHL once fined for simply putting him on the ice in a preseason game. So perhaps, all things considered, we should be grateful Scott's first league ban while wearing a Sharks sweater came on a rather innocuous play rather than the type of vicious hit to the head his last suspension resulted from.
Scott was suspended by the league's department of player safety earlier today for leaving the bench on what was rightfully deemed a legal line change in order to start an altercation with the Ducks' Tim Jackman as all hell broke loose at the end of the Sharks' win in Anaheim. Here's the pertinent section of the rulebook:
70.2 Legal Line Change – A player who has entered the game on a legal line change or legally from the penalty bench (penalty time has expired) whostarts an altercation maybe subject to discipline in accordance with Rule 28 – Supplementary Discipline.
There's recent precedent for this suspension that the Sharks are all too familiar with, as Ryane Clowe received a two-game ban back in February 2013 for coming off the bench to engage Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw. Just as with Clowe's, Scott's suspension would have been for ten games had the line change been deemed illegal. Unfortunately, in this case, it was not. Here's the official video explanation:
The Sharks technically have a backup facepuncher in Micheal Haley waiting in the wings in Worcester but here's hoping they use this opportunity to insert a forward with some modicum of skill into the lineup in Scott's place.