The San Jose Sharks have come to an agreement with unrestricted free agent John Scott to a one-year contract worth $700,000.
The 31 year old is notorious for being a tough guy and has recorded 430 penalty minutes in 236 career NHL games. Throughout 56 games during the 2013-14 campaign, Scott only registered one point.
This calls into question what the Sharks management are doing. During the various trades and acquisitions during the off-season, general manager Doug Wilson has consistently mentioned focusing on younger players. Signing a 31 year old tough guy is not exactly doing as he says.
The Sharks have Mike Brown still in the lineup after giving him a two-year deal earlier in the off-season. Apparently this is not enough physical presence and the need for another enforcer was brought to light. Not to mention the Sharks still have Raffi Torres and Adam Burish who are also known to play rough.
Doug Wilson: “… John’s presence alone can act as a deterrent and help keep teams and opposing players honest.” #SJSharks
— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) July 2, 2014
Apparently Sabres coach Lindy Ruff agreed with Wilson while Scott was with the Sabres. “When you have a player of his magnitude when it comes to the physical sense, if somebody does do something really stupid against your team, they know they’re going to have to deal with somebody that’s really tough,” said Ruff.
I’m not sure if I agree with Wilson in the above statement. Having a tough guy on the ice can help is some instances, but will it really matter in terms of trying to keep opposing players honest? I’m not too sure about that. And will a player not want to be physical on the ice on the off chance that Scott will retaliate? Doubtful; this is hockey.
The team is definitely still under construction and very few fans can wrap their heads around what Wilson is attempting to do. Only time will tell if these moves will better the team or bury them further.