Scott 'shocked' by trade, 'sad' to leave Blackhawks

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Scott 'shocked' by trade, 'sad' to leave Blackhawks

A trade was apparently the last thing John Scott had on his mind Monday morning, but by 2 p.m. he found out he'd no longer be wearing an Indian-head sweater. The 6-foot-8 enforcer was dealt to the New York Rangers in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft.

"I was shocked. I didn't really expect to get moved at the trade deadline, that's for sure," Scott said. "I talked to a couple guys and they were shocked, too. They were wondering why I was traded. I don't know, but it's sad to leave those guys. I built a couple good friendships here over the last two years, so it was a sad day that's for sure."

"John was a very popular guy and I had a good chat with him today," general manager Stan Bowman said Monday on Chicago Tribune Live. "I think he's improved quite a bit from when we first got him and I think that's a credit to him for all the hard work he put in. He's a very likeable player. Obviously he brings that toughness to the mix. We never got him enough minutes, really, to be a big contributor. But he had a great attitude, he's a team guy... we wish John all the best."

Scott played 69 games in nearly two seasons with the Hawks, picking up two assists to go along with 89 hits and 120 penalty minutes and he is leaving with a dead even rating in the plusminus category.

"It was a frustrating year and a half as far as hockey goes," Scott admitted. "I don't think I really got too much of an opportunity to play as much as I wanted to, but it is what it is and I just didn't really fit in. But as for off the ice friendships and bonding with teammates it was as good as I've seen it anywhere. That team is awesome, the guys are great. It's sad to leave, I definitely made some lifelong friends on that team. I hope to see them along the line somewhere."

He'll see them sooner rather than later as New York visits the United Center on Friday, March 9 -- a date Scott already has circled.

"Oh, I'm very aware of that."

For the Blackhawks defense, change is the new normal

For the Blackhawks defense, change is the new normal

Ulf Samuelsson saw the changes the Blackhawks made this season, his hiring as assistant coach being one of them. Soon he’ll be working with the team’s defensemen, another area that’s had some upheaval.

“I think there’s a lot of opportunity here, some uncertainties and some moving parts that I probably, typically haven’t seen going into a season. So that makes it even more interesting and challenging,” Samuelsson said. “So I’m looking forward to this opportunity to really develop and work with some of the younger players.”

From its immediate coach to its personnel, the Blackhawks’ defense is dealing with plenty of change that will continue when the season begins this fall. The Blackhawks have had some addition (Connor Murphy, Jan Rutta and Jordan Oesterle) but dealing with the subtraction (Niklas Hjalmarsson and Trevor van Riemsdyk) will nevertheless be tough. Coach Joel Quenneville said on Friday that pairings are a work in progress.

“We’re going to see when we’re putting the pairs together, whether we're going to reunite [Duncan Keith] and [Brent Seabrook] or look for some balance,” he said. “There are a lot of options. We’ll look forward to that and sorting it out.”

For Murphy, who was acquired in the deal that sent Hjalmarsson to the Arizona Coyotes, there are no set expectations as to where he fits yet.

“With any team you go into training camp proving where you’re going to be. Everyone has to come in and earn certain positions, especially me being a guy who they’re not as familiar with; I have to show what I can do,” Murphy said. “I definitely want to bring a more physical edge to defending at times and be able to skate well, have a good reach, make smart reads and try to help out with whatever’s needed with that.”

As for young players, the opportunity is there. Gustav Forsling admits he wasn’t happy that fellow Swede and role model Hjalmarsson was traded. But Forsling, who looked strong coming out of camp last September, knows he has to take advantage of the situation.

“Of course, I want to take the next step and play more,” he said. “I want to keep progressing my game and keep developing.”

The same goes for Jordan Oesterle, who the Blackhawks signed to a two-year deal on July 1.

“When I wanted to come here the opportunity was tremendous. Just the chance to come in and try to make the top six is there, it’s a battle with a number of us guys but that’s all you ask for in the situation I’m in,” he said. “Just the amount of opportunity that is in front of me just drives me even more. I want to be here and force their hand to keep me here.”

Again, the Blackhawks could re-address defense once they implement Marian Hossa’s long-term injured reserve after the season begins. General manager Stan Bowman said there’s “no exact plan” right now on how they use that space – “that’s probably going to be dictated by where we’re at when we get to October, how the team’s playing, what areas are strong, what areas we want to add to,” he said.

It remains to be seen on that front. Regardless, from coaching to personnel, much has changed with the Blackhawks defense. 

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Blackhawks Convention Opening Ceremonies

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Blackhawks Convention Opening Ceremonies

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, we're live at the 2017 Blackhawks Convention. 

Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp join David Kaplan and Pat Boyle to talk about returning to Chicago. 

Later Boyle, CSN Blackhawks Insider Tracey Myers, Chris Kuc and Sam Panayotovich discuss the huge roster changes this offseason. 

Listen to the STL Pod below.