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John Scott #32 of the Chicago Blackhawks controls the puck in the St. Louis Blues zone at the United Center on February 19, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Blues 3-1. John Scott, back when he was a LIN HATER.

john scott

John Scott’s Totally Coming Around on Jeremy Lin

The Rangers' new enforcer, John Scott, is nothing if not loyal to his city of employment. When visiting New York as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks, Scott and some teammates stopped to take in a Knicks game. This being the world in 2012, somebody took that as an invitation to ask him about Jeremy Lin. Scott, true to his team and city, replied with hyper-Chicagoan dismissal:

“I think D-Rose can take him,” Scott told reporters, referring to Derrick Rose, the star of the Chicago Bulls.

This is a bit like saying "yeah, he's fast, but I bet he can't outrun a cheetah". It's the opposite of damning with faint praise — blessing with bloated criticism, or something. That weak stuff would get Scott booted off the stage at the Player Hater's Ball.

Either way, Scott's a Ranger now, and he's amended his views appropriately:

“No, it’s O.K.,” Scott said, laughing. “You can’t kill a guy for offering his opinion. I was just saying he had one weakness to work on. Most of us have a lot more than that. Look at me. No one thought I could make it to the N.H.L., and there are a lot of people who still don’t think I belong.

Indeed! Glad we're all on the same page now, though. And luckily for Scott, Lin almost definitely won't take him up on his offer of a free punch.

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Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images