As the league hands out suspensions following Sunday’s Leafs-Sabres brawl, John Scott is throwing some verbal jabs Toronto’s way.
The Buffalo enforcer spoke to the media Monday and addressed the altercation between himself and Phil Kessel. Many have noted the size mismatch and Scott’s apparent violation of hockey’s “code” — a concept as vaguely defined as anything in the game. Scott says that he never sought out Kessel as a dancing partner, but that he “would have went after whoever [Toronto] put lined up next to [him],” reports the Buffalo News.
Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle says he tapped the Kessel line to “defuse the situation” after Jamie Devane and Corey Tropp’s fight, but many have criticized this move when it was clear Ron Rolston was playing Scott’s line.
According to Scott, however, Kessel may not have been as innocent as many believe. When Kessel lined up next to him, Scott claims he said, “Phil I think we’re going to have to go here, just to let you know.” Despite his backpedaling and stick-swinging when Scott lunged for him, when challenged, Scott says Kessel responded, “Alright, let’s do it.”
Although the 2013 preseason has featured almost a fight per game, the NHL may now have its first war of words.