The Canadiens have added an all-star to their roster.
But before you get too excited, that all-star is John Scott.
Scott, a 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward with one assist and 25 penalty minutes in 11 games this season with the Arizona Coyotes, was acquired by Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin on Friday afternoon, along with minor-league defenceman Victor Bartley, in exchange for defenceman Jarred Tinordi and minor-league forward Stefan Fournier. Scott will report to the Canadiens’ AHL farm team in St. John’s, while Bartley will join the Canadiens in St. Louis, where the play the Blues Saturday night (7 p.m., SN, TVA Sports, TSN Radio 690).
Scott was voted by fans — obviously with a sense of humour and/or mischief — as one of four captains for the NHL All-Star Game on Jan. 31 in Nashville, which will be a three-on-three tournament. If Scott stays in the AHL, the NHL could rule him inelegible for the All-Star Game.
P.K. Subban is the only other Canadien named to the All-Star Game.
The deal puts an end to the Tinordi saga that dragged on throughout the first half of the season as the former first-round draft pick was made a healthy scratch night after night, playing only three games for the Canadiens while being held pointless. He was sent to St. John’s for a conditioning stint at one point, picking up two assists in six games. Tinordi was selected 22nd overall at the 2010 NHL entry draft.
“We are fortunate to have a lot of depth on the blue line and for that reason it became difficult for Jarred to earn a regular spot on our roster,” Bergevin said in a statement released by the Canadiens Friday night. “He showed great professionalism and kept a positive attitude. We wish him the best of luck with his new organization.”
Bartley had one assist in 14 games this season with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals. He has played 112 NHL games with the Nashville Predators, scoring one goal and adding 22 assists.
“Victor Bartley, 27, is a defenceman with good size with over 100 games played at the NHL level,” Bergevin said. “He adds depth to the group of defencemen of our organization. Steady on the blue line he has shown at the junior and the AHL levels that he can also contribute offensively.”
As for Scott, Bergevin said: “At 33, John Scott is a seasoned veteran with 285 NHL games under his belt. He will be bring experience to our group of forwards with the IceCaps in St. John’s.”
While it doesn’t seem like much of a return for a former first-round draft pick, the deal was easier for Bergevin to make since Tinordi wasn’t his pick. Pierre Gauthier was general manager when the Canadiens selected the 6-foot-6 defenceman, who should now finally get a chance to play with the Coyotes.
When asked after practice last week if he had received any message from the Canadiens about what the future might hold for him, the 23-year-old Tinordi said: “No. Like I said, I’m just taking it one day at a time, working hard in practice. I thought I did a good job when I got my opportunity in there, played some strong hockey, so we’ll see what happens.
The focus now will be on whether Scott will play at the All-Star Game. He was voted in by fans as captain of the Pacific Division team, but the NHL and the Coyotes had asked him not to attend. He said he was going to play.
“It’s one of those things where I don’t want to be made a joke of, I don’t want to be an embarrassment, I don’t want to embarrass the game in that way,” Scott told Fox Sports Arizona’s Todd Walsh after being voted in as an all-star captain. “I talked to some people, I talked to a lot of former players and everyone just said ‘go have fun with it and it’ll be a good experience.’”
Scott has been a healthy scratch for most of the season and was even placed on waivers at one point by the Coyotes.
“I talked to a lot of guys in my position throughout the last few weeks and it’s kind of nice,” Scott said after the all-star announcement was made. “I’ve grinded out a career here. It’s not easy being the odd man out (or) the odd man in. You never know where you stand, you never know if you’re going to play or not, you get sent down, you’re a forward or (defenceman).
“It’s one of those things where it’s a grind and just to get a little recognition is fun. I hope all the guys, who have been in my position, can take a little grasp of this and say ‘we did something.’”
In 285 career NHL games, Scott has five goals, six assists and 542 penalty minutes.
As for Tinordi, he should now finally get a chance to play with the Coyotes.
“Long story short, we think he’s a young player with upside,” Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said on the team’s website. “Jarred’s style of play is attractive to us. I know the league is going to mobile and puck-moving (defencemen), but you still need somebody in front of the net to protect your goalie and somebody with a little jam to his game. That’s what he has.”
(Photo by Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press)
Growing pains continue for Galchenyuk
What does Alex Galchenyuk have to do to become the No. 1 centre with the Canadiens?
That was one of the questions put to coach Michel Therrien following Friday’s optional skate in Brossard before the team headed to St. Louis.
Galchenyuk finished Thursday’s 3-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bell Centre playing at left wing on a line with David Desharnais at centre and Paul Byron on the right.
“For us, you got to make sure you’re really responsible,” Therrien said. “For him as a young centreman, depending against who you play — and he was playing with young kids, he was playing lots of time with Danny Carr or (Sven) Andrighetto — those are young kids.”
Carr and Andrighetto were both sent down to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps on Friday morning, while Jacob de la Rose was called up. Therrien explained that he wanted more size on his fourth line and de la Rose is 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds.
“It’s tough for young players to play against top players in the league,” Therrien said about Galchenyuk as a centreman. “So it’s a process. They got a lot of responsibility, but yesterday playing with Desharnais I felt a little bit less responsibility defensively and he could concentrate about trying to generate more offensively. I think they had good scoring chances in the third (period). I thought those two together they were good.”
Galchenyuk logged 16:21 of ice time and had four shots on goal. However, he really struggled in the faceoff circle, winning only two of nine faceoffs. Desharnais picked up an assist on Byron’s goal and logged 18:24 of ice time with two shots on goal.
“I really like what I saw from those two together, David and Chucky,” Therrien said. “Those two guys played together on the power play and yesterday we’re trying to push. I like what I saw. So we’re going to continue the experiment. I haven’t taken a final decision yet (as far as the lines for Saturday’s game) but we’ll see tomorrow.”
When asked about putting Galchenyuk back at centre on the No. 1 line with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher, Therrien said: “We tried the experiment for three games and, honestly, they didn’t have not one scoring chance.”
Dale Weise, who has been sidelined since suffering an upper-body injury during the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day (it’s to his right hand or wrist), took part in Friday’s optional practice and will be back in the lineup Saturday night if he gets medical clearance.
Weise was asked what he learned by watching the last four games from the press-box level.
“When you watch the game, everything looks extremely slow and everything looks extremely easy,” he said. “It’s easy to pick things apart. I see from a media’s perspective how you guys see the game now, it looks very easy.
“You can pick up some things when you watch the game,” he added. “When you get on the ice, things happen quite fast.”
But Weise added that he liked what he saw from his teammates Thursday night against the Blackhawks.
“I liked our last game … I liked the way we played last night,” said Weise, who has 11 goals and nine assists in 40 games this season. “I felt we played great. I thought second and third period the ice was tilted in our favour against a club like that, who’s obviously the hottest team in the NHL right now.
“You got to feel good about yourself,” Weise added. “You got to find ways to be positive and feel good about yourself in situations like this. Watching from the outside, I loved our effort yesterday. I thought we had some guys really step up and I thought we had good depth throughout everybody. I feel good about our game.”
With Friday’s player moves and with his status still uncertain, Weise was asked what the lines might look like against the Blues.
“I have absolutely no idea what the lines would be,” he said. “I think the only line that would be for sure is our top unit (of Max Paciorety, Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher), and I thought they played good yesterday. I think that’s the only line that would probably stay together. Other than that, I don’t know what the combos would be. We have a couple of guys coming and going.”
When asked if he’d like to be reunited with Desharnais and Tomas Fleischmann, Weise said: “I’d love to play with those guys, obviously.”
A little goalie advice?
With the Canadiens struggling to score goals — they’ve averaged less than two goals per game since Dec. 1 while posting a 5-14 record — Mike Condon was asked if he has given any scoring advice to his teammates from a goaltender’s perspective.
“Not really,” the 25-year-old rookie said. “I’ve only been in this league for four months now, so these guys have played in the NHL for a long time and I think everyone here is an accomplished goal-scorer in their own right. But sometimes if we see something, (goalie coach) Stéph Waite or Benner (goalie Ben Scrivens) or myself will give guys opinions on where we think goalies are vulnerable.”
Right now, any kind of advice might help.