ETCHED IN HIS MEM­ORY

Hawks en­forcer-turned-pod­caster Scott re­calls his ten­ure with the team fondly

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BEN POPE bpope@sun­times.com | @BenPopeCST

For a man who played in 73 games with the Black­hawks and didn’t score a sin­gle goal, en­forcer John Scott is as beloved as they come. The love is mu­tual, too.

‘‘It was there and San Jose where I had the most fun as a player, on and off the ice,’’ Scott said re­cently. ‘‘I re­ally do sa­vor those times when I was with the Hawks in Chicago.’’

It has been four years since Scott re­tired from hockey, his strange and gen­er­ally over­looked ca­reer cat­a­pulted into the lime­light at the last sec­ond, thanks to serv­ing as the captain of the Pa­cific Di­vi­sion in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.

And it has been eight years since Scott left the Hawks, with whom he had two as­sists and 142 penalty min­utes dur­ing the 2010-11 and 2011-12 sea­sons.

But the friendly 6-8 gi­ant fi­nally had a chance to re­flect on that por­tion of his ca­reer this sum­mer.

Scott, now 37, re­con­nected with former Hawks team­mates Pa­trick Kane, Brian Camp­bell, Dave Bol­land and Bryan Bick­ell — plus former coach Joel Quen­neville and re­porter Jesse Rogers — for a podcast se­ries break­ing down the Hawks’ 2010 Stan­ley Cup run.

The first of five episodes, with Bick­ell an­a­lyz­ing the first-round vic­tory against the Preda­tors, dropped Mon­day on Scott’s ‘‘Drop­ping the Gloves’’ podcast.

‘‘It’s great to be able to still reach out to those guys and have a con­ver­sa­tion,’’ Scott said. ‘‘I con­sider them all friends . . . and it was re­ally neat to take a walk down mem­ory lane be­cause we did have some good times in Chicago.’’

The pod­casts take a be­hind-thescenes fo­cus, with Quen­neville and each player talk­ing ex­ten­sively about how the Hawks scouted and pre­pared for the in­tri­ca­cies of each op­po­nent.

‘‘I found it fas­ci­nat­ing the in­depth anal­y­sis Coach Q did for ev­ery sin­gle team and ev­ery sin­gle player,’’ Scott said. ‘‘On typ­i­cal teams, you just sit down and lis­ten to a coach go on about a team, and you kind of glaze over af­ter the first hour. But Q had some re­ally in­ter­est­ing way to go about pre­par­ing for teams in each se­ries, and it was neat to hear how ef­fec­tive it was.’’

It’s the big­gest project yet for Scott’s podcast, which ‘‘started out with me and my buddy in a room’’ in July 2018 and since has grown pop­u­lar on the Blue Wire net­work, with 114 episodes and count­ing.

Scott de­scribes ‘‘Drop­ping the Gloves’’ as a G-rated al­ter­na­tive to more raunchy hockey pod­casts, such as Paul Bis­son­nette and Ryan Whit­ney’s Barstool Sports main­stay, ‘‘Spit­tin Chi­clets.’’ That makes it so even his six kids can lis­ten.

‘‘I got into pod­cast­ing for that rea­son: I wanted to stay home [in Michi­gan], I didn’t want to travel and I just fig­ured pod­cast­ing was the best way, rather than mov­ing to

Toronto or New York or wher­ever I needed to be a broad­caster,’’ Scott said. ‘‘It’s worked out well. It’s fun to just do a cou­ple of episodes when­ever I want.’’

Through the process of record­ing the episodes — Scott said it was es­pe­cially fun to talk with Quen­neville, con­sid­er­ing how that re­la­tion­ship has changed from coach/player to friend/friend — he of­ten found him­self think­ing back to his own time with the Hawks.

He wasn’t there for the Cup run in 2010, although he now knows plenty about it. But the years af­ter­ward were just as re­ward­ing.

‘‘I walked into such a good sit­u­a­tion where the peo­ple loved us, and all the other sports teams in town were ter­ri­ble,’’ he said with a chuckle. ‘‘We’d go to a restau­rant, and there’d be peo­ple lin­ing up af­ter our meal. And my first daugh­ter was born there, so that was spe­cial. We just re­ally loved it.’’

GETTY IMAGES

Re­tired en­forcer John Scott is us­ing his podcast to break down the Hawks’ run to the Stan­ley Cup ti­tle in 2010.

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