John Scott clarifies what really happened during the legendary dust-up with Phil Kessel

  • Former NHLer and NHL All Star Captain John Scott tells the story of his attack on Phil Kessel, from beginning to end.
  • It was a moment that defined his career in this city, it re-ignited the rivalry between Buffalo and Toronto that carried through to the likes of Rasmus Ristolainen and Nazem Kadri, and it started the end of David Clarkson’s career.
  • It was September of 2013 wherein a pre-season game between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs, two worlds collided on the ice.
  • On one side you had 6’9′ behemoth John Scott, one of the most feared enforcers in the league.
  • Looking up at the giant was Phil “The Thrill” Kessel, who, like Scott, makes a living with his hands, except for that fact that he’s a sniper with buttery-soft dangles and never actually engages in any shenanigans.
  • Scott explains that he went up to then Leafs coach Randy Carlyle and warned him that he’d beat up whomever he sent out on the ice next. Carlyle tried to defuse the situation by sending out his top line to which Scott had a little fun with.

“Before the puck drops, Phil (Kessel) lines up beside me and I respect Phil,” said Scott, who last suited up for an NHL game in 2016. “He’s a great player. Like, I know that he’s not a fighter. So, I said, ‘Phil, I’m gonna jump ya. Heads up.’

And he goes, ‘what?’ And then, the puck drops and I throw my mitts and I try to grab him and he takes a step back and just starts hacking me…”

  • Shortly after the famous stick-swinging antics of Kessel, as massive line brawl broke out, which resulted in David Clarkson jumping off the bench to join and being suspended ten games.
  • Ryan Miller and Jonathan Bernier got into a goalie fight, the QEW Rivalry had another chapter added to it, while being ignited once again.
  • A total of 239 penalty minutes were handed out, as the Leafs went on to win 5-3. Kessel, who notched two goals in the actual hockey game portion of it all, was slapped with a suspension of the remainder of the pre-season.

Maple Leafs and Sabres Line Brawl 9/22/2013. Kessel Clarkson Scott Bernier Miller

Kadri scores, taunts Ristolainen, scrum ensues

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