Sharks' John Scott could face suspension for leaving bench to fight

In Sunday night’s hockey game-turned-melee between the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks, there was a fair amount of carnage. The tensions were high throughout the game, but they reached a boiling point in the third period. Things really exploded in the last five minutes of the game.

During the course of play, Flyers enforcer John Scott entered the ice on what appeared to be a legal line change. Instead of joining the play naturally, Scott made a beeline for Ducks defenseman tim Jackman. It was there that Scott then dropped the gloves with Jackman who barely had time to get his own off before Scott threw a punch and the two toppled to the ice.

Here's a look at Scott leaving the bench via @myregularface:

From there, another brawl sparked in the corner with Adam Burish leading the charge for San Jose. The Sharks were holding a 4-0 lead at this point, by the way.

This incident accounted for 55 of the 165 penalty minutes accrued in the game. Scott, Burish, Jackman and Ducks forward Nate Thompson were all kicked out of the game.

After all that though, Scott could be facing an additional suspension.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that the NHL’s Department of Player Safety is reviewing the incident. Scott accrued four separate penalties for the late-game fracas. One of them was for leaving the players bench.

Rule 70.1 addresses leaving the players’ bench:

No player or goalkeeper may leave the players’ or penalty bench at any time during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation. Substitutions made prior to the altercation shall be permitted provided the players so substituting do not enter the altercation.

There’s further clarification of leaving the bench on a legal line change in 70.2 as well.

A player who has entered the game on a legal line change or legally from the penalty bench (penalty time has expired) who starts an altercation maybe subject to discipline in accordance with Rule 28 -- supplemental discipline.

It is for that reason that John Scott did not get an automatic 10-game suspension like the one David Clarkson of the Toronto Maple Leafs got in the 2013-14 preseason for entering a fight from the players’ bench.

Perhaps the best precedent for this is the five-game suspension Jean-Francois Jacques received while a member of the Ducks in the 2011-12 preseason. He left the players’ bench on a legal line change and immediately engaged in an altercation, skating the width of the ice to drop the gloves with Vancouver Canucks forward Mike Duco. The league cited Rule 70.1 at the time.

Scott has a suspension history as well, which could be factored into the decision.

Either way, it’s looking like Scott will be suspended in some way after this review, or at least should be. That game was already getting out of control and his actions ratcheted it up to an unnecessarily high degree.

Though enforcers are going extinct across the league it seems, Scott’s actions only support the belief that the trend should probably continue.

CBS Sports Writer

Chris Peters has been a hockey writer for CBS Sports since 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for numerous outlets and edited the United States of Hockey blog, covering the sport at all levels. Peters also... Full Bio

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