Former enforcer John Scott has some advice for Rangers’ Matt Rempe

NHL: New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Rempe is taking on all challengers every time he suits up for the New York Rangers. In just five NHL games to date, he’s dropped the gloves with Matt Martin (Islanders), Nicolas Deslauriers (Flyers) and Mathieu Olivier (Blue Jackets).

All are well known tough guys, but one of the best to ever do it has some advice for the rookie.

Former NHL enforcer John Scott, who played 286 NHL games over eight seasons with seven teams, including six games with the Rangers in 2011-12, thinks Rempe has to tweak his style. Similar to Rempe, Scott comes in at 6-foot-8 himself and understands a thing or two about using your reach.

“His grab hand (left) is the main problem, as he’s getting tagged by small guys consistently and he shouldn’t be,” Scott told Forever Blueshirts. “To take advantage of his height, he needs to grab the other guy by the neck. He’s been grabbing them on the outside shoulder of their right arm for some reason. If he gets that grip initially, he will have a much easier time.”

Up until Sunday night, Rempe was coming out on top of his tilts. However, a much smaller Olivier (6-foot-1) was able to get in tight and tag Rempe with some big blows.

“He also seems to throw recklessly,” Scott added. “I’d like to see him throw less, but more accurately. When I fought I would try and make every punch count, not go for quantity.”

It sounds like sage advice that the kid should heed.

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John Scott’s advice for Matt Rempe

NHL: New York Rangers at New Jersey Devils
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no denying that Rempe has given the Rangers an emotional boost since joining the team, becoming the first player in League history to debut in an outdoor game. The Blueshirts topped their crosstown rivals, the New York Islanders, at MetLife Stadium in a wild comeback for a 6-5 OT win in his debut.

In that contest, Martin, the resident Isles’ heavyweight, obliged Rempe with his first NHL fight. It revved up the crowd and the Rangers as well. Of course, there’s the argument that Rempe needs to be more careful and pick his spots better.

That being said, Rempe isn’t going to make his career as a point-getter, even though he already has a goal and an assist to his credit. Scott recognized that early on his career, and believes that Rempe is doing what he must to earn a full-time NHL job.

“He’s definitely made an impact, which is what you need to do as a young kid breaking into the League,” Scott said. “I think he should be taking on whoever he can, win or lose, it’s what he needs to do to keep his spot in the lineup. He can score, so hopefully he won’t need to fight as often.”

Note: You can check out John Scott on the Dropping The Gloves Podcast here. 

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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