Former NHL defenseman John Scott said he almost died after falling through ice on lake

John Scott said he’s fortunate to be alive.

The former NHL defenseman and All-Star MVP said he was planning a day to skate with his family on the ice on a lake right off his property in Traverse City, Mich., last Sunday.

He said the conditions seemed great for the ice to be sturdy and thick and that there were ice fisherman not too far off from him, so he didn’t think twice of stepping on the ice to shovel off snow to make a rink.

“It was a nice day, the sun was out so I thought I’d go and shovel it off and skate maybe that night or the next day,” Scott said, via The Athletic. “So I went down there with a couple of shovels, put the headphones on, stepped onto the ice and boom, right through.”


Scary day at the lake #coldtub #dodgedabullet #happytobealive #gaurdianangel

A post shared by John Scott (@jhs_32) on Jan 13, 2019 at 6:06pm PST

“I couldn’t get up on my dock the first three or four attempts because I was soaking wet — I was just drenched,” Scott said. “I was like, ‘OK, do I scream for the ice fisherman but how is he going to get me?’ My kids were playing up at the house and they weren’t going to hear me screaming with the noise up there.

“I tried to hoist myself up but I couldn’t do it and there was no way I could get to a part where I could walk up because at the end of my dock it’s probably 20 feet deep and I couldn’t get around to where the beach starts, so I was like, ‘either I get up on the dock or I don’t get up at all.’ I managed to find a somewhat solid piece of ice to put my foot up on and kind of hoist myself up luckily.”

Scott said he was in the water for about a minute and lost his shoes and the shovels. Despite the seriousness of the situation, he said he wasn’t scared.

However, it wasn’t until he walked back to his house to see his wife and five daughters without shoes and soaking wet did he realize that he could have died.

“I didn’t want to scare my kids or my wife but when they saw me and started saying, ‘oh, my gosh what happened?’ then you kind of realize, what happened if? — They were going to help me shovel but I just got a head start. I would have been dead when they got there, you know? It’s scary to think of that.”

Scott, who played eight years in the league and was voted All-Star MVP in 2016 after fans voted him into the All-Star game, said he’s “glad I’m still alive” after the ordeal.

As for future family outing on the lake, Scott said he’s going to holding off for a while.

“We’re going to maybe take this winter off,” Scott said. “We’ll go to the local rink for our open skates. That was enough to scare me away for this winter.”