Say what you want about John Scott. I certainly took issue of him trying to pick on Phil Kessel during a pre-season game in 2013. But the latest move to prevent the now Montreal Canadien to appear in this year’s all-star game has to go as one of the lowest points in NHL history. Yes, even lower than his election to this year’s game in Nashville.
Scott was recently named by fans as the Captain of the Pacific Division all-stars. But he is not what you normally consider an all-star. Scott rarely scores goals or makes plays, he doesn’t block shots or takes away scoring opportunities. He is what we in the hockey world like to call an enforcer. These guys are more known for dropping their gloves and duking it out with their opponents. While some feel these types of players do nothing to promote hockey, their character and demeanour attracts the average Joe, namely you and I. You know, the ones that actually pay money to watch them play. It can be said that Scott doesn’t deserve to be in the All-Star, present company included. But this is what you get when you leave the rosters up to those with no vested interest.
Scott being named as a captain of an all-star team is a punch to the gut — deservedly in my opinion — to those who say the NHL does nothing for its fans. They are the ones who called on the league to remove Scott. They don’t care how it is done so as long as the ends justify the means. So much for integrity. The next time you hear them say they speak for the true hockey fan, just keep in mind that they are sharpening their knives as they say it.
The NHL has tried every avenue to remove Scott from the All-Star game, sending him to the minors, and now Arizona trading him to the Habs. This to me is a bush league move by a professional sports organization. The NHL has no guts to accept the results. If Scott’s election to the all-star game is a problem then by all means do something to fix it so that it never happens again. But to not accept and acknowledge the fan’s decision is no different than pissing on someone’s grave. It is appalling and outrageous. So much for the customer being always right. That’s a thought I never gave any credence but it will be a test for those who stand by it.
UPDATE (January 19, 2016):
Sportsnet is reporting that John Scott will indeed be in the All-Star Game.
UPDATE (January 31, 2016):
John Scott and his Pacific Division team wins the All-Star 3-on-3 tournament. Scott scores two goals and is named MVP.