John Scott has had a whirlwind career. In the 2014-2015 season, he was playing with the San Jose Sharks and earned 3 goals, 1 assist, and 87 penalty minutes in 38 games. He was traded to the Arizona Coyotes for the 2015-2016 season and played 11 games, notching 1 assist and 25 penalty minutes, but he was a healthy scratch for a good part of the season. Then the drama started.
In January 2016, it was announced that he was voted in by the fans as the captain of the All Star Team in the Pacific Division. What should have been a fun opportunity for an unlikely candidate turned into a circus over the next couple weeks.
As Bob McKenzie of TSN explained, Scott was asked by the NHL to step down from the ASG.
John Scott was previously asked by both NHL and Arizona Coyotes to bow out of NHL All-Star Game. He refused. Trade likely takes care of that— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 15, 2016
Let's not forget the Don Cherry rant that blamed the fans for voting Scott into the ASG and, therefore, sealing his fate to be buried by the NHL. Cherry called the fans "jerks," claimed that the fans "ruined this kid," that the fans who voted him in should be "ashamed of yourselves."
Why? Because they wanted to see an underdog given a chance that he wouldn't likely have in other circumstances??
Scott was, indeed, traded to the Montreal Canadiens and immediately sent down to their AHL affiliate, the St. John's IceCaps. Popular opinion suggests this was a move orchestrated by the NHL (not the fans) to keep Scott from playing in the ASG because, not only was he moved to the AHL, but he was also in a different division after the trade. During all these changes, it wasn't stated either way whether or not Scott would still be able to play during the All Star Weekend.
And then the #FreeJohnScott hashtag took over and, apparently, the pleas worked because it wasn't long afterwards that the NHL felt the need to announce that John Scott would remain the captain of the Pacific Division team at the All Star Game.
So, here we are, anxiously awaiting the ASG on January 30th and 31st. In my own opinion, I think John Scott, in spite of his lack of captain-potential in the NHL, will be one of the best captains the ASG will ever see. I think he will be an involved, dedicated, and focused captain for the Pacific Division team and the group will have a lot of fun while gaining new spectators, who will watch just because they voted for Scott and honestly want to see him head the team.
It doesn't matter whether or not I voted for John Scott, but what does matter is that I will be watching the game just to support his fair win. Some fans wanted to see him in the ASG, and I say, let them!
Good luck, John! Have a great time and I hope you rock this!!