I need to start this off with a very succinct wrap up of what people should know about this whole John Scott fiasco, right off the bat.
“The media & fans who voted him in need to share blame.” No. We really, super don’t. They traded him to screw him out of the ASG. That’s it.
— Steve Dangle Glynn (@Steve_Dangle) January 16, 2016
There are a lot of people blaming the fans for exercising their right to vote. The NHL gave fans the opportunity to vote for players that they thought would make the All-Star game more watchable, then they turned right around and told us all to go to hell because they didn’t agree with our choice. The NHL knows that the All-star game needs a hook every year to actually garner interest from the fans and the way they do that is by letting the fans engage in the process.
The All-Star game, for most fans, isn’t really something that we’re jumping to watch. It’s usually a half-hearted effort from a bunch of players who probably don’t really want to be there anyway. Sure it’s supposed to be an honor, it’s supposed to be a cool experience, but these guys don’t wanna risk getting injured for a meaningless game, they also would rather take the weekend to go on vacation. Players are so quick to get out of the ASG that it’s become a running joke that the weeks leading up to it is “lower body injury season.”
Sidney Crosby has been to ONE of the many All-Star games he’s been invited to. Every season Crosby finds a way out of it and yet fans are outraged that Crosby wasn’t invited and Scott was voted in. Hey, if you wanted Crosby in the game so damn bad, maybe you should’ve voted for him more huh?
John Scott to the All-Star game started as a joke. Fans took the opportunity to vote in the first name that came to mind that really wouldn’t have been considered an all-star. Scott knew he was the butt of the joke and wasn’t exactly comfortable with the kind of attention he was getting. He initially planned to decline if he won the vote the NHL expected him to bow out if he won the vote, but after a while, he started to get on his own bandwagon.
A note from John Scott: pic.twitter.com/kDEH7y4vDr
— Yotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) December 3, 2015
But when Scott continued to win in a landslide, and when public sentiment seemed to say to him, “Hey, it’s OK, we want you there, it’ll be fun for us as much as you”, he came around to saying, in effect, “OK, hey, if that’s what the people want, I’ll do it.” – Adrian Dater, Bleacher Report
His family pushed him to take the special opportunity. ” …‘you have to go. It’s going to be so cool,’” Scott said in a phone conversation with Puck Daddy.” (J Cooper) It wasn’t just his family that was excited to see him in the game. People and even other players around the league who normally had absolutely zero interest in the game were now planning on watching.
“San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton doesn’t usually make time to watch the NHL All-Star Game, unless he’s competing in it. He takes time off, leaves hockey behind for a weekend.
But this year? He’s watching All-Star weekend.
Because of John Scott.
“One of the best guys ever,” said Thornton of Scott, his friend from their time together in San Jose. “Can’t wait to see him out there, and I’ll watch it now that he’s playing in it.”” –Josh Cooper, Yahoo Sports
The NHL tried it’s best to kill the John Scott hype, but voting didn’t die down. For probably the first time in recent memory, the fans were on Scott’s side, we WANTED to see him. The NHL had a plan, though. An article from Greg Wyshynski detailed Scott’s fate a month before a three team trade would bury him for good. “The conventional wisdom in the Winter Classic press box was that it won’t matter. That Scott will decline the invitation — but would he be suspended?! — or perhaps won’t be a Coyote when the All-Star Game rolls around.”
On Friday, three NHL teams took place in a low impact trade that saw John Scott tacked on in an obvious move to keep him from the All-Star game.
#Coyotes make trade official: Elliott goes to NSH in exchange for Bartley. Bartley and John Scott then traded to MTL for Tinordi & Fournier.
— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) January 15, 2016
TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted out his idea that the NHL had tried to get Scott to bow out on his own. When he refused, they took care of him.
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
At this point, even if Scott isn’t deemed ineligible by NHL, he would almost certainly bow out of ASG on his own.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 15, 2016
There is a reason for that second tweet from McKenzie. Someone has been through a similar situation and still gone to the All-Star game.
There is a precedent for him to represent the Pacific Division as planned. Defenseman Sandis Ozolinish was selected to play for Team East in the 2003 All-Star Game as a representative of the host Florida Panthers, but was traded to the Western Conference Anaheim Ducks just ahead of the event. He skipped the Skills Competition rather than wear a Panthers jersey (he was fined for his decision) but played for the East in the actual game. So we shouldn’t be surprised if Scott shows up in Nashville at the end of the month, continuing one of the season’s bizarre sagas.” –Allan Muir, Sport Illustrated
Scott was upset by the trade. Maybe not blindsided by it, but definitely upset. This trade makes his life a lot more difficult. He’s being buried in the AHL, on the St. John’s Ice Caps and he’s never coming back. His wife is pregnant with twins and could give birth any day. In fact, the only reason Scott would’ve backed out of the All-Star game was if his wife was going into labor. Not only that but Scott was extremely enthusiastic about going to the game; he was excited and even had t-shirts made for his AllStar teammates that he’ll never get to see.
From reddit: Scott was having t-shirts made. pic.twitter.com/H99fa0WXWT
— Platinum Seat Ghosts (@3rdPeriodSuits) January 16, 2016
I think the ultimate screw you would be for John Scott to find a way to the All-Star game and let that be his final hurrah. Make a spectacle, Show up in Nashville wearing the C make people pay attention and then let whatever is going to happen, happen. It’s already done, John Scott will be in the AHL for the rest of his career, might as well go out with a bang.
In trying to save themselves from embarrassment, the NHL may have embarrassed themselves more. They took an event that should have been a light-hearted weekend where players could goof around a bit and fans could enjoy, laugh at. But the NHL is very intent on being seen as the super serious league and made a huge spectacle (and a conspiracy) out of something that should have just been brushed off as a bit of fun.