John Scott: An NHL phenomenon?

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By: Brendan Jordan

After months of discussing and arguing about the topic, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman finally let John Scott play in the 2016 All-Star game in Nashville.

Before getting into the All-Star game and it’s results, let’s take a look back and this John Scott “fiasco.”

John Scott is an NHL forward, playing for the Montreal Canadiens, who had acquired him from the Arizona Coyotes. In a trade involving defenseman Victor Bartley, the Canadiens gave up defensemen Jared Tinordi and Stefan Fournier and took responsibility of 33-year-old Scott.

Currently, Scott has played 285 games in the NHL for seven different teams. In those 285 games, he’s scored five goals and six assists.

So you can easily say that John Scott isn’t known for his scoring abilities.

In spite of his embarrassing NHL career, the fans of the NHL shockingly voted Scott as captain of the Pacific Division in the 2016 NHL All-Star game. Yes, you read that right. He was voted as captain.

Granted this was meant to be a joke, the NHL took this very seriously. Commissioner Gary Bettman and his colleagues discussed this matter for about two months. Their argument was that Scott should not be allowed to play in the All-Star game.

The NHL put Scott through the ringer, not only asking asking him to back out of the All-Star game many times, but they are said to be the reason that Scott was traded away to Montreal. When Montreal acquired Scott, they immediately sent him down to their Minor League affiliate the Hamilton Bulldogs. The reason for this move was that the NHL thought that having a player play in the AHL would make him ineligible to play in the NHL All-Star game.

Once the controversy came to an end, the NHL declared that Scott would be eligible to participate in the All-Star game in Nashville, and would captain the Pacific Division. Fans were in an uproar after hearing this news. Scott made his trip to Nashville with his wife (who just recently had twins) and his two daughters.

Before 2016, the All-Star game was played in a Conference versus Conference setting. The West versus the East. This season, however, the NHL changed up that format and made it into a very exciting 3-on-3 setting. In this format, the four divisions would all be split up into four teams. The Atlantic division would face off against the Metropolitan division and the Central division would play the Pacific division. The winners of those two games would play each other in the championship game. Each team consisted of 11 players, six of whom were forwards, three defense, and two goalies. The teams were small, but were good for the new 3-on-3 format, that way fans would be able to see their favorite players on the ice more often.

In the first game that featured Scott, the Pacific division played against the Central division. The winner of that game would represent the Western Conference in the All-Star Championship game. Scott led the team to the victory by scoring two goals. You wouldn’t have believed the noise that the crowd made after he scored both goals!

On to the championship game. The Atlantic division defeated the Metropolitan division to push themselves on to the championship game. The Atlantic division featured some power in all of their aspects. Offensively, they had features such as Patrice Bergeron (Boston Bruins), Dylan Larkin (Detroit Red Wings), and Steven Stamkos (captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning). Defensively, they had Erik Karlsson (captain of the Ottawa Senators) and P.K. Subban (Montreal Canadiens) who is arguably the best offensive defenseman in the NHL. Back defending the goal were two of the best goalies in the entire league with Roberto Luongo (Florida Panthers) and Ben Bishop (Tampa Bay Lightning).

The Championship was a show for every kind of hockey player and fan. There were stunning offensive plays, gritty defensive plays, and astonishing saves. Shockingly, this game was very low scoring. The Pacific division won the game by a score of 1-0.

Although Scott didn’t have any points in the 1st game, fans didn’t let him off the hook very easily. Toward the end of the game, the fans were chanting, “MVP! MVP!” clearly directed towards Scott.

After the handshakes between the two teams, commissioner Gary Bettman announced that John Scott had won the Most Valuable Player award for the game. Scott and his team were awarded a $1 million check, and Scott earned a brand new car.

During one of Scott’s postgame interviews, a couple of his teammates came up behind him and raised him up on their shoulders. The fans gave a huge uproar in appreciation for Scott. He exclaimed in his final post game interview, “It was just surreal. It was such a fun experience, and it’ll be something I’ll remember forever. The fans were so great and supportive.”

John Scott was originally called a joke. No one took the NHL fans seriously when they voted him in. But little did they know that Scott would prove himself and become the All-Star MVP. So you answer the question… John Scott: Phenomenon or Phoney?