John Scott’s All-Star NHL eligibility seemed up in the air when the former Phoenix Coyotes forward was traded to the Montreal Canadiens, in a move that seemed orchestrated by the NHL to keep him out of the game. Now, the league’s had a change of heart, as the man voted in by fans will captain the Pacific Division All-Star squad. Here’s the league’s explanation.
— NHL (@NHL) January 19, 2016
“Scott, elected to the Pacific Division captaincy in fan voting while a member of the Arizona Coyotes, was traded Friday to the Montreal Canadiens of the Atlantic Division. The resultant change in division, and Scott’s subsequent assignment to the American Hockey League, created a unique circumstance that required review – the result of which was a determination to maintain the status quo for the All-Star weekend in order to preserve all parties’ pre-existing expectations, including Scott’s desire to participate.”
I’d bet the league faced some possible legal recourse from Scott and the NHLPA for their poor handling of the situation, so righting the ship makes everybody happy.
Scott’s got a pregnant wife and is now playing in Newfoundland in the AHL, so it’s nice to see him catch a break after such a trying couple of weeks. He said he’s looking forward to playing.
“I am looking forward to enjoying a fun and unique experience at All-Star Weekend in Nashville with my family,” said Scott. “While being voted to the All-Star Game by the fans was not something I expected to happen, I am excited to participate in the All-Star events with my fellow players.”
I’m happy this story got a somewhat happy ending, even though the NHL still has plenty of egg on its face from how they handled things.