What we learned from John Scott

By Dominic Chamberlain

Sports Editor

I wanted to wait a bit to write this one. I thought longtime goon/enforcer John Scott would consider calling it a career after his All-Star weekend. As some people on twitter put it, an emphatic “mic-drop” on his way out of the sport.

If you didn’t watch the NHL’s All-Star festivities, you missed out on one of the greatest sports stories of the year. Scott was voted into the All-Star game via the fan vote. What started out as a joke of sorts at first turned into a public relations fiasco for the NHL.

Scott continued to gain votes and won the Pacific Division’s fan vote, as a part of the Arizona Coyotes, making him the Pacific Division’s captain for the game. Shortly after he was sent down to the American Hockey League (AHL) and then traded to the Atlantic’s Montreal Canadiens.

People speculated this trade was done by the NHL itself to force Scott out of the All-Star game. All the while former players and All-Stars like Jeremy Roenick and NBCSN “analyst” Mike Milbury publicly disapproved of Scott’s being in the All-Star game. According to Scott, an NHL official asked him  “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?”

The League and experts were against John Scott; the fans weren’t.

An outpour of support from fans led to John Scott, who was now in Newfoundland as a part of the AHL’s St. John’s Ice Caps, the farm team of the Atlantic’s Montreal Canadiens, remaining the Pacific team’s captain for the first ever three on three All-Star tourney.

Confused? That’s how unnecessarily out of control this got for the NHL. Scott went to All-Star weekend and his star shined the brightest and it started in the skills competition. He was in the hardest shot contest. No one expected him to beat human cannon Shea Weber, but he did have a shot at a respectable 95.9 miles per hour. He even attempted a spin-o-rama in the shootout contest.

And the next day at the game itself, Scott did almost everything. He scored two goals in two games, one with a one-timer from former teammate Brent Burns and the other goal being scored on a breakaway. Yes a John Scott breakaway. He had a about as big of a hit as we have ever seen in an All-Star game when he hit public enemy number one Patrick Kane. He even had a “fight” against Kane.

John Scott not only stayed true to his well known hockey style, he surpassed expectations, made an All-Star game entertaining in an age where people only seem to complain about them. To cap off the weekend the fans rewarded him with chants of “M.V.P”, which he did end up winning and the icing on the cake, commissioner Gary Bettman had to walk on the ice and hand John Scott a million dollar check.
Scott was a consummate professional through all of this. As corny as it sounds he taught us to persevere. He earned apologies from the likes of Roenick. He turned a joke into a feel good movie script complete with his teammates putting him on their shoulders, a moment hockey fans won’t soon forget.

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