Hey NHL what’s up. Avry here.
I have to commend you for attempting to shake up the All Star Game format by turning it into a four division three on three tournament with fan selected captains, it’s bold and the public embraced it but the captain of the Pacific John Scott will most likely not be there and that’s not cool.
On Friday, Scott and Victor Bartley were dealt to the Montreal Canadiens for Jarred Tinordi and prospect Stefan Fournier.
I’m not a fan and many are not. Before the trade it came out that you and the Coyotes asked Scott if he would turn down his spot to go to the game and he said no, the trade to Montreal now fixes things as he’ll be heading to the St John’s Ice Caps and to play in the All Star Game you’d have to be on an active NHL roster. The odds of the Habs calling him up are very slim.
(If NHL 16 rejects a trade that means is has to be voided in real life, right? image courtesy: Andrew Berkshire/@AndrewBerkshire on Twitter)
Did John Scott ending up as captain of the Pacific Division come out of sending one of the less talented players in the league to mock fan voting? Sure, and if the player selected for this was truly embarrassed by it maybe I wouldn’t be as mad about him not going but John Scott is someone who embraced it. It began on the Marek vs Wyshynski Podcast and was also further helped with the efforts from the Steve Dangle podcast and the listeners of both shows truly ran with it.
The winger/defenceman with 285 games NHL games under his belt has a sense of humour, this is a guy who once wore a shirt that had himself celebrating his first goal of the season back in 2014-15.
(How can I get my hands on one of these shirts?)
Yes, there’s been pushes like this before to get enforcers or stay at home blue liners into the game, with the most infamous example being the Rory Fitzpatrick ASG campaign back in 2006-07 season which fell short but this one worked, why not accept that and chuckle about it?
If you want to change fan voting for next year so that this can’t happen again, by all means go ahead but for this year take the fan voting as is and let’s look forward to the end of January.
Scott could bring some incredibly positive PR to the league, you’d have people tuning in to watch what he does in the games and the skills competition. I have said it before on my show that in a three on three tournament who knows what Scott could do with all of that open ice?
How much fun would it be to see Scott go coast to coast and score on Braden Holtby or winning an event in the Skills competition? We’d all eat it up and probably replay it 12 billion times on Youtube within an hour.
Are there not bigger issues than an enforcer playing in a game that doesn’t affect anything in regards to the regular season? Video replay is still roundly criticized for the angles that are used and the lack of in net cameras at all times. Officiating is still something that fans are irritated by. You still are behind the NBA, NHL and MLB when it comes to popularity and to some you’ve been passed by Major League Soccer.
The fans exercised their rights so let them have what they want. At the end of the day, you are in the entertainment industry and a lot of the people who voted for Scott online will be among those at the Bridgestone Arena or watching on Sportsnet, CBC and NBC in late January.
You’ll of course get people at the arena with John Scott playing or not but TV viewers? On social media it’s been expressed numerous times that they would be watching for John Scott and now? They’ll just stay away as per usual and the numbers for the game will still be concerning. All Star Weekend struggles for attention among audiences on the Tele, why take away a reason for the fans to turn it on?
The 2015 game in Columbus drew less than two million viewers in both Canada and the US, that’s not a good sign and you may see more of the same.
You’ve had no problem tinkering with the game format, changing the events in the Skills competition and changing the teams from East vs West to North America vs the World and Captain vs Captain but heaven forbid an enforcer get in right?
The trade does mean that we can assume the Coyotes will be allowed to send someone else as their representative to the All Star Game, with my guess being one of either Maxi Domi, Shane Doan or Oliver Ekman-Larsson but I don’t think those guys would have been tossing and turning at night about not going if the 6’8 Engineering graduate of Michigan Tech was apart of the Pacific roster.
John Scott’s name has been no stranger to trending on twitter during the voting campaign and especially since he was named the captain of the Pacific Division, he gained even more traction when Jaromir Jagr, the Atlantic captain tweeted that he was afraid of possibly fighting him.
I know they’ll be critics of this article but we just lost out on what could have been a wonderful moment for the league and a chance to endear itself to it’s fans even more. You can’t tell me we wouldn’t have witness throngs of fans in Scott #28 jerseys or him posing for pictures with many of your fans all weekend long.
Is John Scott the All Star a mockery or actually asking him to turn down something that your fans wanted to see a mockery?
To me the right move is to for one time, make an exception to your rules. Allow John to go to Nashville and participate in the festivities and game. It’s what the people voted for.