The NHL All-Star Game will take place in Nashville on Sunday and, after a whirlwind of controversy and manipulation, John Scott will be there.
You’ve likely heard the story by now. The NHL enforcer, who only has 11 total points in 285 career games at the NHL level, got voted into the All-Star game thanks to fans hijacking the league’s fan vote. He’s not an All-Star caliber player, so the league became embarrassed that their fan vote was exposed for the joke that it is and begged him to bow out of the contest. When he refused, they (likely) orchestrated a trade that stashed him in the AHL and seemingly made him ineligible for the All-Star Game.
Then, when the trade blew up in their face thanks to the media sh*tstorm that came with it, the league decided to let Scott play in the game. Damage control in place. Story over, right?
Not so fast.
On Thursday, The Players Tribune published a fantastic piece penned by Scott that details his experience and mindset through the entire process. Honestly, the entire thing is pretty fantastic and well worth your time, but here’s one of the more infuriating excerpts detailing how the league handled it.
If the league thought this was an embarrassment, pretty much all of the players I’ve encountered have thought otherwise. I’ve gotten texts from so many guys saying the same thing: “You should go.”
And that didn’t happen because of the internet. I busted my ass to be one of them. I’ve skated every day since I was three years old to be one of them. I’ve persevered through Juniors roster cuts, Alaskan bus rides, Advanced Dynamics exams, and — yes — fights, to be one of them.
But I’m one of them. And that means a lot to me.
It means a lot to my family.
So when someone from the NHL calls me and says, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?”
… That’s when they lost me.
That was it, right there. That was the moment.
Because, while I may not deserve to be an NHL All-Star, I know I deserve to be the judge of what my kids will — and won’t — be proud of me for.
I wouldn’t blame you if you thought the league couldn’t go any lower than colluding to uproot Scott’s family — including his nine-months pregnant wife expecting twins — by forcing them to move than 4,000 miles away to Newfoundland just to take him out of a meaningless game. But you’d be wrong.
It’s wildly insane to envision a league official talking to Scott and attempting to convince him that his participation in an All-Star Game — an event that, at its core, is held for entertainment and fan enjoyment — would bring great shame to his family. But, apparently, that really happened. For real. Over an All-Star Game.