PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – Nashville Predators general manager David Poile called the John Scott All-Star Game voting situation “unfortunate” and “disruptive to the process.”
The idea of voting Scott, the Arizona Coyotes enforcer, into the All-Star Game started as a bit of a joke, but turned serious quickly. Scott leads the NHL in fan voting, ahead of superstars Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin and Jaromir Jagr. The NHL says it won’t stop Scott from being a part of the game if he’s voted in.
Nashville has the 2016 NHL All-Star Game and the Predators organization has put in a lot of work to make sure the event helps further put Nashville on the map as a hockey market.
Poile has been the team’s only general manager in the Predators’ history and the 2016 game is the first time Nashville has hosted a major NHL event since the 2003 NHL Draft.
“Well, if he was to make the All-Star Game, that would be, with all due respect, not an appropriate situation,” Poile said in an interview with Puck Daddy on Monday at the league’s Board of Governors meetings. “And with all due respect to John Scott, but when you do something like this and in this digital age, you sit there all day and push a button, that doesn’t make it right.”
Arizona Coyotes co-owner Anthony Leblanc found humor in the fan vote, but didn’t have an opinion either way.
“Myself as a president in this league, also as an equity stakeholder in a team – I have to respect the process, I have to respect the integrity of the game,” Leblanc said. “And I think everybody, including Mr. Scott, finds this situation quite amusing. But at the same time there are fan favorites who are – when fans are allowed to vote, they get to choose who they vote for.”
The fan vote has boosted Scott’s celebrity around the league, and partially made some forget his pugilist past. The 33-year-old Scott has played eight games and notched one assist. He has 18 penalty minutes. In his career, Scott has 11 points and 535 penalty minutes in 282 games.
The All-Star Game this year will be a 3-on-3 tournament in an attempt to breathe life into the event. Scott’s potential inclusion has been seen by some, as a detriment to the game.
Predators owner Tom Cigarran was an important force in pushing for 3-on-3 and could hardly contain his giddiness for the event when approached by Puck Daddy to talk about the All-Star Game.
“We’ve had huge support from the country music community. We’re going to have something like 14 or 15 different stars performing, groups and individual stars performing. I can’t tell you who they are yet because it’s going to be announced, but there’s never been anything like it in an All-Star Game,” Cigarran said. “We have gone all out on this thing for the city and the city is going to come out looking really good.”
Added Cigarran, “You wouldn’t want to be the city to follow Nashville.”
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