The Montreal Canadiens have traded for an all-star.
Calm down, it’s John Scott.
The Arizona Coyotes fourth-line brawler, who was voted in as captain of the Pacific Division All-Star squad thanks to an Internet fan campaign*, was traded to Montreal on Friday along with recently waiver-claimed defenseman Stefan Elliott, 24, for 23-year-old defenseman Jarred Tinordi, a pending restricted free agent caught in a logjam on the Canadiens’ blueline, as part of a three-way deal that included the Nashville Predators.
Tinordi was apparently asked to leave the Canadiens’ team plane on Friday afternoon when the trade was made. No word at what altitude.
Officially, the Predators dealt defenseman Victor Bartley, a 27-year-old blueliner who has 112 NHL games with the Preds but is buried on their depth chart now, to the Coyotes for Elliott. The Coyotes then shipped Bartley and Scott to Montreal for Tinordi and forward Stefan Fournier.
Elliott is an RFA. Bartley and Scott go UFA after this season. The 23-year-old Fournier has five goals in 24 games with the AHL's St. Johns IceCaps this year.
So the bizarre tale of John Scott, All-Star captain takes another turn. A few questions about his status, at the time of the trade:
1. Would Scott join the Atlantic Division All-Star team?
Not necessarily. It’s not the first time an All-Star selection was traded near the game.
In 2003, defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh was traded from the Florida Panthers to the Anaheim Ducks on the Thursday before All-Star weekend, and participated in the event as a member of the Panthers. He skipped the skills competition, because he said it “would look really unusual for a player to be representing his old team.” But he did compete in the All-Star Game.
Before that, in 1990, Bernie Nicholls was traded from the Los Angeles Kings to the New York Rangers one day before the All-Star Game, but still played for the Campbell Conference in the game in Pittsburgh.
So could Scott still be the captain of the Pacific Division, despite playing for Montreal.
2. OK, but let’s say he’s not repping the Coyotes. What then?
Well then things get really interesting.
The Coyotes would choose from either rookie Max Domi or veteran captain Shane Doan, as Scott was voted in at forward. (Unless they monkey around with the roster restrictions and do the right thing, which is to select defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.)
Scott was voted in by the fans. P.K. Subban is the Canadiens’ rep, but he plays defense. So unless the NHL really wanted to stick it to the Scott fans by taking PK out and forcing Scott in, we think he's safe.
3. How much of a bummer is this for Scott?
His wife is expecting to deliver twins at any moment, and Scott has to shuffle off to join the Canadiens. So a bit of a bummer, we imagine.
That said, the Atlantic All-Star team figured to be better than the Pacific’s, to be honest.
(* As always, in full disclosure, we played a role in that campaign.)
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