The Friday trade that sent John Scott from the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens could effectively end Scott’s chances of playing in the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.
Scott, the enforcer who was selected to play in the game by a fan vote*, was sent to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League by the Habs following the deal.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, both the Coyotes and the NHL asked Scott to step aside and not partake in the game. Scott declined and maintained he wanted to go to the game. With the recent trade, it appears Scott will likely decide to not play in the Jan. 31 game or skills competition according to McKenzie.
In a recent interview with Puck Daddy, Scott said he wanted to play because of his family.
“It’s one of those things where I never thought I’d be able to get to go, so when I found out it was a possibility my family was like, ‘you have to go. It’s going to be so cool,’” Scott said. “They’re excited for it – probably more excited than I am. It’ll be one of those ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ experiences.”
Earlier this week, the Coyotes sent Scott to the American Hockey League, but said the enforcer would return. Scott was recalled Friday, shortly before his trade to the Canadiens. P.K. Subban is already representing the Canadiens in the game with the Atlantic Division team.
Said Arizona general manager Don Maloney to Craig Morgan of AZ Sports, “This wasn’t about the All-Star Game. John was a good soldier for us and did his job well, but we have to run our business. To make the finances of this deal work we had to include John Scott in the deal.”
According to Morgan, Maloney indicated a Coyotes forward could replace Scott on the Pacific Division's All-Star roster.
There have been instances in the past where All-Stars were traded shortly before the weekend, but still played in the game. But Scott’s situation is different since his inclusion was by fan vote and was considered somewhat of a gimmick.
“I’ve heard folks say, and I think this is an unfortunate term, it’s like ‘voting the nerd to be prom king’ kind of thing,” legendary enforcer Stu Grimson told Puck Daddy recently.
Added Grimson, “Unless you want to revamp the way the current system works, I think everybody has to look at it and just kind of say, ‘Let’s just enjoy it for the moment and not make a big fuss over it.’”
Scott has played in 11 games this year and notched one assist. He has 11 points in 285 career games.
(* As always, in full disclosure, we played a role in that campaign.)
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