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NHL reveals All-Star voting guidelines, post-John Scott

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After weeks of conjecture and speculation, the NHL on Monday formally revealed the All-Star Game voting guidelines for the event in Los Angeles, the weekend of Jan. 28, 2017.

Can there be another John Scott fan-driven campaign?

Sorta.

The NHL is keeping the divisional 3-on-3 tournament from last season, which is nice, because it was super fun in comparison to that trainwreck in Columbus in 2015. The top vote-getters in each division are captains; the remaining All-Stars are named by NHL hockey operations. Each team will be made up of 11 players from each Division: six forwards, three defensemen and two goaltenders.

OK, so how does the fan vote work this time? From the NHL:

The 2017 NHL All-Star Fan Vote will allow fans to vote for one All-Star player from each Division, without regard to position. The top vote-getter from each Division will be named an NHL All-Star, as well as Captain of his respective team.

John Scott was, of course, the captain of the Pacific Division. Despite no longer playing in the Pacific Division. Or in the NHL for that matter. More on that later.

Eligible players must be on an NHL Club’s active roster as of Nov. 1. Any player not on the active roster on that date due to injury or special circumstances can be added to the ballot if / when he returns to the NHL Club’s active roster.

This would seem to be a bummer for the Many Injured Players in the NHL, but whatever. We move on…

If a player is assigned /loaned to the American Hockey League (AHL) or any other minor league team between Nov. 1 and 5 p.m. on Jan. 26, the player is not eligible in All-Star balloting. However, if the minor league assignment/loan is due to conditioning reasons, the player remains eligible.

Keep in mind Scott was waived a few times, but was only demoted after that peculiar trade to the Canadiens.

So if a player is demoted at any time from Nov. 1 through two days before the skills competition, he would be ineligible for the All-Star Game. Unless it’s for conditioning. So a player could win the fan vote, be demoted by his team at any point after that, and lose his All-Star Game eligibility.

Once again, in case the general managers didn’t hear the NHL the first time: GARY SAID IF ONE OF YOUR FOURTH LINERS WINS A WACKY FAN VOTE JUST PUT HIM IN THE AHL FOR LIKE A MINUTE IN JANUARY AND DO US A SOLID, WILL YA? WE DON’T WANT TO HAVE TO FORCE ANOTHER TRADE AND HAVE MONTREAL DO OUR DIRTY WORK AGAIN…

We continue:

In the event a vote leader is disqualified due to a minor league assignment or loan (or other reason) after close of the NHL All-Star Fan Vote on Jan. 2, the player with the second-most votes in that division will be named captain.

Makes sense.

Fans will be permitted to vote for a player from a list of all players that meet these eligibility guidelines. The list of eligible players will be updated as players are assigned to a minor league team or return from IR.

So, you see, there can be “John Scotts” in the revamped All-Star voting, provided those players aren’t demoted to the AHL at any point. Because the NHL, for some bloody reason, considering all the nonsense that’s gone on in the last year, has decided to put every player on the ballot again.

Which I guess answers which players are “bonafide,” and it very much has nothing to do with “ice time or games played.”

But like we’ve said before, there isn’t going to be another “John Scott” All-Star Game moment. He was the perfect guy for the fan vote to push into the All-Star Game. The NHL isn’t going to be the perfect heel, at every turn, to make him into the cult hero he was. We’re never going to have that moment from the skills competition when he got that ovation, or the Hollywood ending of the All-Star Game.

We’ve seen the quintessential version of this story; the conditions, and the appetite, aren’t going to be there again for it to happen. (Even if it could, despite this “bonafide” definition.)

The 2017 NHL All-Star Fan Vote begins Dec. 1. Vote early, vote often!

(In full disclosure, this site played a role in that fan campaign.)

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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