John Scott has become a household name over the past few months, which has certainly been an emotional time for the former Blackhawks forward and defenseman.
He's been placed on — and cleared — waivers three times by the Arizona Coyotes. He's been sent to the minors just as many times. He has no goals and has appeared in just 11 games this season.
Yet despite all that, fans voted him a captain to represent the Pacific Division of this year's All-Star Game.
[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]
Less than two weeks later, Scott was unexpectedly traded to the Montreal Canadiens and immediately got sent down to the minors, which sparked controversy that the NHL may have been behind it an effort to make him ineligible for the All-Star Game.
Coyotes GM Don Maloney vehemently denied that, telling Sportsnet he was "dumbfounded" by the suggestion while Commissioner Gary Bettman said "that was not true" and "there was never any doubt" that Scott wouldn't be heading to Nashville. But Scott did admit that he wishes the league would have handled the situation better.
Scott opened up about the controversial process in a lengthy piece via The Players' Tribune on Thursday. He goes into deep detail, including his journey to the NHL.
Here's an excerpt of the story:
One of the reasons I’ve made it as long as I have in the league is because I specifically know I’mnot an All-Star.
So when they asked me to make a statement — nudging the fan vote in another direction and denouncing the John Scott “movement” — I did it without hesitation. I told the fans, “Listen. I don’t deserve this. Vote for my teammates.” And I was telling the truth.
But while I don’t deserve to be an All-Star, I also don’t think I deserve to be treated like I’ve been by the league throughout this saga. I’m an NHL player — and, whatever my set of skills may be, that I’m an NHL player is no accident. I genuinely believe that when I’m on the ice, or even just the bench, I make my teammates feel safe to do what they do best.
Does that make me an elite player? God, no. Am I going to be nervous as hell when I step onto the ice on Sunday — and I’m playing three-on-three, with Tarasenko whizzing by over one shoulder, and Toews putting the moves on me over the other? Of course. Will I be the worst skater in the game? I mean, probably.
But at the same time: this isn’t Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’m not some random person off the street, and I didn’t win a golden ticket to “play hockey with the stars.” I won an internet fan vote, sure. And at some point, without question, it was a joke. It might even finish as a joke. But it didn’t start as one. It started with a very small pool, out of a very small pool, out of the very, very smallest pool of hockey players in the world: NHLers. That was the vote. A fan vote, an internet vote — but a vote from among the 700 or so best hockey players in North American professional sports.
And I’m one of them.
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.”