Arizona Coyotes: John Scott Doesn’t Hold Back When Discussing NHL All-Star Fiasco


The Arizona Coyotes traded their only All-Star representative to the Montreal Canadiens in a deal that rocked that hockey world. John Scott wrote an article on The Player’s Tribune to finally discuss what happened behind the scenes.

Former Arizona Coyotes’ enforcer John Scott doesn’t mince words when it comes to the NHL’s handling of his All-Star captaincy.

He also articulates precisely why he decided to embrace the vote instead of distance himself from it.

As the reports have came in of John Scott’s NHL All-Star player shirts selling out, as well as the many articles decrying his treatment after the trade, we still lacked a firsthand account of what actually transpired between the NHL, the Arizona Coyotes, and John Scott.

He wrote about his thoughts on the process, the results, and the aftermath of the much publicized All-Star Game vote in an article on The Player’s Tribune.

Among the more notable comments from Scott were his thoughts on the NHL’s not so subtle pressure to have him bow out of the All-Star game.

"So when someone from the NHL calls me and says, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?” …That’s when they lost me. That was it, right there. That was the moment. Because, while I may not deserve to be an NHL All-Star, I know I deserve to be the judge of what my kids will — and won’t — be proud of me for."

While I have certainly advocated for the inclusion of a deserving Arizona Coyotes player into the NHL All-Star squad post trade, the lengths that it appears the NHL went to in order to make this go away are beyond the pale.

First there was the pressure to have him stand down. Then the engineered trade between the Coyotes and the Montreal Canadiens.

To echo their own question, is this something NHL officials and their families are proud of?

It certainly seems as though they misjudged their voting campaign and how to handle it, and once the results became inevitable they panicked and engineered a trade to assuage a wound that few people were really upset about to begin with.

Instead of limiting voting to a few hand selected candidates, the NHL yet again allowed it to be open to the public and yet again bore the brunt of a fan campaign to elect a “joke” candidate. The difference?

This time the fan vote actually worked.

The fallout has resulted in a man being stripped of his All-Star game captaincy and shipped from Arizona all the way to Newfoundland.

Then, after suffering through a weekend of #FreeJohnScott hashtags and media outrage, the NHL to rolled it back and said John Scott was going to be allowed to play all along.

John Scott’s exchange with an unnamed teammate at the beginning of the vote is very telling:

"Or about how my teammate called it — literally called it — way back before all of this got crazy."

"How he texted me, “Dude, you’re 30th in the All-Star fan vote,” one night, out of the blue."

"And then, how he added: “They’ll never let you play, John. They’re never going to let you be there. Not a guy like you.”"

A guy like him indeed.

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The NHL’s response to John Scott’s selection blew this deal into something it never needed to be.

For a league that tries so desperately to make it’s All-Star game appealing to as many people as possible, they underestimated the reaction to their meddling and have taken nothing but black eyes and bruises for it ever since.

John Scott doesn’t deserve to be an All-Star for his play on the ice. Everyone can agree on that.

It’s the handling of the situation that has been wrong from the very start and that is the point of Scott’s piece.

"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."

Next: Every Coyotes Fight From The 2014-15 Season, Part I

Instead of a PR disaster for the National Hockey League and the Arizona Coyotes, this selection could have been a marketer’s dream. Scott’s jerseys and shirts sales are testimony to that.

It remains to be seen whether the ratings will survive the tone deaf response.