Did NHL force the John Scott trade?
John Scott is not an All-Star, of that there is no doubt. The only reason he was sent to the All-Star Game, as captain of his division no less, was because of fans stuffing the ballot box. We knew that the NHL would be against this move, but as it turns out, they were so against it that they forced their hand in orchestrate a trade that would send John Scott out of the Western Conference and make him ineligible for the All-Star Game.
Sounds crazy, right? Listen to what Bob McKenzie said on TSN Radio recently (h/t Forbes), and you'll realize that it makes sense:
Prior to this, John Scott was asked by both the National Hockey League and the Arizona Coyotes to reconsider his decision to accept a spot on the team that was awarded to him by a fan vote. He refused to do that.
I can tell you that the Montreal Canadiens had no interest whatsoever in getting John Scott in this trade. The Arizona Coyotes wanted him to be included... A lot of people have conspiracy theories. Whatever the case may be, but it was Arizona who wanted him in this trade.
The Canadiens wanted no part of John Scott. That should've been evident when they sent him down to the minors. Scott really wanted to be a part of the All-Star Game as well, even printing out t-shirts for his All-Star teammates. When will he ever get his chance to be part of something like that again?
To be clear, the NHL still let him participate in related events and talk to media – as if he were an injured player – but he wasn't allowed to actually take to the ice. Scott refused that proposition which likely brought about the trade.
SEE ALSO: Canadiens acquire John Scott and Stefan Elliott for Jarred Tinordi
By making the All-Star game open to fan voting, they brought this upon themselves. Stuff like this happens in every sport – Kobe Bryant's the leading vote-getter despite having a terrible season, and at one point eight of the nine starters in the MLB All-Star Game were Royals players. And fans were only allowed to choose four players. They could still let guys like Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin, or Vladimir Tarasenko play (but not Sidney Crosby apparently).
Instead of giving him his moment to shine, the NHL has made him ineligible for the All-Star Game and likely means the end of his playing career. As the aforementioned Forbes report suggests, this has all the makings of a class-action lawsuit, as the Players Association can file for grievances on behalf of John Scott.
Or how about another thing the NHL is concerned about – ratings? Before this trade, I'm sure a lot of people actually would've tuned in to see what John Scott looked like in an All-Star uniform. But now that they've conspired to get him out of the game, fans' interest won't be nearly as high.