In 2012, John Scott became a Buffalo Sabre. As a Sabres fan who sat through a team with a distinct lack of goals the previous season, the first question on my mind was of course, “why?” Scott had been up and down between the NHL and AHL since 2008 and had one goal in the big league to show for it. His signing, I believe, was an overreaction to a hit by then-Bruin Milan Lucic on then-Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller the previous season, an attempt to “toughen up” the Buffalo Sabres.
To say that Scott’s tenure in Buffalo was less than stellar is an understatement. With one goal and 194 penalty minutes across two seasons, the highlight of John Scott the Sabre was being ripped to shreds by Mike Milbury following a nationally televised game against the Boston Bruins for a hit on a defenseless Loui Eriksson.
Needless to say, I’ve never been the biggest fan of John Scott. However, when you leave the people on the internet to their own devices, things happen. The National Hockey League opened up all star voting to the fans, and allowed them to vote for any player they chose as a captain for the player’s respective divisions in the new 3-on-3 tournament format. That opened the door for fans to find the most ridiculous choice and vote him in. Believe me, I was one of the people voting on a daily basis for John Scott, along with Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres, Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, and Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals.
So what happens? John Scott wins the all-star voting. Not just for the Pacific Division – he was the number one vote getter in all of the NHL. Those of us who voted for him felt a sense of pride. Suddenly, despite the fact we were initially voting for him as a joke, we had a sense of pride. John Scott was our all-star. We made that happen, and we were not only proud of that fact, we were proud of him. Sure, he’s not the best hockey player, and yes, maybe Mike Milbury had a point in calling him a goon, but John Scott is a good guy, taking it all with good humor, and humbly accepting the honor bestowed upon him by the NHL fans.
People are often critical of the National Football League, referring to the NFL as the “No Fun League.” I propose we start calling the NHL the “No Humor League,” because while we’re having fun putting guys like John Scott where they don’t necessarily belong, the league steps in and conveniently convinces the Arizona Coyotes to send Scott to the Montreal Canadiens, which throws a wrench into our plans. Here’s what they don’t tell you. Scott’s wife is pregnant with twins and due to give birth All-Star weekend. Now, this poor woman, 9 months pregnant, has to go through the ordeal of her husband being traded to a team 2600 miles away, being uprooted from their home in Arizona, and for what? So John Scott can’t play in the NHL All Star Game?
This ordeal is a bigger embarassment to the National Hockey League than John Scott could ever be. I wish he were on Twitter, because I’d like to personally apologize for him for the way this has affected him and his family. I voted for John Scott ten times a day every day. I was looking forward to seeing him get his moment in the spotlight. Now it’s all been taken away from him – and us.