Sunday, January 31, 2016

Scott Stars at NHL All-Star Goings-On in Nashville

John Scott (Michigan Tech) is an NHL All-Star Captain. Deal with it.

Scott was seen on the bench in his black NHL All-Star jersey during Saturday night's NHL All-Star Skills competition in Nashville. Other players were dressed in their NHL team jerseys, but career enforcer Scott right now is a man without an NHL club, and toiling once more in the minor leagues where he has played more than 175 regular-season games.

No matter.

Hockey fans know the recent story of Scott, who skated with the MTU Huskies from 2002 to 2006. Voted into the All-Star Game this year by NHL fans despite having just one point in 11 games with the Arizona Coyotes, and just five goals and 11 points in 289 all-time NHL appearances,  the league asked the eight-year NHL veteran to decline the invitation. He didn't, was subsequently traded to Montreal, and then shipped to the AHL, pregnant wife notwithstanding.

The NHL, however, eventually relented—and Scott, an Edmonton native who holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from MTU and had originally told fans to vote for his Arizona teammates, enjoyed the festivities and media attention this week in preparation for the four division, 3-on-3 competition as captain of the Pacific Division. He took part in the Hardest Shot competition, topping out at just over 95 mph.

His personally-penned tale at The Players' Tribune is well worth reading.  Besides taking a stand, he's just about also made what is normally a meaningless, defense-less exhibition contest must-see TV.

More than a few people in Houghton, Mich. must be happy.

ADDENDUM: Scott scored two goals in a 9-6 win over the Central Division, and was later named All-Star Game MVP, winning a new 2016 Honda Pilot Touring SUV. In addition, he earned his share of $1 million after the Pacific Division outlasted the Atlantic Division, 1-0, in the title game on a Corey Perry goal. The 6-foot-8, 270-pound Scott also got a literal lift from some of his teammates, including Joe Pavelski (Wisconsin).

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