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John Scott and the All-Star game

by Sarah Kossits February 6, 2016
John Scott and the All-Star game

The journeyman defenseman plays out a childhood dream with class

Just two months ago, few people knew about John Scott.

Graphic by Charlotte Bracho.

Graphic by Charlotte Bracho.

Scott began his NHL career in 2006 and has played on seven different teams. He was never able to find much geographical stability in his career.

At the start of the season, Scott was playing for the Arizona Coyotes and mainly went unnoticed.

Then December happened.

This year, the league introduced a new 3-on-3 All-Star game tournament format where four teams—one from each division. Each team had a captain who was voted in by fans.

From Dec. 1 to Jan 1, hockey fans around the world cast their votes, and the John Scott hysteria began.

Despite having played 11 games this season and having only scored five goals in his entire career, Scott was overwhelmingly voted by fans to captain the Pacific division. He was voted in alongside Florida’s Jaromir Jagr, Chicago’s Patrick Kane and Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin. The rest of the rosters were determined by league representatives.

On Jan. 15, Scott was traded from the Coyotes to the Canadiens and sent to their AHL affiliate. Many questioned if he would still be able to go to the All-Star game as the Canadiens don’t play in the same division as the Coyotes and because Scott was no longer in the NHL.

Eventually, the league announced that Scott would still captain the Pacific division at the game.

On Jan. 28, The Player’s Tribune released a piece entitled “A Guy Like Me” in which Scott discussed his rise to the NHL and the treatment he received by the league prior to the All-Star game.

In his article, Scott acknowledged that he’s not an All-Star player, but that he is an NHL player, which means something to him and his family. So when the league asked him if his children would be proud of him for attending the game, Scott decided he was going no matter what.

“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,” Scott wrote in his article.

Camera operators caught the moment in Nashville when Scott’s oldest daughter, Eva, was pointing at the jumbotron and smiling proudly at her self-described “big, goofy dad” after one of his two goals which helped lead his team to the million dollar prize.

In a matter of two months, John Scott went from being a nobody to an All-Star MVP. The helmet he wore to score his two goals is now in the Hockey Hall of Fame, to be viewed by anyone who wants to see a piece of history.

Scott carried himself with absolute grace in the months preceding his All-Star appearance. He had to uproot himself, his wife who is nine months pregnant with twins, and his two young daughters to a new city all while the league was in his ear saying telling him that he didn’t belong. He kept a smile on his face as long as he was playing hockey.

I think it’s safe to say that not only are his daughters proud of him, but Habs fans are too.

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