John Scott was elected by the fans to the NHL All Star Game. The NHL told him that he had two options: play or sit. He chose to play, and he was traded.

By Justin Weiss

Some strange stuff happened on Saturday.

John Scott, a nine year veteran of the National Hockey League, was elected by the fans as a captain to the All Star Game.

But then, the Arizona Coyotes traded him to the Montreal Canadiens, who sent him down to the AHL. And multiple reports surfaced that both the Yotes and the league conspired to keep him out of the exhibition game, pressuring him into either partaking in the event and being shipped to Canada or sitting out and looking like a fool.

He chose to partake, and the aforementioned occurred.

It’s not a good look for the NHL, who has struggled to attract fans to the game as it is, and had finally generated some positive buzz with fans uniting to elect Scott.

Forget the #JohnScottASG campaign and the fun this all created. Forget the idea that Scott is a good guy with a good sense of humor and a desire to have some fun in his life.

That’s what Gary Bettman’s team of league executives did, and that’s what they want you to do to. They want you to treat this meaningless exhibition like Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. They want you to forget an era of hockey that many (blatantly) consider to be the best ever.

In my mind, that’s unacceptable.

20 Thoughts

Around the NHL

1. Patrick Kane scored his first career hat trick on Friday night, leading the Chicago Blackhawks to their tenth consecutive victory. “He’s done so much in his life, I couldn’t believe it was his first hat trick,” goalie Scott Darling said. “That’s awesome. What’s left to do?”

Well, he leads the league in points, so a scoring title certainly isn’t out of the picture.

2. On that note: Chicago passed the Dallas Stars (who lost in regulation) for the most points in the Western Conference with their 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs. They’re on ?.

3. On the note of hat tricks, Vladislav Namestnikov netted one himself during Tampa Bay’s 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has three consecutive multipoint games.

4. Per Elias, Bo Horvat had his third multi-goal game of the season on Friday when his Canucks defeated Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. The Isles take on the ‘Nucks on Sunday at 4 p.m. EST.

5. Milestone games you request? Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey (800) and Stars defenseman Jason Demers (400) each skated in milestone games on Friday night.

On the Island

6. So basically, Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin dressed up as hipsters. You’ll have to watch to see it yourself.

7. Linus Soderstrom, an Isles netminding prospect, is equally a prolific goaltender and a wonderful person. Diagnosed with both ADHD and Asperger’s, the World Junior Championships’ top goaltender is auctioning off his gear from the tournament to benefit a children’s cancer fund in Sweden.

8. Calvin de Haan is playing out of his mind, and that’s great for the Isles, who will be without Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic for the next couple of weeks.

9. Although they have both cooled down, Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss need to carry the Isles to the playoffs.

10. As much as it hurts to say this, John Tavares has been missing in action over the past couple of weeks. Now, it’s not like anyone hasn’t been. But you’d expect your captain to carry you during these rough stretches, and he just hasn’t been.

11. Someone told me the following about Isles head coach Jack Capuano:

I’m so tired of the Jack Capuano is a players coach bull—. As great of a guy I’m sure he is, this team just isn’t taking the next step with him at their reigns. I don’t feel like it’s an overreaction either. We’ve been saying it for so long. Take a special education teacher as an example. If a kid grows out of a special ed class, a teacher has two options: either (a) adapt to the kid’s needs, or (b) let the kid move on to a different teacher. The later seems like the correct thing to do for this team.

12. Yet somehow, Jack Capuano is a coach for Team USA. I kid you not.

13. As I wrote earlier in the month: “The MC² line, which consists of Clutterbuck, Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas, is the best fourth line in the league. Their impact on the Isles has been indescribable. No line in hockey generates as much momentum as the Isles’ fourth line. Very few create as many scoring chances as they do. Not many play as sound of a defensive game as the triumvirate does.”

14. Meanwhile, Brock Nelson has stepped up his game, leading the team in goals, and most recently netting a hat trick in Tuesday night’s matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Frans Nielsen, in the midst of a contract season, has tallied [how many goals, assists and points] in [how many games].

15. The Isles beat the Rangers on Thursday night. In other words, the world is now a better place.

16. Ryan Strome took over the Islanders Twitter account, but instead of discussing hockey, he spoke about food, and wait-for-it, wait-for-it — Call of Duty.


17. Isles prospect Stephon Williams got tossed for fighting in the ECHL. He’s a goaltender!

18. Does Adam Pelech’s recent play mean that Travis Hamonic will be shipped at the deadline? Andy Graziano of Islanders Point Blank ponders that thought.

19. Sean Penn and El Cappy had a secret meeting at the start of last week, Lighthouse Hockey.

20. Jaroslav Halak provided some perspective on the team’s win over their crosstown rivals:

“I feel really good, perhaps best I have all season. These games are fun to play in, the fans really get you going right from warmups. But it’s early, there are so many games remaining for all the teams, them and us. Pittsburgh is playing better, so is Philly. We need to keep them behind us with the standings so tight. Getting to the playoffs is the focus. We know we’re good enough, we just have to keep pushing forward.”

NEXT: Mets Need To Sign Yoenis Cespedes

Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.