The NHL All-Star Weekend is supposed to be all fun and games. So why is the league so caught up in trying to take the fun out of everything?

By William Chase

We all know about the John Scott fiasco in regards to his selection into the NHL All-Star Game, and the league trying to keep him out.

Now the latest word details what a league official reportedly said to Scott asking, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?” with regards to participating.

The question, instead, should be, “As a league, is this something you’re proud of?” Trying to make a guy feel bad about participating in its All-Star Weekend festivities? When you, the league, invites its fans to vote players they want in the game in the first place?!

Never mind that Scott was largely considered nothing more than an enforcer—a goon, really—prior to all of this.

Remember this classic Mike Milbury take?

Scott even admits he knows he’s not an All-Star:

The insanity regarding a few additional NHL All-Star Game participants reached a new high, or low, when it was announced Washington Capitals’ star Alexander Ovechkin and Chicago Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews are both suspended one game for bailing out of the game altogether following word that the former is injured, the latter is ill.

According to hockey writer Adam Gretz, CBS Sports:

“Per league rules, any player that is voted into the game or named to the roster and does not play in the game for any reason receives a mandatory one-game suspension that must be served their team’s game immediately preceding or following the All-Star game.”

First off, I applaud the NHL for trying to drum up interest for the new 3-on-3 All-Star Game format, and everyone wants to see the leagues’ best and brightest stars.

However, if I’m Washington, or Chicago, I would rather my best players not participate, especially that they’re seemingly unable to go.

It’s silly, if not altogether outrageous, for the league to have this rule of suspending players in the first place.

Coupled with the John Scott situation, the league just looks bad here.

However, the NHL did such a good job of making it known their objection of Scott in the game, that they end up profiting more so.

It’s like anytime as kids, growing up, the more mom tells us we can’t have something, the more we want it!

All the league has done is turn everyone into a John Scott fan.

Imagine that.

So kudos to the league for bringing in revenue, even in a bit of a backhanded way?


But good job turning an otherwise forgettable NHLer into, if you can believe it, a likable guy. I know I certainly feel for him after the way the league has treated him in light of everything.

Regarding OV, I’m sure Washington Capitals’ fans will really be bummed about not seeing The Great 8 in the game, when really all their fans care about is this potentially being the Caps’ best chance at the Stanley Cup in recent memory.

In talking to reporters Wednesday following Washington’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Capitals’ coach Barry Trotz stressed the importance of having OV for the stretch run and playoffs.

Said Trotz, per Yahoo news:

“Would I like to have Ovie in Nashville? Absolutely. But you have to look to the big picture.”

C’mon NHL, it’s the All-Star Game. It’s not like anyone really remembers who won it last year.

I’ll tell you what, he’s an ultimatum: Would you rather have the biggest stars in the All-Star game, or in the Stanley Cup Finals?

Again, NHL, why so serious?

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William Chase is editor at Elite Sports NY, and has been featured on such prominent websites including Bleacher Report. William is also currently the Marketing & Media Relations Intern for the Augusta GreenJackets.