Daily Mumble Special: The John Scott Situation
League It To Us was planning on a return shortly, but not at this moment. However with recent occurrences, I had to speed up the timetable and put out this Daily Mumble.
With the Daily Mumble, I usually go over a few points each day that are on my mind. However, every once in a while something happens that is so big that it is all that is on my mind. This is the case today with the aftermath of the John Scott story.
Let me start off by saying I am embarrassed and outright disgusted with the 2016 All-Star voting and all events that followed. It has never before pained me to call myself a fan of hockey. Things went from bad to worse real fast to the point where the pool of people who are not to blame is beyond a minority. Let me start off with those who are to blame.
The 1st to blame are the fans. Ok, I get it. You guys wanted to make a point to the NHL. The All-Star game is a bit of a joke. Between the game itself not mattering and many people not caring, the game’s value has gone steadily downhill. Because of this, you respond by voting in John Scott. Scott is someone who plays the role of an enforcer, not usually considered an All-Star role. This was meant to be a joke, as well as a statement to the NHL. Great idea… on paper. Until you remember that this name you just voted in as a joke, belongs to an actual human being. A man who is smart enough to know that he has become the butt end of a league-wide joke. But wait, hold on because it goes further than that. This name, which is owned by a person, is also a member of a family which now has to deal with this situation. Now, it doesn’t end there. Prior to the recent news, John Scott would have entered into the All-Star game representing the Arizona Coyotes, taking the place of a different member of the organization who may have been deemed more All-Star worthy. Meaning a player who would normally be at the All-Star game (who is maybe having a career-year) is now not going, which hurts that player, and anyone hoping for said player to be there.
This situation should have ended there, but sadly it did not. Now, I am in no position to say specifically what happened next but I can give you the facts as they stand right now. John Scott was traded to the Montreal Canadiens in a 3-team deal, sent to the AHL and will now not attend the All-Star Game as the captain of his previous division. There is speculation on the NHL and Coyotes organization telling John Scott to not attend the game, as well as speculation of said trade happening in response to his refusal. I cannot personally say if that is fact or not, but it is something that upsets me nonetheless. The reason being is even though it may not actually be true (though I will admit it is very believable), the trade has made John Scott’s situation that much worse. Even if this trade had nothing to do with the All-Star game situation, it would mean that those involved in making this trade were stupid enough to not see this blowing up in their faces or they knew and didn’t care how it would affect John Scott. Let me break down some numbers for you guys and some facts on this situation.
- 1. John Scott’s family were excited for him to be attending the game, both his kid and his wife who called it a “once in a lifetime experience”
- 2. John Scott’s wife is expecting twins… that very weekend. Which leads to number 3…
- 3. The bonus for winning the All-Star game is 1 million dollars, $90,000 per player. Now for someone like a Crosby or an Ovechkin that is pocket change, but remember guys, John Scott makes $575,000 salary, in a role that is far from secure in the NHL.
Looking at the above facts, you have to think this is a dream come true for the man. Despite being part of a joke the guy is bound for a fun weekend that only a handful of people get to be a part of, in which the most important people in his life are excited for, and he has the chance to win just over 15% of his salary to help his current and expecting family (and believe me, I am a twin, twins are not easy to handle). Now after part 2 of this ordeal here are some new facts…
- 4. John Scott now has to relocate himself as well as his family while his wife is expecting shortly.
- 5. John Scott is now 33 years old. At age 33/34 and up, players start to slow and struggle to keep their place in the NHL, especially those in more physically demanding roles like that of John Scott. We very well could be condemning a man to AHL in what could have been one of his final years in the NHL if not the final one.
- 6. Back to John Scott’s role. It is incredibly physically demanding. We have seen time and time again players such as himself go down with a devastating injury and have lingering effects, or even just have them anyways due to his role. An experience such as this and some extra cash, if won, would make the post-career much easier.
Now, what makes this even worse is that if this deal was due to the All-Star issues (it is said that the Coyotes pushed for Scott to be in this deal, which adds to the conspiracy), then those involved are incredibly dense. Why? Because it backfired on those trying to make this a joke. Why? I will give you one big reason. John Scott. The man is a legend, and I will tell you why. For those who do not know, John Scott took this amazingly. The man was humble, honourable and professional in every aspect. He bloody well knew why he was voted in, yet took it entirely with dignity. Here is a video showing what I mean.
I want to take the quote from this video in the later half and post it here to reiterate it.
“It’s nice to be thought of by all of the fans and for that I am really truly flattered and grateful. And while I would love to experience an All-Star game I think a few of my teammates are a bit more deserving of a vote.”
A perfect example of how this man was taking the situation.
Patrick Kane was 100% correct with his statement in that same video. Having a player like John Scott in the All-Star game actually would have been better than you may think. If a person in a role such as Scott’s gets the opportunity to go to an All-Star game, what does that mean? That this role is important.
There is a song called “Hit Somebody” which actually describes the life and times of an enforcer well. I ask that you guys take the time to give it a listen.
You see the only thing more dramatized and loved than winning a championship is scoring the goals, being that guy who makes the red light go on. Because of this, all those who do not do so are not considered to be stars. All those who take the punches, win the faceoffs, play a fantastic defensive game are left unnoticed. Sure, we now have a Selke trophy, but that really highlights offensive stars who can also play defense these days. Gone are the winners like Kris Draper. And what’s the name of the defensive defenseman trophy? Oh yes, there is none. Neither is there a trophy for a player who defends his teammates. I’m not talking about a guy who looks for fights. Fighting without purpose is something I want out of hockey, no I am talking about the guys who are looking to protect those on his team who cannot protect themselves. That is a role on a team, and a role that is always diminished by the NHL, and by the fans. This situation being a pure example.
With that said, this was a bad situation that was getting better. Media was all over John Scott and we got to see a great side of a player that we never got to see before. I myself never took the time to look at him until this situation. At this point I got to see a person. Whether it be with his humour in post-game interviews, or the way players talked about being on the same team as him, something beautiful about this man came out to the world and people started to notice. I was excited for this All-Star game for the 1st time ever as I was interested in what a team captained by John Scott could accomplish. Think of how much the sport and the league could have and would have changed if a team captained by a role not of offensive origin did well. Instead we end up with a hot pile of mess that everyone is looking at while throwing up their hands saying “I didn’t do anything wrong, he did” and pointing fingers at each other. “Well if you didn’t vote him in it wouldn’t have been a problem”, “well if the NHL didn’t make the game so bad this wouldn’t be a problem” etc.
So let’s just make this one, singular thing clear.
There is only one person in this entire situation who is not to blame and his name is John Scott.
John Scott is now more deserving to be called an All-Star than anyone else, be he or she a player, fan or executive. Because everyone else has ruined a man, put a black mark on the career of the enforcer, on the name of the All-Star game, on the name of the NHL and if your head isn’t low enough that it is a foot into the ground well it should be.
I know mine is.
John Scott, though no one anywhere has the right to forgiveness for this affair, an apology has to be said. So allow me to be one of said voices apologizing.
Hockey has failed you…
and that is just wrong on every level.