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The legend of John Scott

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2/3/2016 11:13:32 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
John Scott isn't your average National Hockey League player. He stands at 6'8" and weighs 260 lbs - in a league where the hype is in fast skating, he lags behind a bit. He has one point this year - no goals and one assist - in eleven games. He's known for fighting in a league that has tried to suppress fighting. He's the anti-player, according to some.

But the fans spoke, and they made him an All-Star game captain.

There were four captains - one per division. They were: John Scott, Patrick Kane, Alex Ovechkin, and Jaromir Jagr. There's something that sticks out here - all three other captains have scored more points (goals+assists) this season than John Scott has in his career. In fact, the lowest of the three other captains' point totals on the season - Jagr - has 3 times as many points in the season than Scott's entire career. Also, Scott has 5 goals in his career. Kane has 235. Ovechkin has 503. Jagr is the active-leader with 737.

To make it to the NHL, he faced people who ridiculed him as someone who they believed to have no skill. "Just a goon." He hadn't even gotten into a hockey fight until his 20s, however, and wasn't billed as an enforcer until the moment he dropped the most feared fighter in the AHL (higest North American level below NHL) in his first fight. And thus, he got his NHL chance that he was originally never going to get. He had a career in engineering lined up - and likely will move to that after hockey - but he got to live out his dream because of a couple punches.

But even though the captains was supposed to be a fan vote, the NHL attempted to keep him out of the game, as well as his team's management.

The NHL was the first to contact him, asking him to gracefully step away from the competition. He did not agree to do so.

So the Arizona Coyotes, his team, had their upper management talk to Scott. They said the game was not for him. He had the support, however, of the players - who urged him to defy the league and his detractors by playing among the best in the league in a pure skill game. So he decided to continue defying the interests of the league. He said that if they truly believed his All-Star appearance to be a disgrace to the league, they should have seen the texts he got from fellow players, urging him to go.

But the league was not done yet. The Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens were ready to strike a deal. But somewhere along the way, John Scott was thrown into the trade when there was no apparent need for either team to trade him or trade for him, respectively.

The Canadiens immediately waived Scott and sent him to play in the AHL for their affiliate in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. The message was clear - the league did not want him playing. He would not be in the NHL or in the correct division that he was the captain for at the time of the All-Star Game - he would have to be seen as ineligible. However, the fans did not buy it, and many threatened to protest the All-Star Game.

Meanwhile, John Scott's two kids and nearly 9-months pregnant wife stayed in Arizona, as he was sent over 4,000 miles away to Newfoundland. But for consolation, the league offered a free trip to the All-Star Game. Everything was good with that, right?

The fans continued to protest, though, and the hatred for Comissioner Gary Bettman was already immense. It was looking to be another PR disaster for them - and thus they relented, allowing Scott to participate in the All-Star activities.

Scott, needless to say, was happy with being allowed to play. He said his daughters - both a few years old - were so happy to hear he would be an All-Star, and that it would've hurt him if they removed him for the game for that reason. Yes - this was an utter PR disaster for the league.

But, he got to the game - the game that was only for the best, skilled players. This was the game that a "player like him" would look as good as a 7 year old in terms of skill when compared to the others. Well, to shut the detractors up a bit more, he scored two goals in the two-game tournament, led his division as captain to the victory - and a reward of $1,000,000 to be split amongst the team, and he was awarded the All-Star Game MVP award.

John Scott, the goon that was a disgrace to the game, had become one of the most likeable people in the world of sports and the most unlikely story against all odds.
I'll see you on the Dark Side of the Moon.

So much has gone, and little is new.

DDO Risk King