The contentious saga came to a close last night, in the most satisfying way possible. Longtime NHL enforcer John Scott led the Pacific Division All-Stars to victory as their captain in the NHL All-Star Game. In the process, he scored two goals, hard-checked Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane (yes!), and turned what’s usually a brain-numbing matchup into riveting TV:
I never understood why John Scott was considered an inappropriate candidate for the All-Star Game in the first place. Any hockey fan knows that statistics aren’t everything, and, as his former teammate (and fellow All-Star) Brent Burns pointed out, Scott’s enforcer position tends to sacrifice his own stats for the good of his teammates. He was beloved by his fellow Sharks during his time in San Jose, which speaks volumes to me. Whatever you think of the enforcer’s place in today’s game (my own feelings are complicated, to say the least), Scott’s certainly paid his dues in a career that’s spanned stints with six NHL teams. (While he has had some controversial hits in his day, so have other players whose All-Star credentials weren’t questioned.)
I don’t know whether John Scott’s career will lead back to the NHL, continue with the AHL’s St. John’s Ice Caps in Newfoundland, or if he’ll fall back on the engineering degree he earned at Michigan Tech. (Something tells me that he’ll be an excellent NHL broadcaster one day.) At any rate, he handled the situation with grace and good humor, and I know I’m not the only hockey devotee to wish him well. Congratulations to John Scott, NHL All-Star MVP!