Story by Charlie Crowley, Sports Intern
Photo Courtesy of Arizona Coyotes
Picture this: You’re a professional athlete. You’re….average. You make around league minimum (not that bad), you travel with the team, sometimes you play, and sometimes you don’t. Fans like you because you’re just a nice guy who tries hard and loves the game. Also, you’re going to the All Star Game.
Hold on, back up a second. Average? Minimum? Tries? All Star Game? What kind of league is this? In the case of John Scott, this would be the National Hockey League. Scott, who has one assist in 11 games this season for the Arizona Coyotes, was voted into the NHL All Star Game by the fans. He was also one of the top four vote getters, which made him captain of the Pacific Division. There has been a lot of talk lately about the issue, coupled with the fact that Scott was traded to the Montreal Canadiens and sent down to the minors, about whether he would play or not. The NHL decided he would still play.
Fan voting is one of the coolest – and dumbest – parts about all star games. It gives the fans a chance to show who they think is playing their best, or to put a player who constantly makes highlight reel moves in a spotlight for all to see. However, it causes situations like John Scott’s to happen, where people vote for a player who isn’t all star game caliber. This isn’t the first time the NHL has had this happen; in 2007 fans voted for Vancouver defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick over 550,000 times to show the system was flawed. Although fan voting only takes care of picking captains for each team, for a team like Arizona, Scott is their only representative. The stronger teams in their division have two players in, which obviously cuts down on spots. This means a more talented player on Arizona does not have the chance to showcase his skills with the NHL’s elite. Young guys on their team such as Max Domi or Oliver Ekman-Larsson would be better fits to represent the Coyotes, at least based on skill.
The NHL needs to evaluate their procedure, or the fans need to smarten up. It was funny at first, since most thought Scott would turn down the invitation. The fact he was traded and sent down doesn’t help him out either. This will not be the last time this happens, though it may be a few years before it happens again. Fans need to wise up and see that the All Star Game, as big as a light hearted game it may be, still belongs to the best players in the league.
About the writer…
Charlie Crowley is a junior studying communication and journalism.He is The Saint‘s Sports Intern and future Sports Editor. He spends most of his time playing hockey, sleeping, eating, and on Reddit. He’s also a Hoosier, and proud of it, but can’t hit the open three to save his life.