By Charlie Mule,
Sports Business Assistant Editor
Many people are sick of talking about John Scott, a 6-foot-8, 33-year old forward who has racked up only 11 points and 542 penalty minutes during his 285-game NHL career. Even more are sick of discussing his importance to the sport itself, after he was voted overwhelmingly into the All-Star Game as the Pacific Division captain.
Questions of whether or not Scott will participate and be allowed to participate in the game have been swirling since the announcement of Scott’s lead vote getting.
Scott, reported to the St. John’s Ice Caps of the American Hockey League during the weekend, all but putting to bed the idea that the former Arizona Coyote will play in the upcoming NHL All-Star Game in Nashville.
With Scott not on an NHL roster, the league was going to ban his participation, but on Tuesday morning, the NHL announced that Scott will indeed be allowed to participate as planned.
“I am looking forward to enjoying a fun and unique experience at All-Star Weekend in Nashville with my family,” Scott said in a statement released by the league. “While being voted to the All-Star Game by the fans was not something I expected to happen, I am excited to participate in the All-Star events with my fellow players.”
Many people are blaming the way fans vote for the issue that Scott had been traded to Montreal and out of the Pacific Division. Some hockey commentators went as far as to say the fans are “jerks” for voting Scott in.
When it comes to fans and viewership, the NHL is still light years away from the popularity that the NFL, MLB and NBA enjoy in North America. This season in particular the league hasn’t gone the way many fans would’ve liked. Teams are scoring fewer goals than they have in years. Most of the Canadian teams are floundering.
The league’s new star Connor McDavid of the Oilers, hasn’t played since Nov. 3 due to a broken collarbone. The Winter Classic was down with TV ratings to prove it. Nobody can forget about the horrendous off-season the league had due to a number of players having serious problems with the law.
So when the John Scott All-Star campaign took off, the NHL missed an opportunity to gain a little momentum through attention and make its fans happy.
All in all, it is good PR that could make fans happy and it’s important the NHL uses it.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, January 26th print edition.
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