John Scott‘s rather unflattering account for The Players’ Tribune of how the NHL apparently tried to dissuade him from attending the 2016 All-Star Game is the latest in this storyline that has dominated the mid-season showcase event for months now.
Here’s the passage:
So when someone from the NHL calls me and says, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?”
However, according to multiple reports, the veteran enforcer Scott, voted into the skills competition and three-on-three event, and commissioner Gary Bettman have spoken, and from what we’re led to believe, their chat was a positive one.
After all, the NHL doesn’t really have much choice on the matter. Scott, joke or not, was voted into the All-Star event by the fans.
“And he’s more than welcome to be here,” Bettman told the Associated Press. “We’re happy he’s here. The fans spoke, and we’re happy to reflect their will.”
Scott reiterated that same message, according to ProHockeyTalk’s Mike Halford.
“Now that I’m here, it’s nice. They’ve been very welcoming. I sat down with Gary and we had a little, quick chat. It was good,” said Scott.
“He said we’re happy to have you here and we’re going to have a good time and make the best of it, and just have fun in Nashville.”
Scott was also asked if he and Bettman addressed what was written in The Players’ Tribune article.
“No, we just had a quick talk because I think he was worried about me not feeling welcome, and me being uncomfortable with this whole situation,” said Scott.
“He just said ‘we’re happy you’re here, we wanted you to be here and just go and have fun and our support’s behind you.’ It was nice to hear that, coming from him. Because there was a time I wasn’t sure what the league felt, but he kind of put those thoughts at rest.”
For his part, Scott said today that he plans on enjoying the festivities before heading back to the “real world.”