The John Scott saga played out as one of the most controversial storylines in the NHL last season.
There were suggestions that Scott, the towering forward known for his fighting prowess, was traded from Arizona to Montreal — and eventually sent down to the AHL — to keep him from playing in the All-Star Game in Nashville, even after he was voted in by the fans.
Yet despite the many twists and turns in the plot, this all somehow ended as a success.
Scott played the role of hero in the newly introduced three-on-three tournament. He scored twice. He was named the MVP. He was hoisted around the arena on the shoulders of his teammates. Heck, Mitch Albom was reportedly writing the script for the John Scott movie.
It was one of the weirdest developments that spawned plenty of controversy but eventually turned into one of the more fantastic stories of the entire season.
With the 2016-17 season now well underway, attention is turning to what, exactly, the league may have in store for the voting format in the lead-up to the 2017 All-Star Game, and whether or not it will try to eliminate the possibility of another ‘John Scott’ scenario from happening.
“I think since then, we’ve all wondered, ‘Would the league do something about this? Would they change the voting so there couldn’t be another write-in candidate?” Elliotte Friedman said during Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday. “I’m told there’s going to be no substantive changes to All-Star balloting.”
You can now add another wrinkle to the discussion.
On Monday, the Hockey News quoted an anonymous source as saying, “There will be parameters put around what it means to be an NHL player. The intent is to allow populist voting if that’s what the fans want to do, but players elected have to be bona fide NHLers.”
There was no specific detail or definition of what “bona fide NHLers” actually means.
So, at this point, there are still questions about the details of the voting process.
As for Scott, he’s playing in a men’s recreational league in Traverse City, Mich., according to The Telegram newspaper in St. John’s, where the Habs’ AHL farm team is located.
“Honestly, it was cool playing with those guys, cool having my family there and the kids, experiencing an event I never, ever thought I’d get to experience,” said Scott.
“But it seems like a long time ago now. I don’t think too much about it. I get reminded about it here and there, but it’s part of the past. I’m so busy nowadays with the kids, I don’t have time to think about anything.”