SAN JOSE –- Apparently NHL fans have as strong of a sense of humor as the man that they’ve vaulted to the top of the All-Star voting leaderboard.
As of Wednesday afternoon, former Sharks forward John Scott, currently on the Arizona Coyotes, is the NHL’s leading vote getter for the annual weekend celebration in Nashville from Jan. 29 – 31.
Scott spent just one season in the Sharks dressing room, and despite the trials and tribulations that the 2014-15 season provided, he was a popular guy with his teammates. After signing in Arizona, for example, he took to his Instagram account for a good-natured jab at some Sharks players.
In 280 career NHL games Scott has five goals, six assists and 535 penalty minutes.
Former linemate and fellow tough guy Mike Brown had just about the same reaction the rest of the hockey world when told the news.
“Is he really? Come on. No way. That’s unreal,” Brown said.
The NHL All-Star game will feature a new format this season, a three-on-three tournament between representatives of the four divisions. The top vote getter in each division will be an automatic All-Star and be named his team’s captain, while the league will select the remaining 40 players. Scott, of course, is in the Pacific Division.
“Has he played three on three yet? I don’t know,” Marc-Edouard Vlasic said. “He’s a great guy and great teammate.”
Scott signed a one-year contract with the Coyotes on July 10. In six games, he has one assist and 18 penalty minutes, and was placed on waivers on November 8. He cleared, and remained with Arizona.
As for Scott himself, he told the Arizona Republic: "I don’t know what’s going on. … I just kind of stay out of it. Everyone gives me updates. The guys are giving me a hard time about it, but it's kind of neat. The fans, they obviously like me for some reason. I think it’s more of a joke than anything, but I’ll take it."
At the same time, the 33-year-old didn’t seem too eager to participate.
"I don’t want to have my name in the headlines for this reason," Scott said. "Like, it's a fun little thing and hopefully it'll die down over time. I definitely don't want to be voted into the All-Star Game. It would be cool, but I definitely don't deserve it to this point. You never know. There's still some time left. I could turn it on."
The Sharks currently have two players in the top 50: Brent Burns, who is 21st in voting, and Joe Pavelski, who is 28th. Burns was the Sharks’ lone representative last season.