When the NHL All-Star media day gets underway Friday in Nashville, there’s one player that will surely be one of the focal points.
Former Sharks forward John Scott, voted in as the Pacific Division captain, got a head start on telling his side of the story on Thursday, penning a long, detailed and touching essay on the popular theplayerstribune.com.
The piece is worth reading, as Scott delves into his surprise at being traded from Arizona to Montreal and getting promptly reassigned to its AHL affiliate in Newfoundland, taking loss bus rides while working on his engineering degree at Michigan Tech, and the stresses of being an NHL enforcer.
As for all of the All-Star stuff, the league doesn’t come off too well in the ordeal.
After detailing his journey to becoming an NHL player, Scott got into particulars about a phone call he got from an unidentified league official about participating in the game:
So when someone from the NHL calls me and says, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?”
… That’s when they lost me.
That was it, right there. That was the moment.
Because, while I may not deserve to be an NHL All-Star, I know I deserve to be the judge of what my kids will — and won’t — be proud of me for.
It’s worth noting that last week, appearing at the Sharks’ 25th anniversary celebration at SAP Center, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said: “The fans spoke in large numbers for the process and he’s going to be joining us in Nashville. There was never any doubt about that.”
“Obviously, the fans decided it was important to vote for him, and we respect that. Whether or not we need to make adjustments into the future and ensure that truly All-Star players are there is something we’ll worry about after we go to Nashville.”
Scott spent just one season in San Jose in 2014-15, but was a popular player in the dressing room and with his teammates. Several of them voiced their support for Scott when it was announced the fans voted him in.
Defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic was particularly vocal, and said he’d be much more likely to watch Sunday’s three-on-three tournament with Scott in the lineup.
The NHL All-Star game, in its new format featuring a tournament among the four divisions, takes place on Sunday. Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns are the Sharks’ representatives.