This whole concept of “let’s take a player who has no actual legit business being considered an NHL All-Star, and vote him into the NHL All-Star Game” is pretty much a yearly thing now right?
It is a sham! It is a mockery! It is proof that fans shouldn’t have the right to vote and thus should be taken away now!
It also really isn’t that big a deal is it? It is after all exhibition hockey and can we not all lighten up a bit?
The ‘vote for the least likely of players to make the All-Star Game’ deal started (or at least caught national attention) back in 2007 with “Vote For Rory” – a plan to stuff the ballot box for journeyman defenseman Rory Fitzpatrick.
Since then we’ve seen a few variations of this theme and last year Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons led all voting thanks in large part to his home country of Latvia rallying behind him. Truth be told though, it was easy to make the argument that he wasn’t as much of an outlier of a pick to make the game as he was leading the Sabres in goals and average ice time.
This season, despite some effort by Jets fans to have Chris
Scoreburn Thorburn chosen, and despite other blogs pushing their own guys (Leafs Nation is rallying behind Stephane Robidas) the Internet Hockey Community has decided to roll with Arizona Coyotes forward John Scott.
Yeah, *that* John Scott.
John Scott (ARI) on waivers. NSH puts Mikko Vainonen on unconditional $125 waivers, presumably for mutual termination of contract.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 8, 2015
Yup, two months ago he was on waivers. Now he leads (or depending when you read this is very close to lead) all players in votes for captain’s spot on a 3 on 3 team at the All-Star Game. (or is it “Games” since technically it’s a series of.. Ya know what, never mind.. Another topic for another day.)
Yes. It is. It’s stupid.
Let’s all agree that John Scott at the All-Star game would be the (best) worst thing ever.
Even John Scott agrees that John Scott at the All-Star Game is a bad idea.
But it’s not worth getting upset about. In fact, I’m here to tell you that we should embrace this. Embrace John Scott to the All-Star game. Embrace this now seemingly yearly tradition of taking the most unlikeliest of players and putting them into a showcase event.
Because that’s what it is, it’s merely a showcase event for the NHL. It’s exhibition hockey. It’s an excuse for players to unwind and presumably get drunk on national TV apparently.
Unlike Major League Baseball’s insane decision to have their All-Star Game have a direct effect on their actual championship series, the result of the NHL All-Star game has no bearing on who plays where for game one of the Stanley Cup final or even which emo rock band named Fall Out Boy will play during the NHL Awards.
So, outside of maybe making it a bit tougher for the other players on the Pacific Division team to claim that million dollar bonus money for winning the tournament, what harm is there of putting John Scott in the game? One minute after the All-Star event is done, we all exclaim “welp, that was a thing that happened” and then move on with the rest of the regular season without another real serious thought.
And don’t give us this whole “integrity” garbage argument. Regulation games can be decided by a skills contest and two or three games per season are decided in outdoor environments that are completely different from the thousand or so remaining games not played outdoors.
Heck, if you want people to tune into the All-Star game(s) what better way than to have – and I am trying to be very polite here – a clown act in among all your extra talented performers? What fun!
The NHL will likely find a way to prevent Scott from being in Nashville at all the weekend of January 31, 2016 (hello numbers rigging!) and that’s fine as well. By rule, every team needs to have a representative and Max Domi is having a helluva season and I’d like to see the kid be the Coyotes rep, or you can go with Oliver Ekman-Larrson if you need a defenseman.
(By the way, you want to talk about “integrity” of the game, yet every team – including the 30th place Oilers – has to have an “All-Star”? Forget fan voting, how is that something that still exists?)
So this could all be much ado over nothing.
But in the meantime, just relax and stop fretting and wringing your hands over the idea of voting in a goon into the NHL All-Star game.
And next year, Vote Thorburn.