New York Islanders forward, John Tavares, won the NHL All-Star shooting accuracy event on Saturday night, but the weekend belonged to controversial All-Star, John Scott.
Most people are aware of everything that happened at this point. The NHL gave fans the opportunity to vote, they decided to make a joke, the NHL didn’t think it was funny, but in the end, Scott laughed all the way to the bank.
He made people who wouldn’t normally care about the All-Star Game care about it. There is a song in “A Song of Ice and Fire” (Game of Thrones) called “The Last of the Giants”. It’s a sad song written from the perspective of one of the last Giants, a race that was persecuted because of their intimidating size and strength.
Scott is among the last of the giants.
Fighting has been disappearing from the NHL and at times the often described “goons” of the league are treated as if they’re the reason fighting is allowed. They may not be among the top 700 hockey players in the world, but it was a role that many felt needed to be filled and people like Scott did just that.
It’s undeniably odd that players are allowed to fight in this one particular sport, but it’s important to separate your feelings about the rule from your feelings about the players who fill the need.
In what could be considered Scott’s version of the mythical creatures’ song, he wrote about his side of the All-Star saga in a piece through the Players’ Tribune. He touches on how he never envisioned himself in this role, but given his size, it wasn’t long before he was thrusted into the role.
Much like he was as a fighter, Scott was chosen as an All-Star without ever seeking out the position himself.
After the NHL seemingly tried to get him out of the game, they turned him into the easiest person to root for and he gave everyone a lot to cheer about.
He scored twice (one on an actually impressive shot), had a pretend fight with Patrick Kane, was part of the winning team and was chosen as the MVP. He never took himself too seriously and it made the event more fun for fans of the game.
His performance didn’t go without reward either, he really did laugh all the way to the bank, receiving $100,000 for his role on the winning team.
In the future, the NHL may be better off taking a page from Scott’s book and not taking themselves or their glorified exhibition game too seriously.