After his acquisition by Montreal, John Scott was sent down to the teams AHL affiliate: the St. John's IceCaps
If he remains on the AHL roster heading into All-Star Weekend, he will be unable to play in the NHL All-Star Game, despite being voted in as the Pacific Division captain by the fans.
The #habs sent John Scott to AHL St. John's and aren't likely to recall him. That would make him ineligible for the NHL all-star game.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 15, 2016
News came out recently that the NHL was looking to scale back the power the fans have to vote players onto the All-Star roster, implying that they were unhappy with Scott's automatic spot in the event. Bob McKenzie confirmed that both the Arizona Coyotes and the NHL had asked him to relinquish his spot.
If Scott is to miss the annual showcase event, another representative from the Coyotes will be chosen to participate, and a new captain will also need to be selected — this time without any input from the fans.
The question is: what could Montreal possibly gain by doing the dirty work in this situation? There can be no monetary gain, no additional draft picks from the NHL for such a manoeuvre. A promise of an outdoor game in the near future? Some additional red tape to cut through for a second NHL franchise in the province of Quebec?
Did the Coyotes promise to allow a trade-up in the 2016 draft for the favour of not letting John Scott be the franchise's representative, or take him back for that pick before the February 29th trade deadline?
Was Marc Bergevin just so disgusted by the idea of a talentless player making the All-Star game that he sacrificed an asset to save the integrity of the much-maligned mid-season contest?
Whatever the reason for the move, it seems a very convoluted way of getting around an unwanted result.
Of course P.K. Subban could always step aside to let Scott claim a place as the representative for the Canadiens, but the NHL wouldn't want to deprive itself of having the marketing machine that is Subban available for the All-Star festivities, would it?