YardBarker- Remember when Scott, a marginal NHL talent who was bouncing off pro rosters, was elected by fan voting to represent the Pacific Division at the All-Star game? The NHL did all they could to prevent Scott from playing but the now-retired enforcer ended up making the trip to Nashville and starring in the weekend’s festivities. A troll job turned into the season’s best individual moment.
The NHL doesn’t want to see a repeat of fan voting, as Ken Campbell of the Hockey News reports the league is putting new parameters in place to define who can be elected into the game.
As was told to thn.com by a league source, “There will be parameters put around what it means to be an NHL player. The intent is to allow populist voting if that’s what the fans want to do, but players elected have to be bona fide NHLers.”
See, this was my argument all along. If you don't want easily amused fans to do dumb shit then don't give them the ability to do dumb shit. It's really as simple as that. The 'John Scott Experience' was undoubtedly awesome, but really - it wouldn't have been anywhere near as cool if the NHL didn't try to put a stop to it. The league trying to ballet block John Scott by orchestrating (but totalllllly not orchestrating) a completely unnecessary trade is what made it easy for everyone to rally around a glorified AHLer playing with peers that couldn't have been further above his pay grade. If he was simply voted in and played without any hoopla then he wouldn't have won MVP and he DEFINITELY wouldn't have been carried around the ice like a disabled child who was given the opportunity to score a touchdown during a college football Spring Game. Those are just facts.
That's why the only problem I have with this change to All Star Game voting is that they let this news leak. Nothing makes people want to do something quite like being told they aren't allowed to do something. Especially when those people are essentially just internet trolls who want to make a mockery of a gimmicky game that's already pretty close to being a mockery of the sport that it represents anyway. The best way to send people into an uproar about a game that literally no one cares about is to let people know you changed the rules regarding said game at their expense. What they should've done is just made it IMPOSSIBLE to place a vote for the John Scott's of the world and not said a damn word about it. Let the idiots that want to see 4th line grinders skating amongst otherworldly athletes solely for the laugh favor realize it's an impossibility. Don't tell them it's an impossibility and subject yourself to months of social media scrutiny well before you have to.