All-Star farce takes new twist as Scott lands in minors
(Reuters) - The curious case of enforcer John Scott playing in the 2016 National Hockey League All-Star game became more peculiar with his inclusion in a three-team trade on Friday that landed him in the minor leagues.
Scott, who won a spot in the NHL All-Star game in Nashville, Tenn. on Jan. 31 thanks to an Internet voting campaign by fans, was involved in a three-team trade that sent him from the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens.
The Coyotes sent defenseman Stefan Elliott to the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Victor Bartley and then flipped Bartley and Scott to the Canadiens for Jarred Tinordi and minor-league forward Stefan Fournier.
The Canadiens promptly transferred Bartley and 33-year-old Scott to their American Hockey League affiliate in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Scott was to be the captain of the Pacific Division's 11-player team for the All-Star game, even though he has just one assist in 11 games this season and only five goals and 11 points in 285 career NHL games to go with 542 penalty minutes. Now that Scott is in the AHL, the jury is still out on how that affects his participation in the NHL All-Star game.
“The league is evaluating how this trade impacts the Pacific Division roster,” the NHL said in a statement. Scott reportedly had been asked previously by the Coyotes and the NHL to withdraw from participating in the All-Star game, but he refused.
Should he remain in the AHL for the next few weeks, as speculated, he has the option of filing a grievance through the NHL Players’ Association. The winners of the four-team, three-on-three All-Star tournament would win $1 million or about $90,000 per player.
For players like Scott, who has a salary of $575,000, the All-Star winning share would be a welcome windfall.
(Reporting by Tim Wharnsby in Toronto; Editing by Larry Fine)
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