Fantasy, NHL

We Are All Stars (Week 16 Recap)

February 1, 2016

John Scott, former NHL player, current AHL player.

John Scott, the last of a dying breed of NHL enforcer.

John Scott, unexpected champion of the people.

John Scott, NHL All-Star.

John Scott, NHL All-Star goal scorer. Twice.

John Scott, NHL All-Star MVP.

Suffice it to say, this All-Star break was crazier than anyone thought it could be. There’s already been several excellent articles written, with more I’m sure on the way. Heck, one day there will be an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary, or a long oral history written. But for now, we can bask in the glory that is John Scott, All-Star.

Matchup Recap

It was a bit of an odd matchup, with a 10 day schedule instead of the usual 7 days. We saw all of the m ranked teams win their matchups, with Rhys beating Davin 8-2-1, Jace beating Frank 7-3-1, and Chris beating Brett 7-4-1.

Rhys’ extra win extended his lead over Jace for top spot in the league, while Chris’ victory was enough to propel him past Davin for third place again. Brett picked up a single point on Frank this week, but remains in last place.

Next week we’re back to normal, with a 7 day schedule. Rhys (105-62-9) faces Chris (82-81-14), Jace (93-65-18) battles Brett (62-99-16), and Davin (80-82-14) takes on Frank (63-96-17).

Most importantly, it should be noted that no team had All-Star John Scott on their rosters this week.

botp-weekly-16

Best and Worst This Week

Goals – Jace 25 / Chris 13
Assists – Davin 36 / Chris 24
+/- –  Frank +15 / Chris -12
PPP – Brett 18 / Chris, Jace & Frank 11
SHP –  Chris & Jace 2 / Frank 0
FOW – Chris 226 / Brett 102
ATOI – Rhys 21:51 / Frank 19:41
SOG – Rhys 269 / Brett 141
W – Rhys & Chris 6 / Davin, Brett & Jace 2
GAA – Jace 1.520 / Brett 3.264
SV% – Rhys .9461 / Brett .8957

Some interesting stats this week from our teams and…ah, who cares.

In the last 15 days, NHL All-Star John Scott did not play any NHL games. He did, however, play four games in the AHL for the St. John’s IceCaps, and posted 0 G, 0 A, 6 PIM and an overall -1 rating.

He also did not make any saves in net, nor let any goals in.

Player Showcase

Okay, here’s the Coles Notes version of what happened this weekend.

As a kid, John Scott was not a great player. He got cut from all of his Junior B teams. Too big and slow was the criticism.

But he worked hard, got faster, and managed to get a scholarship. He played 4 years at Michigan Tech, a team in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. It’s not the highest league for university sports (that’d be the NCAA), but it’s something at least. It’s riding busses in rural Minnesota. And not nice busses like the 16-year-olds in the CHL ride.

Scott toughs it out and gets his degree. To his surprise, he’s offered a tryout with the Houston Aeros in the AHL. They’re the Minnesota Wild farm team, and it’s there that he has his first hockey fight. He realises that fighting is his way to stick around the game he loves. Enforcers still had a place on NHL rosters, and at 6′ 8″, 275lbs, he had a decent shot of finding a spot.

In 2008-09, he gets 20 games at the NHL level. Next year, 51. The year after that, 40.

He bounces around the league, playing for the Blackhawks, Rangers, Sabres, and Sharks before landing on the Coyotes in 2015-16. Things were fine.

Watching the Waiver Wire

In their announcement about the 2016 NHL All-Star Game as a 3-on-3 tournament, the NHL said that fans would have the opportunity to vote for team captains for each division – the Pacific, Atlantic, Central and Metropolitan. On the Marek vs. Wyshynski Podcast that week, hosts Jeff Marek and Greg Wyshynski were discussing the drabness of recent All-Star games, and batting around ideas for how to make the game better.

Because the thought of John Scott trying to keep up with the Johnny Gaudreaus of the world is hilarious, Wysh blurted out his name as a hilarious option to vote in. “Oh my god. John Scott, All-Star,” Marek follows. “Just so when anyone has him on a radio show, they can say, ‘Former NHL All-Star John Scott.'”

And that was the spark that lit everything up.

It wasn’t the first time that fans had done this. Back in 2007, there was a push by Vancouver fans to get defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick into the game. Despite collecting more than enough votes to qualify, the NHL declared over a million votes “invalid”, and Rory was out of luck.

“We need another Vote for Rory,” Marek said.

The marching orders were given. Other podcasts caught on. Reddit started pushing it. Twitter started pushing it. And all of a sudden, Scott was rocketing up the leaderboard. Within a week, Scott was at the top of the voting board…more than Ovechkin, Kane, Crosby, Toews, and every other legitimate star in the league.

And wow, did this ever cause a ruckus.

The talking heads on TV were mostly furious, railing against the “sanctity of the game”. Bloggers were all “gimme a break, this is hilarious”. Players were mostly non-committal. And the NHL was unusually silent, not choosing to say anything at all.

Then it was announced: John Scott would be going to the NHL All-Star Game.

And then he was put on waivers and sent to the AHL. Fans were furious. What does this mean?! Will he still play?

Ah, it’s just a roster move, says the Coyotes management. We’ll be calling him back up.

And then on a Friday afternoon, a trade was announced: Scott was traded from the Coyotes to the Montreal Canadians for a VASTLY better prospect. Who sent him to their AHL team. In Newfoundland. With no plans to call him back up.

Fans call conspiracy, and evidence starts to appear when the Canadiens GM admits he can’t explain why he needed to make this trade.

The NHL finally announces that Scott will be the Pacific Division captain, despite no longer playing for a team in the Pacific Division…or the NHL, for that matter. Fans rejoice. Talking heads lose their minds. Everyone waits to see what would happen.

And it was perfect.

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