While enforcer John Scott’s most impressive statistic is undoubtedly the 542 penalty minutes he has collected in only 385 career NHL games, the big tough guy with an equally sized heart stole the show at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game in Nashville. Culminating with All-Star MVP honors as captain of the Pacific Division squad, in one day Scott earned the admiration of millions of fans, a nice trophy for the mantle, a brand new vehicle– and an autograph contract with Fanatics.
The company unveiled a line of John Scott autographed memorabilia this week, including All-Star Game photos and signed pucks. It’s a deal few hockey fans could have imagined a few months ago.
The Scott Story
Scott’s path to the All-Star game was definitely a deviation from the standard route taken by the game’s greatest superstars, who simply rack up goals, assists or saves, rack up annual awards and often lead their times to the glory of the Stanley Cup. This was not the case for Scott, who has suited up for six different NHL teams as the resident enforcer or “goon” and essentially plays the role of a security guard on skates to ensure that no opponents attempt to injure his teammates. Standing almost seven feet tall on skates and a powerhouse of courageous energy , Scott became a fan favorite anywhere he sported the team’s sweater.
To earn his trip to the All-Star game, Scott was voted in by NHL fans and therefore named captain of the Pacific Division team for the All-Star game’s new divisional tournament format. As with many democratic elections, there was the requisite amount of controversy and cheap politics. It’s all led to movie rights including a script to be written by Mitch Albom.
The Man The Fans Wouldn’t Forget Turns Unforgettable
During the voting process, Scott was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens of the Atlantic Division and then assigned to the St. John’s IceCaps, the AHL affiliate of Montreal. This transaction drew the ire of fans and media, as it appeared an attempt to exclude Scott from the All-Star game. Scott garnered a further wave of media and fan support when it became public that league executives personally requested that he not participate in the game.
Scott earned his MVP honors by scoring two goals in the semi-final game of the tournament and even applied a rare All-Star game body-check to Chicago star Patrick Kane in the name of showmanship and good fun. The Twitter hashtag “#VoteMVPScott” went viral and the NHL named Scott the MVP of the game. His helmet is now at the Hockey Hall of Fame.
At age 33, Scott won’t be a Hall of Famer and the prices of those signed items reflect that, but his All-Star saga definitely makes his career one worth remembering.