It all began with Vancouver Canucks defenseman
Rory Fitzpatrick taking over the 2007 All-Star Game voting, which led to the infamous ‘Vote for Rory’ campaign that nearly got the blueliner to the annual showcase. Then last season, Buffalo Sabres Latvian sensation
Zemgus Girgensons made his way to the game via an online campaign that took over the vote. And now Arizona Coyotes tough guy
John Scott could be the next obscure choice to make his way to the All-Star Game thanks to fan voting. The
NHL officially opened up fan voting for the All-Star Game with a brand new format. Because the league has shifted to a division-based 3-on-3 tournament, there will no longer be six starters voted into the game. Instead, fans will vote for four team captains — one from each division. This is where it gets interesting. The names one would expect, or could expect, from the Central, Metropolitan and Atlantic divisions are there. For instance, Washington Capitals superstar
Alex Ovechkin is the top vote-getter for the Metropolitan Division.
Jonathan Toews, captain of the three-time Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, is leading the Central. Nostalgia has taken over the Atlantic, but Florida Panthers veteran
Jaromir Jagr is still a great choice to be leading the group.
The Pacific Division leader, though, is Scott — he of one assist and 18 penalty minutes in six games played this season.
The 6-foot-8, 260-pound pugilist is among the last NHL players one would expect the tag “all-star” to be applied to, but fans have taken up their cause and are pushing for Scott to take lead the Pacific Division at the 3-on-3 tournament. Wednesday morning, Scott was around 50th overall in the voting and near the top of the Pacific Division leaders. A bit later in the day, he had reached fourth overall and had taken over the lead for the Pacific. Now, however, Scott sits atop all players in all-star voting. That’s right: John Scott is your All-Star Game fan ballot leader.
Scott is one of only two players from the Pacific Division who have even made their way into the top-10 for voting, too. The other is Scott’s teammate, rookie
Max Domi, who currently sits ninth-place in overall voting. Behind them are worthy all-stars such as the Flames’
Johnny Gaudreau, Sharks’
Brent Burns, Oilers’
Taylor Hall and Kings’
Drew Doughty. It’s hilarious that this is happening again, and in much the same way it did with both Fitzpatrick and Girgensons. Both times it was an online campaign that went viral and spurred on thousands of voters to get the most unlikely of candidates a spot in the annual showcase. While some might complain or think it makes a farce out of the event, it’s not as if the NHL couldn’t have expected something like this to happen because there was precedent. Scott being a vote leader might be unexpected, but if not Scott, it would have been another bottom-six player who became the fan choice. And, truthfully, it would be kind of fun to see Scott taking place in the Skills Competition. Isn’t that what the event is supposed to be, too? A hint of fun mixed with some incredibly talented players. Sure, Scott might not have the, uh, softest hands, but we’ve seen some great things from some unlikely players. Scott is going to get at least one breakaway attempt and maybe he’s got a
Marek Malik move in him. Voting for the divisional captains ends on Jan. 1, 2016, and if Scott is still the leader at that point, it’ll be interesting to see what happens. One scenario the NHL likely didn’t envision was Scott, with his five career goals, taking part in their brand new 3-on-3 tournament, but fans seem determined to make that a reality.