Was watching Prime Time Sports the other day hosted by one of my broadcasting idols in Bob McCown and in this particular episode(the day of which eludes me) and Bob and co-host Ken Reid had John Scott in for an interview. For those who aren't aware of the John Scott story, Scott is an enforcer in the National Hockey League and considered by many to be one of the worst players, a fringe player at best. That day, after months of fan voting, it was confirmed that he would indeed be a participant in the All-star game but not without being knee deep in controversy. To add to the intrigue of the "debacle", the Arizona Coyotes, who held the rights of this player had recently traded him to the Montreal Canadiens organization who have no intention of him ever being called up to the show. The way the All-star game works in 2016 is that the primary event will be a three on three tournament with each division fielding an entry. Questions arose that with Scott's rights being traded, does that void his inclusion with the Pacific Division All-Stars? Gary Bettman and company quickly squashed that notion and so it was settled, John Scott would play in the All-star game with a, get this.....a generic jersey!!! Comical right?
I will get to my feelings regarding the McCown interview shortly, but first I have a gripe with the Arizona Coyotes organization, and by extension the Habs organization as well. John Scott's wife was 7-8 months pregnant at the time of trade that eventually saw him land in St.John's,NFLD.The Scott's were settled in the desert, the Coyotes can deny my theory all they want that they made the trade in correlation with the league to try to find a loop hole to cancel out Scott's all-star eligbility. Retaining Scott's right for another month or so would have no tangible impact on the competitiveness of the organization, alterior motives were clearly present. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Max Domi and sentimental choice Shane Doan were all more deserving representatives for the Coyotes representatives and it's a microcosm of the system that the aforementioned aren't All-stars. Frankly,the Coyotes are slighting the fans by searching for loop holes, because it was the person(s) that drive the league that wanted this, the FANS!.To reference an old adage, don't hate the player, hate the game is certainly applicable in this Soap Opera. The fans spoke and the Coyotes have insulted the general hockey fan for rebelling against our request.
To Bob McCown, someone who's work I've admired over the years, generally gives impartial interviews, but I'm ready to rip McCown for what I thought was a disgusting interview and the Fan 590 should be embarrassed for letting that hit the airwaves. The tone of questioning was that John Scott was the bad guy in all of this and it was his fault. I swear in a six to seven minute hit, he brought up the same subject that he could always back out at least three times. It was abundantly clear that McCown, who on several occasions has expressed his distain for the game didn't want any part of the circus act that will follow Scott's arrival, but for somebody that wouldn't watch regardless, what's the beef chief? If I were John Scott, I would've pulled a Chael Sonnen, who infamously walked out of a Michael Landsberg Off the Record taping. McCown showed an unforeseen level of disrespect, with no professionalism shown.
Here's what drives me bonkers. The National Hockey League all-star game is a broken enterprise that literally no one gives a flying patootie about. I'm going to draw the completely opposite straw in this matter and suggest this will be good for the game in the long run. I, like McCown have long give up on All-star games in professional sports, but I just may tune in to this one. Why would anyone want to exhause valuable resources, whether that be financial or time watching players like Alex Ovechkin or Jonathan Toews skate around like it's an optional practice to avoid injury? Fans of hockey vote these players in to take in world class skill, not which player can staple themselves to the bench the fastest. The next point I'm about to make will be met with a shroud of disagreement but the more gimmicky the better. I envy the day that the All-star game is filled with the Darren Helm's, Kyle Clifford's, and Andrew Shaw's of the world. Why you ask? They would care, and individuals who care for the game is the ONLY way the game will be saved!