The dust has settled on fan voting for the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game and the league has announced the four divisional captains for the three-game three-on-three tournament set to go in Nashville at the end of the month.
The captains are Jaromir Jagr of the Florida Panthers, Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals, and John Scott of the Arizona Coyotes.
Fan voting took place from December 1 of 2015 to January 1 of 2016, with voters able to select as few as one player and as many as four players per ballot. Each user was able to cast as many as 10 ballots a day.
As noted, there will be a new format for the All-Star Game this season. There will be four teams, one representing each division, with six forwards, three defencemen and two goalies for each squad. The teams will be fleshed out by the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department and will be revealed in full on January 6.
Apart from the three-on-three format, the announcement of Scott as the captain of his Pacific Division has been making some waves. At 6’8, 270 pounds, the 33-year-old winger isn’t exactly known for filling the net. In fact, Scott has just five career goals and a total of 11 career points in 285 games with the Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, Buffalo Sabres, Chicago Blackhawks, and Minnesota Wild. He’s also never put in a full 82-game season, with his most active year coming with a 56-game campaign for Buffalo in 2013-2014. He scored one goal that year, by the way.
Of course, over those 285 career games, Scott has amassed 542 penalty minutes. He remains one of the league’s few remaining heavyweights, a fighter who drops the mitts regularly and has never ever seen three-on-three hockey. Until now.
“I’ve never been on the ice three-on-three before, so it’s going to be interesting,” said Scott. “It’ll be pretty intimidating, I’m not going to lie. Hopefully I can keep up. I’ll be fine, it’s just the space that might create a little trouble for me, but we’ll adapt and make the best of it. I’m sure not everyone will be going 100 percent…”
It’s hard to imagine that the votes Scott amassed were of the serious variety, but that’s par for the course when the fans are left in charge of the process. Naturally, the league’s final call on the remaining 40 players keeps the All-Star Game from being some sort of uninhibited gong show, but isn’t that idea sort of intriguing?
“You can look at it two ways,” Scott said. “You can either take the negative and say that I don’t belong there, I don’t deserve it, and that would just spiral downward and you can end up losing your mind. Or, you can look at it the positive way. It started off as a joke, but now I’m going to have fun with it.”