KAMLOOPS — As the 2016 All-Star Game was approaching, the votes kept piling up for tough guy John Scott.
At the time, he was playing for the Arizona Coyotes. He was eventually shipped off to Montreal, where he played one game with the Canadiens before being sent down to the American League Hockey.
While in the AHL, his vote count was climbing, and despite controversy about his All-Star appearance, Scott decided to go and he hasn't looked back since.
"I was voted in, the leading vote-getting for the All-Star Game. I got traded to Montreal, then got sent down and there was this big controversy. Should I play in the All-Star Game if I was in the AHL? Blah, blah, blah. I was like 'I'm going,'" said Scott, who was eventually the All-Star Game MVP.
The All-Star Game was Scott's coming out party of sorts, a guy who was relatively unknown before the 2016 game. The All-Star Game, and his time in the National Hockey League, is nothing Scott could've dreamed about.
"I always expected, whatever year I was playing, that was my last year," he noted. "I just kind of took it year by year, and next thing you know it was 11 years and I was in the All-Star Game. It was super crazy."
Going to the game, despite the surrounding controversy, was maybe the best decision he has made. Now two years removed from the game, Scott, who was in Kamloops this week on tour with the Montreal Canadiens alumni, has hugely benefitted from that All-Star experience.
"I was lucky with the All-Star Game. I had a lot of option to do different things, so I wrote a book, I was in a TV show recently, I got a movie on the way. So it's kind of crazy all the stuff that's going on around me," noted Scott. "I had another kid, so I have five kids now. It's busy."
But for Scott, the pinnacle wasn't necessarily the All-Star game experience. It was being able to live out the dream of playing in the NHL.
"In my career, I just grinded it out. I was never the best player. Always the worst player pretty much on my team, so I managed to squeak out 8.5 years in the NHL, miraculously," said Scott. "I met a lot of good guys. I was on a lot of good teams. I was on a lot of not-so-good teams. But I had fun the whole way through."
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