AHL teammates, All-Stars react to John Scott
American Hockey League players have kind words for All-Star Game MVPby Joe Yerdon @NHL / NHL.com Correspondent
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - The NHL All-Stars weren't the only players excited about John Scott winning the 2016 NHL All-Star Game Most Valuable Player award, his teammates and opponents in the American Hockey League ate it up as well.
Scott, as a member of the Arizona Coyotes, was named Pacific Division captain for the NHL All-Star Game in a fan vote.
The 6-foot-8 forward was traded to the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 15 and immediately assigned to the St. John's IceCaps, Montreal's AHL affiliate. Despite being an active minor league player, he played and scored two goals to help lead the Pacific Division to a win in Nashville on Sunday.
Scott's road to glory was enjoyed by his IceCaps teammates.
"This whole thing has just blown me away," IceCaps forward Michael McCarron said. "He deserves it. I'm happy that happened to him. He was with us for two weeks and he couldn't have been nicer. I mean, I'm a rookie and he didn't treat me like one; he treated me like I've been in the league for a while and he's a super nice guy. I couldn't be [happier] for him."
Scott's road to winning All-Star Game MVP grabbed the attention of many AHL All-Stars.
"I think it's one of the greatest things to happen in hockey in years," Portland Pirates goalie Mike McKenna said. "I think it really finally shed light on how important guys that play his role are and that they're equal members of what's done at that level and at our level. For years there's that mentality that All-Stars are purely the guys that put points up and if you ask anybody in the locker room they'll tell you who the real all-stars are."
"Those guys that are willing to do the hard jobs like that, and not just the guys that tend to fight; the fourth line guys that block shots, that eat pucks, that do all the dirty work are just as important. It went from being obviously a joke to kind of being a celebration of this type of player and it was great; I loved it."
Scott has played four games for St. John's since the trade and already made the kind of impression on his new teammates that helped win over fans in Nashville during All-Star Weekend.
"He's been a great guy," IceCaps defenseman Morgan Ellis said. "You couldn't ask for a better teammate. He's there when you need him and obviously a lot of experience. He's been a blessing so far and we're happy to have him, for sure."
Scott has played for six different NHL teams in his career. His reputation with other players off the ice has earned him fans amongst peers and former teammates.
"Any opportunity or any chance you get to make a name for yourself or create something, you definitely want to try and take advantage," Toronto Marlies defenseman, and former Buffalo Sabres teammate in 2013, T.J. Brennan said. "Going to the All-Star Game and making a name for himself is great for him. Maybe he wouldn't have been known for that kind of stuff, but now he can look at it and maybe when he's a little bit older he can tell that story to his kids."
"Maybe his stats don't show it, but he's a really personable guy and really valuable to the team. Maybe it's for other reasons and maybe that'll be a new open door for years to come, but I think everyone can relate to something like that where you work hard and you just keep trying to do the right things and maybe when you get an opportunity you can take advantage of it."
Scott's time doing a lot of the harder jobs in hockey earned him respect from other players and provided inspiration for players hoping to get back to the NHL and create their own kind of dream scenario.
"I would love to be part of a story like that, there's no doubt about that, and experience an NHL [All-Star] Game and all that," Albany Devils goalie Yann Danis said. "It's definitely nice to see someone experience that. I don't know him personally, but I'm really happy for him."