2016: All-Star Captains Named: Ovie, Jagr, Kane, and…Scott?
The ever-struggling NHL All-Stars game (last year’s viewership dropped nearly one million from the previous broadcast in 2012) was given a complete overhaul this year. In addition to the new three game 3-on-3 format, the usual captain selection by the league was put into the hands of the (ahem) capable fans. In December, people around the world cast their ballots for the four division captains. Without any pre-approved candidate lists, all players, from all teams, of all positions, were fair game for the title.
Today, the 2016 All-Star Game Captains were announced: 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.
Scott, who became a Coyote last July, is a known enforcer—in stark contrast to the illustrious careers of his fellow division captains. Kane, 2013 Conn Smythe Trophy winner, currently leads the league with 56 points so far this season (40 of which were achieved during a 26 game point streak). Ovechkin—the only player to ever capture the Rocket Richard Trophy, Art Ross Trophy, Lester B. Pearson Award, and the Hart Memorial Trophy—currently sits fifth in the league for goals. Record-smashing Jagr boasts healthy stats so far this season, his 21st in the NHL, and is an unsurprising pick considering his seniority, esteemed position in the league, and quality of play despite approaching the age of 44. Not to mention, the fact that he is the all-time leading point scorer for currently active NHL players (and among retired, only runner-up to legends Gretzky, Messier, and Howe).
As for the 6 foot 8, 270 pound Scott, he’s managed 1 assist and 25 penalty minutes in 11 games played so far this season. Career-wise, he’s netted 5 goals, 6 assists, and 542 penalty minutes in 285 games. He’s also been placed on waivers three separate times this year alone.
Well, good for the guy (and the fan campaign that led to his unlikely win). Of course, there are quite a few more players more deserving of the title than Scott, and I mean no disrespect to them and their achievements, but you know what? I’m not complaining. If it’s going to generate even the slightest bit of interest in the All-Star Game, then why the hell not? Although Jagr may be a little more hesitant:
Fans-I was afraid,that 3on3 all-Star game may kill me,now,I am more afraid,fighting John Scott 6,8 300 during All-Star, kill me for sure
— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) January 2, 2016
Good job, guys. You’ve killed Jagr.
As for Scott, he’s been a great sport. “At first it was one of those things that I thought was a joke, but now it happened so I’ve kind of got to go with it, have some fun with it and try to do the best I can,” says Scott (TSN).
Nashville will host the 2016 All-Star Weekend at Bridgestone Arena Jan. 30-31.
Photo Credits: Gregg Forwerck/NHLI, Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI, Getty Images, Norm Hall/NHLI.