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John Scott's former teammates hope to see him make all-star appearance

There was a pretty good chance the Buffalo Sabres weren’t going to see John Scott on Monday night, anyway, but the Arizona Coyotes made sure of that last week.

Scott, the former Sabres enforcer, was traded from Arizona to Montreal in a deal that normally wouldn’t have registered on the NHL radar. It did, though, because of an ongoing controversy.

Scott was elected captain of the Pacific Division’s all-star team in a vote by fans. The NHL clearly wasn’t cool with the gag – upset that a player with five career goals would participate in the league’s new 3-on-3 format that’s designed to showcase the most skilled players in the world.

According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, both the Coyotes and NHL asked Scott to bow out of the game, which will be held Jan. 31 in Nashville. He reportedly refused.

By being traded to the Canadiens – who assigned him to their AHL tam in St. John’s – Scott may not be eligible for the All-Star game if he’s not on an NHL roster. The league announced after the trade that it is reviewing what should happen to the Pacific Division roster.

So what started as a gag has turned into something of a mess for all parties. Scott was within his rights to say he was going to participate in a game fans voted him into, but McKenzie suggested that doing so was at least part of the reason he was traded.

“If I was in his shoes, I would have accepted it also,” said Sabres defenseman Mike Weber, who played with Scott for two seasons. “It's one of those things where, the fans voted for it. That's part of what the all-star game is about.”

Scott’s situation is somewhat reminiscent of what happened last season with Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons. Fans in Girgensons’ home country of Latvia started an online campaign that ultimately made him the game’s top vote-getter. Girgensons, it should be noted, was arguably an all-star on merit, something that can’t be said for Scott, who had just one assist in 11 games with the Coyotes this season.

“When the league opens it up to fan voting, you're leaving it open for things like that to happen, right?” Weber said. “It’s an unfortunate situation John is going trough.”

Scott’s banishment to Newfoundland is even more difficult because his wife is pregnant with twins.

“I feel pretty bad for him,” Sabres winger Marcus Foligno said. “He’s one of the best teammates I’ve ever played with. He’s a great guy off the ice, and on the ice he works hard.

“He's probably not enjoying this too much right now, but he's the type of guy that makes the best out of every situation. His time here with us, he was an older guy in the dressing room that us young guys looked up to big time.”

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