Monday, 25 January 2016

NHL abashes into the only decision it corner-painted itself into.

(January 21, 2016)

That sound you heard just now, that was the NHL backpedaling out of the edifice of lying it was trying to erect.
NEW YORK – John Scott will captain the Pacific Division team at the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend in Nashville, the National Hockey League announced today.
Scott, elected to the Pacific Division captaincy in fan voting while a member of the Arizona Coyotes, was traded Friday to the Montreal Canadiens of the Atlantic Division. The resultant change in division, and Scott's subsequent assignment to the American Hockey League, created a unique circumstance that required review – the result of which was a determination to maintain the status quo for the All-Star weekend in order to preserve all parties' pre-existing expectations, including Scott’s desire to participate.

There's lots of blame to go around, everyone and everything got sprayed by a Glendale skunk on this one.

Marc Bergevin made a poor decision by trading Jarred Tinordi for a handful of beans. He shouldn’t have touched John Scott, involved himself in any manner with that clown of a terrible player, with that whole gong show.

That Gary Bettman didn’t have the cojones to come out and invoke his power as a Commissioner to negate the trolling/voting campaign for John Scott, for the good of the game, that’s another instance to add to the sorry legacy he’s left, like the goo a slug tracks on the ground. He chose to go for the underhanded backroom double-dealing approach instance, as is his scurrilous habit.

That Don Maloney wanted to be rid of this embarrassment, wanted his moribund franchise to be represented by someone else than one of his mistakes as a GM at the All Star Game, that was his issue, we didn’t need to get dragged into it. We didn’t have to get involved in his efforts to get Shane Doan off on his farewell tour.

Now for both of these guys to pretend that it was a hockey trade, that there were no other considerations, that the League didn’t have its finger in the air checking which way the wind was blowing before making an arbitrary decision on whether the allow John Scott to appear in the game, it’s a bunch of baloney.

And I don’t buy John Scott as the regular Joe good-guy who’s a victim in all this. He’s a target, a pawn of this Punk’d campaign because he’s a terrible player, a joke that shines a spotlight on how poorly the NHL is run. And contrary to many other enforcers, he has a tinge of nasty, he’s a bully who does pick on players who have no interest in tangling with him. It’s not just the Phil Kessel incident, it’s every time he’s on the ice he’s slashing and crosschecking in a scrum, with an adversary he towers over and who did nothing to attract that attention.

To believe Don Maloney when he says he had no ulterior motive beyond strict hockey reasons for trading John Scott is to be credulous. The Phoenix GM wanted to wash his hands of this mess, fine, but he wears this one, he shouldn’t micturate on my leg and tell me it’s a bracing spring shower.

Marc Bergevin should have held on the Jarred Tinordi instead of giving up on him. And he should have clamped and duct-taped several ten-foot poles together and stayed clear of the John Scott mess.

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