Hodge: Fairy tale did come true for controversial NHL all-star

Somewhere along the line some fans with a bent sense of humour decided to vote John Scott onto the NHL All-Star Game team.

Although all the NHL All-Star Game hoopla and fanfare took place in Nashville last weekend, there is something very Canadian about the John Scott saga.

Most hockey fans are aware by now of who John Scott is and the scenario of which I speak.

With the exception of fairy tales, it’s rare such a fitting finish ever really happens to complex, ugly situations.

Scott, a 6-foot-8 monster of a man known for his fighting skills rather than stick handling or scoring abilities, was recently voted to the NHL All-Star game by fans.

The NHL brain trust had decided in order to jazz up interest in the All-Star match they would allow fans to vote for one player on each of the four divisional squads.

Somewhere along the line some fans with a bent sense of humour decided to vote Scott onto the team.

What may have started as a joke became a continent-wide story as Scott began accumulating enough votes to make the grade.

Fearing they would lose face by having a goon appear at the All-Star game, Scott said the NHL made it clear to him he would not be welcome to participate .

Pouring salt into Scott’s wounds, his team, the Arizona Coyotes, then traded Scott to the Montréal Canadiens just prior to the All-Star game and Scott was promptly demoted to the minors.

Led by NHL players, media and fans alike, so much crap hit the fan that the NHL reneged and allowed Scott to play.

No one, including Scott, could’ve imagined a better finish. Scott scored two goals and was named the game’s most valuable player.

With his wife and two children watching, Scott received keys to a new car as reward for winning the MVP and a check for somewhere around $50,000 for playing on the winning team.

A nice touch resolving a ugly problem.

Ironically the overall publicity the NHL received due to their flawed marketing plan garnered more positive attention at the end of the All Star day than they ever could have anticipated.

The debacle reminded me of a quote by Howie Meeker: “Hockey is still the greatest game in the world despite the idiots that run it.”

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Speaking of heart touching, the Kelowna Canadian Italian Club has the perfect answer for your Valentine’s Day plan.

Mark down Feb. 13, for a great dinner and dance night at the Parkinson Recreation Centre.

Not only will the meal be superb, but my talented friends Rann Berry and Random Act will be playing and their show is equally superb.

The Canadian Italian Club will also be holding a raffle that evening with all proceeds to Variety Club Telethon. If you have a raffle prize to donate, want to buy tickets, or need further information call Joe at 250-878-3619.

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While marking down dates on your calendar, you may wish to jot down Feb. 20 as the Kelowna Family Centre Counselling for the Community fundraising event at the Laurel Packinghouse.

Running from 7 to 10 p.m., the event will feature performances by the Political Posse, Rose Sexsmith, Angela Jung and Neetu Garcha of Global Okanagan, Day Late and A Dollar Short, Sharon Sebo of Tango Kelowna and others.

Global Okanagan’s Derek Hinchliffe will be the MC and a plethora of food and beverges will be on hand.

The Kelowna Family Centre is a non-profit organization dedicated to responding to community needs by fostering well-being and healthy relationships through counselling services – at no cost to clients.

For more info contact Sarb Tatla-Low at 778-212-0519.