Well that was the best All-Star Game that I can recall in a long time. And I'm not just talking hockey, I'm talking about all of professional sports. John Scott made the night that special as the NHL finally seemed to put together the kind of event that shows how fun hockey can be.
Oh, the Pacific Division won by defeating the Atlantic Division in the 3-on-3 championship game, 2-0. The hockey was actually pretty entertaining. You even saw some effort from the players in the waning moments with some cash on the line. But that's not really the primary takeaway from the night.
The real story was Scott, who had to fight his way into the All-Star Game despite being voted in by fans. His story became a rallying point and over the past couple days Nashville has essentially become a celebration of one of the NHL's final enforcers and longtime good guys.
Scott ended up winning MVP honors, even after the NHL released a trio of hashtags for finalists that didn't include him. Twitter quickly became a deluge of #VoteMVPScott posts as fans frantically tried to make the NHL realize it was recreating the same mistake it made by trying to keep him out in the first place. Luckily, just like last time around, sanity won as the NHL announced Scott as MVP.
John. Scott. #NHLAllStarMVP— 120 Sports (@120Sports) February 1, 2016
It was a special night for Scott, who recently wrote a personal article for The Players' Tribune explaining how difficult his road to the All-Star Game was. If anything was obvious on Sunday, however, it was how special this entire thing was for Scott and his family. I mean, tell me this isn't adorable and awesome:
"Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?" pic.twitter.com/RVI69AwqBo— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) February 1, 2016
Scott also had some fun with Patrick Kane, getting into a mock brawl with his former teammate after the Blackhawks superstar scored a goal:
Scott has, more than anything, proven to be someone the NHL should be proud of having in its family. The way he carried himself throughout the weekend -- and then scoring twice in the opening All-Star matchup -- was truly amazing to behold. And seeing how everyone enjoyed it, from the fans to his family to the fellow players, makes it almost unthinkable that the NHL initially considered his presence a bad idea.
This has always been a chance for the league to show a little more life and personality, and that's exactly what Scott brought this year. We may never have an All-Star Game exactly like this again, even if 3-on-3 is here to stay (because it was indeed pretty awesome), but man, this was special.
John Scott, you da real MVP.