The NHL and social media: A John Scott Story

NHL Social Media

Photo Credits: Sports Geek

In my last blog post I talked about the NHL and how social media is helping the game grow, and even compete with other sports. This time I wanted to talk about how social media has affected the NHL in a negative way, and nothing is as fresh as the infamous John Scott and the 2016 All-Star game.

John Scott face

Photo Credits: All About the Habs

For the NHL’s 2016 All-Star game they decided to let the fans have a say in what players would participate. The NHL let the fans know through their social media accounts that they could vote for any player in the NHL, and the players with the most votes would be able to attend. The highest voted player from each division would be the captain of that team.

Looking back on it now, maybe the NHL was a little too trusting in their fans to vote for who they wanted to be there. In comes big John Scott. Nothing more than a 6’8 enforcer known for moments like this. The fans loved the idea of him being there so much that he was voted captain of the Pacific division. The NHL didn’t like the idea as much as the fans, so he was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens. As soon as this happened he was then sent down to Montreal’s minor league team so he wasn’t in the NHL anymore. This was the NHL’s way of trying to deal with their own blunder. This caused a social media uproar of fans backing up Scott and his journey to the All-Star game. The NHL then came out and said they reviewed the “unique circumstance” and had decided to let him play. He ended up scoring 2 goals and was voted as the All-Star game MVP by fans on Twitter. The NHL has since implemented a new “John Scott rule” which says that players who are injured or in the minors cannot be voted in for the All-Star game.


Photo Credits: Brian Babineau/Getty Images

The NHL should have known what could happen and had a plan to avoid this. It would have been even better to avoid it entirely by having a strict set of rules for voting, or just giving the fans different players to pick from for each division. Once it was too late, instead of trying to get rid of the problem, the NHL should have embraced it like everybody else. They could have done special features on John Scott and his road to the All-Star game. Judging by Twitter, the fans would have loved anything to do with John Scott.

The NHL will remember John Scott as a goon who was only good for punching faces. To fans like myself, John Scott will be remembered by the 2016 NHL All-Star game and how heart-warming it was to be a part of his journey.

I leave you with one question:

How would you have handled the John Scott situation?


Thank you for reading!




facebook It’s been over a year since the 2016 John Scott All-Star game. Here’s a reminder of how the NHL mishandled the situation.

Twitter How did the #NHL mishandle the #JohnScott situation so poorly? Find out in my latest Blog post!


2 thoughts on “The NHL and social media: A John Scott Story

  1. I think I would have acted the same way the administration decided to. Because social media is so new, I think it takes a few firsts for companies to learn from situations and adjust their policies. Maybe they can learn from what has been done in other sports, if anything similar has happened.

  2. I believe the NLH should have owned up to the popularity of the vote and the fans who took the time to vote. Face the outcomes with a sense of Oops, own the mistake and learn from it. I am sure negotiations with the player would have been appreciated more than being sent to the minor league. Fans would have accepted it as a learning experience for all.
    Brings to mind, do your research, thing about the outcomes, see into the future.

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