It's everybody's favourite time of the year, All-Star weekend! Okay, maybe it's not everybody's favourite. But you have to admit that this time around there is a bit more buzz...and that can all be attributed to John Scott. I'll say right now that I'm all in favour of him going to the game, simply because this is what the real fans wanted. They wanted to see this big tough guy play with the stars because ultimately it will be (at least more) entertaining watching him play and having fun with everybody around him.
Obviously the NHL really did not want him to go, but too bad. Perhaps next time they should think of a better strategy to avoid this, plus they should never underestimate people on the internet. But anyways, he's already there and there's nothing the league can do about it. Getting Scott into the game got me thinking...Who would the equivalent be for the Senators? For example, who could Senators fans have voted for in a joke-type fashion in order to get into the All-Star game?
Now, it can't just be any bad player. Scott has a certain persona, and just his sense of humour will make the weekend better. But there are certainly a few candidates that Ottawa fans could have stuffed the ballot for, and it would have been phenomenal to see one of them at the All-Star game. I won't be limiting this list to players currently on the team, but instead I'll say anyone who was on the team since 2005-06.
If you asked a Sens fan this question, Neil is probably the first one that comes to mind, partially because he is still actively on the team. He fits the narrative of a John Scott though, as he has racked up exactly 2400 penalty minutes in 943 games. Throughout the years, he has been Ottawa's tough guy and he has a very well-known reputation throughout the league.
Much like Scott, he seems to be well-liked by teammates. It's hard to say with 100% confidence that I know what he is like in the dressing room, but I'm sure he'd be a popular guy at the All-Star weekend. The one thing with him would be...is he too good to be considered for this (as crazy as that sounds)? Scott has a career 11 points in 285 games, while Neil has at least 241 in his career. Still though, he's the first one that came to mind.
How can you not love Kaspars? His tenure in Ottawa was short, but many fans began to love him during Binghamton's Calder Cup win in 2011 when he wore this shirt. He was an insanely lovable guy, and not really that amazing of an NHL player. The one thing that would make him a real All-Star candidate? The fact that he is a Latvian. Latvians stuffed the boxes last year with Zemgus Girgensons, and if they had acted similarly a few years ago with the same system the league has this year, Daugavins could have very well been an All-Star.
He would have been amazing to see at the game. I mean, imagine him trying something crazier than this shootout move!
McGrattan is in the AHL this year, but I was surprised to find out that he had suited up for at least a handful of games in each of the previous five years with Calgary and Nashville. Back in his 2005-2008 tenure with Ottawa, him and Neil formed one of the toughest duos in the NHL, although McGrattan didn't play nearly as much. I'd say he's even more of a Scott-type player, because he really did not have any hockey skill. He scored two goals with Ottawa in 143 games, and has 27 points in 317 career games.
Neil at least has some skill, but McGrattan going to the All-Star game would be something else. He somehow ended up getting 551 penalty minutes in the AHL once...He is truly one of the last enforcers out there, and it would be fantastic to see him attempt to make a nice play.
Woah, wait a second Trevor. Condra is actually a solid third line player! And I know guys, I'm still sad to this day that Ottawa let him go for pennies. But let me just say four words: Erik Condra accuracy competition. Make it happen.
Here's something depressing: Kassian hasn't played in the NHL since leaving the Senators at the end of 2013-14 and only played in 2 AHL games last year, but his twitter avatar is still a picture of him in Senators gear. Apparently he has retired, and it's sad to see that he obviously doesn't want to let go of his NHL career. Nevertheless, back when he was with Ottawa he would have definitely fit the mould of an enforcer "ruining the integrity of the All-Star game" as they would say.
Think about this: he went 57th overall in his draft despite scoring six points all year long. Good drafting, Minnesota.
Much like Kassian and McGrattan, he was the prototypical tough guy. His one calling card was winning face-offs, although he probably produced a net negative when he was on the ice in total. Much like Kassian and other enforcers, he seemed lovable off the ice, and was billed as a "good teammate," which is code for "he sucks, but we need to compliment him somehow."
There's nothing special about him, but if you need some motivation to love him, he did score 86 points in his final OHL season with the 67's! He was a good local boy!
How funny would it have been if Ottawa fans had been ripping on him for the better part of a year, and then they ended up sending him to the All-Star game? I'm not entirely sure what his personality is like, although he doesn't seem to be overly outgoing. But it would be unprecedented to see a fan-base rally around a player that they disliked so much.
If the same voting system is in place next year (and it won't be), I'm voting for Cowen.
There were a few more that missed the cut, but I'd love to hear if anyone has any other "Scott-like" All-Stars. What do you think?
Which Senators player would you have stuffed the ballot box for in the All-Star game?