Here’s reason No. 762 why leagues should not let fans pick All-Stars.
Okay actually maybe this one is kind of funny.
The NHL is currently running a fan vote to pick a captain from each division for the three-on-three All-Star tournament coming up in January. What appears to be a large group of people decided to pick a “that guy?” candidate to get behind — and they chose John Scott of the Arizona Coyotes.
And because stuff just works that way, he’s now leading all votes.
Scott, three shots, one assist and 18 penalty minutes this year, is known for being kinda bad at hockey and pretty okay at fighting. He’s played less than 40 minutes for the Coyotes this year.
The NHL has dealt with this before (Rory Fitzpatrick in 2007) and tried to prevent a hack like this by limiting fans to a 10 ballots-a-day rule.
The birth of this embarrassing/hilarious idea started on a Puck Daddy podcast and grew into a trend on, of course, Reddit. Here’s what the originators of the idea had to say about Scott’s sudden rise:
But it’s pretty clear that John Scott has the Vote of the People, with “people” in this case being legions of Internet savvy fans with a case of snark and a taste for anarchy.
(And if the NHL does have a problem with “joke” votes, it’s because they’re a victim of their own success: Cultivating a young, tech-obsessed, activist fan base online and then being surprised when they pounce on a chance to affect something on a league level. In the new format, the NHL actually limited the fan voting to four players, with the rest of the roster filled out by Hockey Operations. It was six last season and in the previous format.)
In another funny wrinkle in this year’s NHL fan voting: 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr, who is leading in the Atlantic division, thanked fans for voting for him but asked for them to kindly, stop.
This is gonna be a great All-Star game, you guys!