It might not have been his choice to be selected for the NHL All-Star Game, but St. John's Ice Caps player John Scott is making the most of his time in the spotlight.
After a whirlwind few weeks that saw him come first place in fan voting for the All-Star Game, subsequently traded from the Arizona Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens and then demoted to the team's AHL affiliate in St. John's, the NHL enforcer is coming clean about how the experience has affected his family.
In a moving essay titled 'A Guy Like Me' published in — an online publication that gives athletes a platform to speak to fans directly — Scott opened up about how his life has changed in the past few weeks.
Scott wrote honestly about the struggles of being known only as an enforcer in the NHL, the challenges his family has faced moving to a new city and the extreme dedication it took to get to the point where he is today.
In response to critics who have said he doesn't deserve to play alongside stars like Evgeni Malkin in the all-star game, Scott wrote, "I've skated every day since I was three years old to be one of them. I've persevered through juniors roster cuts, Alaskan bus rides, advanced dynamics exams, and, yes, fights, to be one of them."
He also took the time to give a direct rebuttal to the NHL for how he has been treated.
"While I don't deserve to be an all-star, I also don't think I deserve to be treated like I've been by the league throughout this saga," he wrote.
"I'm an NHL player and, whatever my set of skills may be, that I'm an NHL player is no accident."
Scott said at one point he even received a call from an NHL official who asked him: "Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?"
In response, he wrote: "When they see me on the ice on Sunday, will my girls be proud of me? Who knows. I like to think so. But I know they'll be there for me, for their big, goofy dad, no matter what."
Positive response online
Reaction to the essay was quite positive online, with many calling out the NHL on what they believed was poor treatment of Scott.
@PlayersTribune Wow, what an article! Made me cry. The NHL should be ashamed. If this happened anywhere else it would be called bullying.— @Mjhtwh
John Scott is the hero the NHL needs, but not the one they deserve.— @myra_mc
Others commended Scott for speaking honestly about his struggles.
@PlayersTribune What a wonderful article, it is so nice to read a story like this one, makes you feel like giving John Scott a big hug— @acooney111
I love John Scott. What a wonderful article. What a wonderful, honest, revealing story. It made me cry and you should read it.— @courtney_worth
Many on Twitter were also touched by Scott's words about his two daughters.
John Scott talking about his daughters at the end of his piece made me cry like a little baby— @mahreenah
John Scott's daughters will be so proud of him! I'll certainly be cheering for him on Sunday and I know I'm not alone.— @cnlewis19
The Ice Caps organization also tweeted out its support.
Scott will lace up his skates for the NHL All-Star Game in Nashville on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET.