NASHVILLE, Tenn. – John Scott had a transformative weekend at the NHL All-Star Game, and he hopes it might help him land another job in or out of the game.
"I'd like to think I opened a few doors," he said.
The journeyman enforcer went from improbable All-Star to MVP of the league's midseason showcase Sunday while captaining the Pacific Division to a 1-0 win in the championship game a 3-on-3 tournament.
"It worked out for everybody," Scott said.
Yes, it did.
The NHL got a memorable moment on a major stage, and Scott went from being a relatively unknown hockey player to an athlete that perhaps transcends the sport.
"You can't make this stuff up," he said.
The 33-year-old Scott was voted into the All-Star Game by fans even though he had scored just five goals with six teams in his eight-year career. He played for the Arizona Coyotes when he was named an All-Star, but was later stunned by a trade to Montreal, which sent him to its American Hockey League affiliate in Newfoundland.
Scott wrote last week that someone from the league tried to talk him out of playing in the game and asked if his two kids would be proud of him if he did. That strengthened his resolved to show up.
Jeremy Roenick, a former NHL player and current TV analyst, was very vocal in his opposition to Scott being an All-Star. Roenick changed his opinion after seeing the fun-loving enforcer handle his newfound fame and captivate the crowd.
"I was one of the most critical people of him coming and I don't think it could've worked out better for him, or the league," Roenick told The Associated Press. "I have no problem eating crow. It was a great story. I clapped for him at the end."
Roenick wasn't alone.
The crowd in Music City roared when Scott was named MVP, and he pointed at himself with his left glove as if to ask, "Who me?"
Scott wasn't one of the three choices fans were given for the MVP award, but the league said he got an "overwhelming," number of votes via Twitter.
The 6-foot-8, 260-pound forward was hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates while the fans chanted "M-V-P! M-V-P!" and the NHL finally got out of the way.
He scored twice during the tournament, bringing cheers from fans and smiles from teammates who relished every moment along with the gentle giant with a goofy grin and a likable demeanor.
His helmet is headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, and his name was trending on Twitter in the United States soon after the game.
"I'm sure he won over a lot of people," Chicago Blackhawks superstar Patrick Kane said. "And, got even more fans."
He strongest support group is about to grow by two.
Scott's wife, Danielle, is 37-weeks pregnant with twins that are to be induced this week in Michigan while he is off during the AHL's All-Star break.
"I feel like I'm dreaming," she said. "I can't even believe this it's happening. It's just so crazy to see him get all that support from so many people. It's just so nice for people to see who he is. He has been portrayed in the media for so long as this nasty guy. And, he really isn't."
AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker contributed to this report.
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