Jan 16, 2019

The Punchline

John Scott was the professional hockey player that every fan loved to hate.  A tough guy. A brawler. A goon. But when an impish pundit named Puck Daddy called on fans to vote for Scott to play alongside the world’s greatest players in the NHL All-Star Game, Scott found himself facing off against fans, commentators, and the powers that be.  Was this the realization of Scott’s childhood dreams? Or a nightmarish prank gone too far? Today on Radiolab, a goof on a goon turns into a parable of the agony and the ecstasy of the internet, and democracy in the age of Boaty McBoatface.

This episode was reported by Latif Nasser and was produced by Matt Kielty.

Special thanks to Larry Lynch and Morgan Springer. Check out John Scott's "Dropping the Gloves" podcast and his book "A Guy Like Me".

Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate


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JAD ABUMRAD: Hey, this is Jad. Radiolab is brought to you by the John Templeton Foundation, harnessing the power of the sciences to explore the deepest and most perplexing questions facing humankind. Learn about the latest discoveries in the study of hope and optimism, intellectual humility, and freewill at templeton.org
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LATIF NASSER: Oh my god. I, we—so this—I had... 

JAD: Hey, I'm Jad Abumrad.

ROBERT KRULWICH: I'm Robert Krulwich. This is Radiolab.

JAD: And we have another story for you. Another adventure. Uh, courtesy of, who else?

ROBERT: Well, reporter Latif Nasser.

LATIF: So, I, the, the way I first learned about this story is that I saw that there was this article trending in this online publication called The Players' Tribune, which is like, in, like, a kind of athletes' magazine.

ROBERT: Which, of course, you subscribe to.

LATIF: Which, of course, I subscribe to because I'm the, like, scrawniest [laugh] I'm the, like, least athletic. I'm the only scrawny couch potato, basically. But, anyway, the—thing that jumped out to me about this article is that it's a sports story, but it's, it's actually so much more. Like, it, it's a story about voting. It's a story about cyber bullying. It's a story about, you know, sticking it to the establishment. It's a—sports story, but it's—one that feels like it could only have happened at this very specific moment that we're living in right now.

PUCK DADDY: Yeah, I mean, I don't know if we can always paint sports as a microcosm of society, but in this case, it's undeniable that it was.

LATIF: So the whole story starts with this guy, Greg Wyshynski.

SPEAKER 1: What are you guys talking about today?

PUCK DADDY: Hockey stuff.

SPEAKER 1: Oh, sweet.

LATIF: Greg is a hockey journalist.

PUCK DADDY: Senior NHL writer for ESPN.

LATIF: Known to his legions of fans as Puck Daddy.

PUCK DADDY: [laugh] Yeah.

LATIF: Is that a self-given name?


LATIF: He got it from his editor when he first started blogging about hockey.

PUCK DADDY:  The other option at the time was Zamboni Pony.


PUCK DADDY: Which would have been a horrible name, and I, I, I very much avoided an entire, you know, ten-year run of people calling me the Pony.

LATIF: That's true. Right. But now...


LATIF: Yeah.

PUCK DADDY: I have my notes. I am ready to roll now.

LATIF: Okay. Well, let's just jump in then.

PUCK DADDY: Yeah, so...

SPEAKER 2: We are live. Happy, happy...

PUCK DADDY: This story really begins on the podcast that I did with a gentleman by the name of Jeff Merrick.

JEFF MERRICK: You're in the wrong industry but...

LATIF: Basically, a couple hockey writers.

PUCK DADDY: Just shooting the breeze on hockey.

JEFF MERRICK: Well, you know what, I just see we're in, we're in the hockey industry and as you know the hockey, hockey industry is about making money, making new fans, turning heads.

LATIF: Okay, so this is, uh, November 2015, uh, just a few months before the NHLs, you know, big mid-season spectacle.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Announcer: Welcome to Emily arena!]

LATIF: The All-Star Game.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Announcer: NHL All-Star Game.]

PUCK DADDY: There is a sense that I have about this game that, that, that's worrisome and, and, and it's hard...

LATIF: So this year, yet again the NHL...

PUCK DADDY: For the hundredth time in the last 15 years.

LATIF: Was changing the format of the All-Star Game.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Speaker 3 : This year, the Honda NHL All-Star Game features a three-on-three tournament consisting of four different teams, one from each division.]

LATIF: Hockey is typically five-on-five, three-on-three, however, is supposed to be, you know, way more action, a lot more scoring, a lot more fun. But for Greg and Jeff...

JEFF MERRICK: Here’s where I’m at...

LATIF: Who are, you know, these hockey purists, they're like, yet again, the NHL is just changing things up to get more eyeballs on this game that by this point has just become…

JEFF MERRICK: A watered down half speed...

LATIF: Joke of a game.

JEFF MERRICK: It's not a game. It makes a mockery of it, but the...

LATIF: So, the two of them, as many die hard hockey traditionalists do go off on the NHL and eventually that leads them to talk about the other, what they see as the other really dumb thing about that year's All-Star Game.

JEFF MERRICK: Fan voting.

LATIF: Fan voting has long been a part of the game.

JEFF MERRICK: As a kid, there was nothing else better than grabbing the little punch card at a game and knocking out the little circles and, and trying to grab like 30 of them to make sure that, you know, Kirk Muller gets a spot in the All-Star Game or whatever.

LATIF: But over the years the NHL had started reducing the number of players that could get voted in. One year, they were even accused of—turning off the vote when they didn't like where it was headed. And anyway, this year the NHL had limited the votes so much that the fans could only vote in four players, a captain for each Division; the Pacific, the Central, the Atlantic, the Metropolitan. But four players, all you could vote in.

JEFF MERRICK: That just seems to run counter to what the All-Star Game history tradition should be to what we really want with this All-Star Game, which is fan engagement at the end.

SPEAKER 4: I just hope that everyone that somehow a collective, and maybe we can lead the charge here on this one.

LATIF: And at that point they started thinking, “What if we use the little voting power that we do have to mess with the All-Star Game?"

SPEAKER 4: Wwe need somewe need someone in there who normally would not be in this game.

LATIF: Like, as a joke, we should vote somebody in who just does not belong. Hmm. And Greg's like...

PUCK DADDY: I like that thought.

LATIF: Okay. But who?

PUCK DADDY: Who would fit the bill there?

LATIF: And as Greg was thinking about it, he thought, you know what would be funny? You know what would really mess with the NHL is if we thought in a player...

PUCK DADDY: A player who couldn't really keep up.

LATIF: Couldn't really shoot, couldn't really handle the puck.

PUCK DADDY: The slow guy with the bad hands.

LATIF: Couldn't do anything.

PUCK DADDY: Let's, let's, let's really, you know, drop a stink bomb in the room.

LATIF: And then it hit him.

PUCK DADDY: The perfect guy.

LATIF: A Goliath of the league. John Scott.

PUCK DADDY: Oh my gosh. John Scott All-Star.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: John Scott!]

LATIF: So John Scott...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Scott is 6'8" and 270!]

LATIF: Was a behemoth.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Yeah. He cracks the ice…]

PUCK DADDY: He was the guy that would only play between like five and eight minutes a night.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Josh Scott, on a break away!]

LATIF: Couldn't really shoot.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: He missed.]

LATIF: Couldn't really skate.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: John Scott, pinned here in the corner…]

LATIF: And on top of that, when John Scott was on the ice.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Oh that's the way in. That's a cheap shot. That's unacceptable.]

LATIF: The only thing he was good at...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: It's pretty much all he can do.]

LATIF: Was knocking other people senseless.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: There we go! Scott went after Kessel like, whoa this has brought something on.]

LATIF: In hockey terms.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: This guy is a Predator.]

LATIF: John Scott was what you would call...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: He can destroy.]

LATIF: An old fashioned goon.

SPEAKER 4: Oh yes (beep). Oh my God. That's the one. He's the one. He's the guy.

PUCK DADDY: From that point on, there was no other answer to the question. Like, that was the guy that it would have to be.

SPEAKER 4: [laugh] John Scott is the one.

LATIF: And what started there as a tiny joke between two guys on a podcast would end up twisting the fate and fortune of one of the most feared, loathed, punishing players in the National Hockey League.


PUCK DADDY: You'd be quiet. Yeah.

LATIF: Changed some things for his family too.



LATIF: Hey. Okay. I'm calling you from my cell phone. How's this?

JOHN SCOTT: Oh, much better.

LATIF: So, this is John.

JOHN SCOTT: Yeah, we're good. Morgan gave me the thumbs up.

LATIF: All right, great.

DANIELLE: He knows.

LATIF: Okay. So-

JOHN SCOTT: Oh yeah, my, my daughter's here too, so if there's like sounds it's just my daughter cruising around.

LATIF: No, that's cute. I love it.

JOHN SCOTT: Okay, good.

LATIF: Okay. So, I think, to really understand what it was like for John to be on the other end of this, to be like, you know, like the butt of a joke, you need to understand what hockey meant to John. Like, what it meant for him to be playing in the NHL.

JOHN SCOTT: Like, everyone has their dreams. Like when you're a kid, especially in the states, it's football, baseball. In Canada, when you ask a seven, eight-year-old, wedo those projects in class, where do you want to be when you grow up? And I think 90% of the boys are like, “I'm going to be in the NHL.” And I always said that my parents have all that stuff all over the walls and stuff. But yeah, I always dreamed of playing in the NHL. I think everybodythat was their big dream. So yeah.

LATIF: So, John has this classic Canadian hockey kids story.

JOHN SCOTT: I put on skates when I was three, my dad built the rink in the backyard.

LATIF: Played all the time.

JOHN SCOTT: Every single day; morning, noon and night. And you'd just go to sleep and your gear and wake up and just jump right on the ice. Skate until seven or eight at night and you would just jump in bed, go to sleep.

LATIF: [laugh]

JOHN SCOTT: You just kept it on to save time (laughs). So...

LATIF: But the thing about John was that even as a kid...

JOHN SCOTT: I was a monster. I, I came out of the womb 24, 25, 24.5 inches long and I was 11 pounds, 12 pounds. I was huge. School pitchers was a joke. Everyone thought I was like a teacher's assistant when I hit like grade 7, 8, 9 because I was so tall. Andwhen you're young and you're that tall, you have zero, zero coordination.

LATIF: And so John was never the top guy in his team.

JOHN SCOTT: Never the fastest, never the most skilled. Never you know, the best at anything. I just kind ofsorry, my daughter just started playing the piano beside us...

LATIF: Yeah...

DANIELLE: Is he okay with it?

JOHN SCOTT: Are you okay with the piano Latif? I can...

DANIELLE: Kick her off.

JOHN SCOTT: [laugh] I'll get her off the piano.

LATIF: Okay. Yeah, that'd be great. Sorry.

JOHN SCOTT: [laugh] It's cute for a little bit.

LATIF: [laugh]

DANIELLE: That last question was...

JOHN SCOTT: All right, we're good.

LATIF: Thanks. [laugh] Thanks.


LATIF: So you—oh yeah. So, well there's something you said that you...

JOHN SCOTT: Here, let me, let me put her to bed, one second. Sorry Latif. I'm gonna throw her upstairs in her room.

LATIF: Cool. No, no, no. Take your time. Take, totally, take your time.

JOHN SCOTT: Yeah. I'll, I'll keep you on the phone. It'll take two seconds. But even if she cries up there alone, she'll be fine.

DANIELLE: I’ll follow you, is that okay?

JOHN SCOTT: Yeah. She's just saying a little squirrely. Good questions there, Latif, are you from Mississauga?

LATIF: Yeah, I'm from Mississauga.

JOHN SCOTT: So you're in Boston, New York now or...

LATIF: No, so, so. Yeah, I'm calling you from Boston. My cell phone is Boston. Imy job is in New York, but I actually live in LA.

JOHN SCOTT: Oh, wow. You're just like all over the map.

LATIF: Yeah, I'm well notI mean, I feel like compared to you, you've been all over the map for real.

JOHN SCOTT: [laugh] All right. Let me put her right here. You go to bed. All right. Now, she's done. Perfect.

LATIF: Oh my God. What kind of kid do you have? You can put her down so easily.

JOHN SCOTT: She's like the best kid ever. It's great. I don't know how we lucked out with her, but she was our number five and we needed that.

LATIF: [laugh]

JOHN SCOTT: If she was anything but perfect, we would be in trouble. Alright, we're back. All right, let's, let's get back.

LATIF: Okay. We're back. We're back. We're back. 

LATIF: Okay. Okay. So to jump back in. John plays throughout his school years. By the time he's getting close to college, a lot of his friends are getting, you know, offers—scholarships to different, you know, big time schools, University of Minnesota, Boston College, places like that.

LATIF: For John, there was just no interest. Like, coaches thought he was too big to play, wouldn't be able to keep up out there on the ice. But eventually he did get one offer to play for a mid-level university; Michigan Tech.

JOHN SCOTT: And I just figured I would, in all honesty, I would finish college and get a job. That would be it. I would have gotten an education for free, and you know, I play hockey with the guys on the weekends, but that was, that would be the end of hockey.

LATIF: But then a couple of things happened. First...

DANIELLE: At school, I kind of always noticed him...

LATIF: He met Danielle.

DANIELLE: Because he was about two feet taller than anybody else on campus.

LATIF: They were both engineering students, started dating senior year.

DANIELLE: You know, we kind of hit things off and the rest was history.

LATIF: And the other thing that happened was...

JOHN SCOTT: I got this opportunity to go play for the Houston Aeros; Minnesota’s farm team.

LATIF: A minor league team.

JOHN SCOTT: It wasn't crazy money. It was 30,000 or 35,000.

LATIF: He talked to Danielle about it.

DANIELLE: He was like, well let me give this hockey thing like a go.

LATIF: Like, this is the only chance I'm going to get to be able to say I played pro.

DANIELLE: And the way that I kind of looked at it was, “Oh okay.” It's just like a little head start. And then once I graduate, like we'll both get our jobs, like our real jobs and move on with our lives.

LATIF: So, John moved down to Houston.

JOHN SCOTT: I didn't have any expectations. I just worked my tail off. I was a bad skater. I worked at skating, I was a bad passer. I would work at passing after practice, but…

LATIF: He says no matter what he did, he would not get any playing time.

JOHN SCOTT: Well, I was always a step or two behind. I was I think the ninth defenceman on the roster, and you only dressed six for a game. So, I never played the first, I think, month of the season. 

LATIF: But while John was in Houston, he noticed that there were these other big guys on the team, and they were getting playing time.

JOHN SCOTT: And they kind of took me under their wings, and they said, “Hey listen..."

LATIF: "If you really want to get noticed down here, if you really want to go to the NHL, you should learn how to fight."

JOHN SCOTT: It worked perfectly because Ithat's what happened. So, for those of you who don't follow hockey too much, I have guys on my team...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Great move…]

JOHN SCOTT: Who make $10 million, $9 million, $8 million, and they are paid just to score and they are paid to perform and play well.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: He scores.]

JOHN SCOTT: But there are also guys out there...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Speaker 5: They are the ugly children of the NHL.]

JOHN SCOTT: Who their job is to...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Speaker 5: They are instigators, aggravators.]

JOHN SCOTT: Pester, annoy and we call them the rats, the pests.

LATIF: And you can hear these guys like when they're Mic'd up.

SPEAKER 6: How are you even here? Like, 10 guys here right now!

LATIF: Running their mouth.

SPEAKER 7: What are you doing out here?

LATIF: They try to get under this star player's skin.

SPEAKER 8: The ugliest guy in the league. Ugliest.

LATIF: They'll jab and poke at these star players, but sometime...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Oh, hit right in the head.]

LATIF: They'll use their stick to hack at them or they'll check them into the board.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Oh, that's an awful move. I mean, what's that?]

JAD: Like, they’ll try to really hurt them.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: What is that, I mean the puck is nowhere. The puck is…]

JAD: So, in order to deal with pests, you got people like John who are called enforcers.

JOHN SCOTT: So, basically my job is to make sure those pests don't pester my top guys. And so when we would go into a game, I would know exactly who to pinpoint because you know you do your scouting and I would go up to those guys and I would say, hey, listen, if you're going to do that, I'm going to put my fist through your face. And more often than not, just the fear of the retribution, if they did something, would, would stop them.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: And you said you can see the frustration in big John Scott's eyes and he…]

JOHN SCOTT: But if they did do something, my job was to...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Oh, we've got a fight.]

JOHN SCOTT: Beat them up.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: And as a hockey player…]

JOHN SCOTT: I was a heck of a fighter when I made it to NHL.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator:  John Scott can really punch people. And Scott having it with a right hand. Oh Jeez.]

LATIF: So, John would take care of the pest.

JOHN SCOTT: If they wouldn't fight.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: It's two, three, four.]

JOHN SCOTT: I would usually grab their tough guy...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Two big boys and this is what they do best.]

JOHN SCOTT: And beat him up.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Scott's got him and jackhammers the right.]

JOHN SCOTT: If we were playing flat and we didn't have energy...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator:  Big John Scott tried to spark his team.

JOHN SCOTT: I would go out and try to fight to get my guys going.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Oh, that one just hurt.]

JOHN SCOTT: Or if it was a really bad hit, I would just grab that guy and I would...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Oh, that's a hard left.]

JOHN SCOTT: Beat his doors off.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Ooh! Ooh! He's absolutely unloading, the right hand.]

JOHN SCOTT: It's funny, through all my career, I really hated fighting. There was days where I wouldn't sleep at night just because I knew I was going to get into a fight, but you just do your job. And Ithink I did my job well.

LATIF: Well, enough that John was able to make a career in the NHL.

JOHN SCOTT: It's everything you dream of as a kid.

DANIELLE: It was kind of like a leap of faith and it worked out great.

LATIF: So, by this point, Danielle and John had gotten married.

DANIELLE: You know, we had bought our first house.

LATIF: Soon after had their first two kids.

DANIELLE: It was just so beyond anything weor I ever expected.

LATIF: Well, tell me, tell me all the names of all the teams that you played for.

JOHN SCOTT: Oh my gosh, I'm embarrassed. I, so...

LATIF: So in 2008, John started playing in the NHL for the Minnesota Wild. After that he played for Chicago, and New York, and Buffalo, and San Jose. And, and throughout his whole career as an enforcer, there was this shift going on in professional hockey.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Just an incredible, incredible play.]

LATIF: A lot of the hockey establishment, and the media, execs in the league, we're pushing for the game to be more high scoring.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Dazzling move!]

LATIF: To be more about skill and speed.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Unbelievable goal.]

LATIF: A lot of people started coming out and saying there should not be a place in this league for fighting.

JOHN SCOTT: And I was the easy target.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: This guy is a Goon; if you haven't seen the movie, you don't have to bother. This has a goon.]

JOHN SCOTT: They went after me. And they said, “Listen, we don't need guys like this in a league."

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: There's no room for it in the game. There's no room for guys in the game like…]

JOHN SCOTT: Their sole purpose is to punch people.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: I believe that players that play in this league should be able to skate and pass and not simply ignite a fight.]

JOHN SCOTT: And we're going to eliminate players like this.

LATIF: Which is one of the reasons why...

PUCK DADDY: Oh my God, John Scott All-Star. Oh.

LATIF: For guys like Greg Wyshynski and Jeff Merrick, voting John Scott into the All-Star Game was not just a hilarious joke about a big guy who couldn't skate, but it was also a big fat middle finger to the hockey establishment.

JOHN SCOTT: So I'll, I'll just do the whole, the, the big point...

LATIF: Do it. Do it.

JOHN SCOTT: I waswe were on the road, and we were on the bus heading to a game or a pregame skate.

LATIF: It was December 2015 John was playing for the Arizona Coyotes.

JOHN SCOTT: And a guy on my team Anders Lindback ourgoalie, he was sitting beside me, and he's like, "Hey, you're, you know, you're in." It was like 56 plays or something, you know, of, of the fan voting. And I was like, "Oh, you know that's great. People think it's a joke. They're going to vote for me a little bit," and it was, it was nothing serious. So, that's how I first heard of it on the bus. So, we go to therink, we do our skate. Literally, after the skate, he checks his phone again, and he's like, "Holy cow, man, you're like top 25." It happened that fast and then the next day I was top five and then like the day after that I was number one.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, News Anchor: There's a surprise leader in fan voting for the upcoming NHL All-Star Game, and his name is John Scott. Seriously.]

JOHN SCOTT: So it's like a...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, News Anchor: John Scott, the enforcer for the Arizona Coyotes…]

JOHN SCOTT: Mega story.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, News Anchor: Arizona's John Scott is leading the NHL.]

JOHN SCOTT: It was unbelievable how quickly it grew.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, News Anchor: John Scott, number one.]

[ARCHIVE CLIP, News Anchor: The number one vote getter among all players in the NHL.]

LATIF: Which meant that John would be...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, News Anchor: An All-Star Game captain.]

LATIF: A team captain at the All-Star Game.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, News Anchor: Let that sink in for a second.]

LATIF: And for the fans who were voting for John, there was definitely a bit of like, "Oh, you shrunk the number of players we can vote in."

SPEAKER 9: Oh Yeah, Oh really. Well, we're going to make our votes count then.

LATIF: Here's Johnny. But, I think, for a majority of voters voting for John.

SPEAKER 10: Let's be honest

LATIF: It was just really simple.

SPEAKER 10: The reason John Scott's leading the voting is because it’s funny.

SPEAKER 11: John Scott is not an All-Star.

SPEAKER 12: He has one goal over eight games. He barely plays...

LATIF: Like, in the three-on-three format where there were supposed to be a bunch of speed and skill. Wouldn't it be funny to see this big…

SPEAKER 13:  Arizona Coyote's goon.

LATIF: ogre.

SPEAKER 14: Fighter with no skills…

SPEAKER 15: Objectively bad at hockey [laughs]

SPEAKER 16: I don't know what he's doing in the league.

LATIF: Make a fool of himself.

JOHN SCOTT: Oh, I hated it. This isn't funny anymore. I get it. Like, I'm this terrible player who you guys think it would be fun to watch me, you know, fail in this game. But I just figured it would end on its own. Honestly, I thought it would last a few days and people would get, you know, the, enough of it and it would go away. But it just didn't.

LATIF: And as for the NHL.

DUCK DADDY: They were, they were pissed (laughs). I mean to put it frankly. I definitely got the sense from some of the people that I speak to on a regular basis at the NHL, that they were really angry that this was happening.

LATIF: And why, like c- c- can you get any more specific about like why this would have been an embarrassment to them? Like, what is it exactly that they were so sensitive about?

DUCK DADDY: They're sensitive about the fact that the All-Star Game is something that a lot of old-time hockey people, and there's a lot of old-time hockey people that run the national hockey league, see as something prestigious, one of the ultimate honors for a player. And so, this was not something they wanted to happen, and it was happening, and they didn't really know what to do about it because they didn't have any fail safes in place to prevent it from happening.

LATIF: After one day of John Sitting on top of the All-Star vote.

DANIELLE: We're just like lying in bed. The kids are sleeping...

LATIF: John gets a text message. He gets out of bed, goes over to his phone, starts reading it, and he's just standing there for like, for like a while.

DANIELLE: Selfishly, I'm just want to go to bed, but then, you know, I can tell something's just got him stewing over there, and it was his,PR guy from the Coyotes.

JOHN SCOTT: They, they thought it'd be a good idea to release a statement, and they wrote up this statement for me and it, basically, said, “Thank you for the support. I don't want your votes. Please vote for other guys on my team."

LATIF: Basically, his own team is saying...

JOHN SCOTT: "Step away from the All-Star Game."

DANIELLE: I saw him like, respond, "Yeah, that statement's fine." And then delete it and then just sit there and look at it. And I just remember asking like, "Do you, do, would you want to go?" And he's just like...

JOHN SCOTT: "Well, yeah, I think, because as a kid II watched all the All-Star Games. It was so fun to watch, and II would dream to be in it. , yeah."

DANIELLE: And I'm like, "Well, they want you to release the statement; release the statement, but make sure that it's true."

LATIF: And so John ends up writing a statement that reads quote, “It's nice to be thought of by all of the fans. And for that, I am truly flattered and grateful. And while I would love to experience an All-Star Game, I think a few of my teammates are a bit more deserving of a vote.” And so it's sort of like, I would go if I get voted, but there's other people who deserve it more.

JOHN SCOTT: I said, "Yeah, sure. Send it out." I wasn't totally on board with it, but I just wanted to appease thehigher ups to hopefully help them.

LATIF: But even after that, it was still, John Scott, number one vote getter.

JOHN SCOTT: Oh, by far. Yeah. It's funny. They stopped showing how many votes the players were getting. They took that option off the website because I think I was ahead by so many. [laugh]

LATIF: It's like you broke the website.

JOHN SCOTT: Yeah. And so theytook that away. And then the NHL, they really tried to strong arm me.

LATIF: Oh yeah. What happened there?

JOHN SCOTT: So I was in my bedroom and Arizona and they called, and it was one of the higher ups in NHL and he just, you know, wanted to know how I was feeling. It was getting really close to the end of the voting. I just said, "Yeah, I, I, you know, I, I want to go to the game. I think it'd be fun. I think it'd be good for everybody involved." And he's like, "Really? Are you sure?" Like, "You think you'll be able to keep up? You think you're good enough?" Like, uh, "You're not exactly a skill guy, John." And they started that way, and I just kind of brushed it off, you know, I was like, "Ican skate pretty well. I'm a good decent hockey player." And he goes, "Well, you know what, what do youhave you talked to your dad? What do you think..." First he goes, "Are you, is your dad alive?" And I was like, "Yeah, he's alive." Like, "What do you think he's going to think about this situation? You know, you think you're going to make him proud?" And I was like, "What!" like, "I don't think that has anything to do with this."

JOHN SCOTT: And I kind of brushed that off and at this time I'm getting a little angry because I'm just like, "Man," like it was, "Let me flip and play." And then he's like, "Well, what do you think your kids are going to think when they look back on this? Do you think they're going to be proud of their dad who went into the All-Star Game this way?" And as soon as he brought my kids into the equation, I just, like, lost it and I kind of snapped back at him. I'm like, "You're being a real bleep, and bleep, and bleep and bleep.” And we went back and forth and he started cussing at me. And [laugh] and then like I finally, like, snapped back into like, "Holy cow." I'm like yelling at one of the head guys in NHL. I should, like, dial it back, and I apologized like, "Sorry." Like, "You, you know, you pushed the wrong the button." Like, "Let's talk tomorrow. I'll let you know if I'm going to go or not." I—left it like that.

LATIF: So John slept on it. Woke up the next day...

JOHN SCOTT: Called the, the dude the next morning, and I said, "I'm going." 

JAD: After the break. We'll see you at the game.

ROBERT: Maybe we will.

JAD: Yeah, maybe.

ROBERT: Maybe not.

JAD: Maybe not. Yeah.


[SARAH Hi, this is Sarah calling from Scarsdale, New York. Radiolab is supported in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, enhancing public understanding of science and technology in the modern world. More information about Sloan at www.sloan.org.]


JAD: Three, two, one, Jad.

ROBERT: Robert.

JAD: Radiolab.

ROBERT: Back to hockey.

JAD: And reporter, Latif Nasser.

LATIF: Okay, so about two weeks before the All-Star Game, John is just getting ready for practice, and the GM of the team comes up to him.

JOHN SCOTT: Been talking to me all the time throughout this All-Start stuff, and I thought it was just going to be another conversation about that. And he pulls me into the stick room, and he's like, "Yeah, I'm, I just traded you to Montreal." And I was like, "Are you effing kidding me? What?" And he's like, "Yeah, it was a hockey move. We, you know, weneeded a little defensive help and we traded you to Montreal for this guy." And I said, "This is an effing joke, are you kidding me?" And he said, "Sorry. You know, the deal's been done." I was like, okay, whatever super shady to be traded right after I am finally in the All-Star Game. It's like, you know, if it smells like a,you know, walks like a duck, talks like a duck. It's theit's fishy.

LATIF: We called John's former team and the NHL about this. Neither wanted to talk. Nonetheless, what happened next is that a short while later, John is in the locker room...

JOHN SCOTT: Gathering my things, trying to say goodbye to the guys, and he pulls me aside again.

LATIF: And the GM tells him, "Actually, Montreal team, we just traded you too. They're now going to demote you."

JOHN SCOTT: "They're sending you to Saint John's, Newfoundland, their farm team."

LATIF: "You're in the minor leagues now."

JOHN SCOTT: "Go through the trainer, get your stuff ready, you're leaving today." 

LATIF: According to the terms of the trade, he had to be on the plane that same day.

JOHN SCOTT: And that's when I was just like, I was done. I was like, "Okay, I'm done. See ya." And I just checked out. I went, likefound somewhere in the rink. I called my wife... 

LATIF: Who by the way was nine months pregnant with twins.

DANIELLE: I get the phone call from John. In those situations, he's kind of a man of like few words.

LATIF: He tells her, "we're in the minors now."

DANIELLE: And I'm like, "All right, we'll be fine. Plan C, where's the minor team?" Like, "How do I get there?" You know? And he's like, "Yeah, it's literally on the other side of the world."

LATIF: It is North America's easternmost city.

DANIELLE: Like, you could not go further from where I'm at right now and still be on this continent. [laugh]

JOHN SCOTT: And I said, “Sorry, I've got to go. Can you please handle all of this? Take my two kids, take the two kids in your belly, take all my stuff, pack it up. Like, I have to leave.” It's so bizarre to have to say that to her and like, there's nothing I could have done. You just say, “I'm sorry, I have to go."

DANIELLE: And I was just thinking to myself, “Okay,” you know, like just trying to hold on to hope, like we could make this work. Let's see where it's at. And I'm, like, looking at flights and, like, I pull up Kayak and I'm seeing like the flights and it's like 16 hours of travel, 14 hours of travel, 18 hours of travel. And, like, the prices for, like, a ticket is like $1,600. Like, it set in. It really all hit me at that moment. And I just, like, sobbed.

JOHN SCOTT: I composed myself, got my gear, told the GM to go, you know, wherever. And I jumped in the car, packed up my shit, and went to St John's.

SPEAKER 17: Youwant to talk about John Scott. So, we need and have the debate.

DON SHERRY: No, I guess so.

SPEAKER 17: The floor is yours.


LATIF: Canadian legend Don Sherry on the hit TV show Hockey Night in Canada.

DON SHERRY: Anyhow, you jerks that put him up forto be in the All-Star Game. What's your done you, you've taken this kid who was doing pretty good playing six minutes, playing 12 minutes; it didn't matter, in Arizona NHL contract. What you did was you're talking putting him in the minors now. Lots of funny. I bet you're very proud of yourself because the NHL this year is going to be terrific and you're goingyou tried to ruin it all and you ruined this kid; he's in the minors, never to come back. I bet you should be ashamed of yourself. You should be ashamed of yourself. That's it.

PUCK DADDY: I saw this news hit and my first reaction was, you have got to be kidding me.

LATIF: Again. Greg Wyshynski who started the John Scott for All-Star campaign.

PUCK DADDY: It was weird. Oh man, that they just make this problem go away.

LATIF: But was there part of you who was like, “Oh my God, like I—started this, this is on me."

PUCK DADDY: No, because at that point, you know, there had been criticism of us for having this campaign and obviously when John Scott came out

JOHN SCOTT: I was like, “You guys ruined my career, this sucks.” 

PUCK DADDY:And sort of poo-pooed off the bat made you feel like maybe you've done something kind of bad to a dude. But the campaign had kind of taken on a life of its own and at that point John Scott said he wanted to be an All-Star, wanted to represent a certain type of player.

JOHN SCOTT: My role is, like, almost extinct. I'm like the last of my kind out here and like it would be cool to go out with a bang.

PUCK DADDY: All of his friends were saying you should do it. He wanted to do it because people are telling him not doing it… 

LATIF: Right. No, and, and I mean it necessarily that, you know, that it's your fault or anything, but in a way that like you—just, and not that you could have foreseen it, but like you started the train. Was there part of you that was like, "Oh my God. Like, if I hadn't said that one thing on my podcast, like this guy wouldn't have had to uproot his whole life.

PUCK DADDY: No, I mean again like I, I feel like it was the National Hockey League at this point that was standing in his way.

LATIF: Now, whatever you think about the initial prank or John being demoted, this is the moment Greg says when the crowd mood totally shifted.

PUCK DADDY: Complete outrage. 

SPEAKER 18: This is trash, 

PUCK DADDY: Like, complete outrage. 

SPEAKER 18: This is garbage. I'm not going to go about it, on a rant about democracy.

PUCK DADDY: It became protests online.

SPEAKER 18: This is a lousy thing to do.

PUCK DADDY: Sweeping through the hockey world. Like, look, the fans voted this guy in, the NHL is doing all it can to keep this guy out and that's not right.

SPEAKER 18: You want to change this, contact your favorite sports writer in your city. Since the NHL is so damn image-conscious, why don't you put pressure on your favorite reporter to stick up for John Scott? I can only imagine how John feels right now.

JOHN SCOTT: Well, pissed off. Sorry for yourself. Then you feel—you get sad. Do I even want to play hockey? Do I even want to do—like, I—do I just quit hockey and go work? Like—you think about all these things.

LATIF: But now that you're in the minor leagues, are you allowed to play for the All-Star Game?

JOHN SCOTT: That's the thing. No one knew.

LATIF:  He says right after he was demoted to the minor league.

JOHN SCOTT: People started to, you know, read through the bylaws, read through the books.

LATIF: Trying to figure out like, can a minor league player play in the Professional NHL All-Star Game. And it turns out...

JOHN SCOTT: There was no rule.

LATIF: That even remotely addressed the situation. Like, it was totally unprecedented.

PUCK DADDY: And so the pressure stayed on the NHL knew that if John Scott wasn't in the All-Star Game, there's probably visions from the NHL of protest signs along the glass...

LATIF: Oh, wow.

PUCK DADDY: Of fans out the, outside the arena holding a rally because John Scott was snubbed.

LATIF: And according to Greg, hockey fans are notorious for throwing jerseys onto the ice in protest, causing scenes...

PUCK DADDY: Andeventually the National Hockey League had to acquiesce. They put out a statement. They made a statement saying, hey, if John wants to go, he can go.

LATIF: But John says at this point…

JOHN SCOTT: I told everybody I'm not going. Like, the NHL PA, I told all my friends, the teammates, I'm like, “I'm done. Like this is a boguslike I don't want to do this."

LATIF: He says between the fans making fun of him and the League demoting him, the whole thing was just too humiliating.

DANIELLE: But I was just like, “John, you may regret this. I know you want to, like, run away and hide right now and like going in front of all these people is the very last thing you want to do, but you might regret it."

JOHN SCOTT: She was like, “Let's go. It'll be fun for the family. The kids will love it. I would love to see you go and prove these people wrong.” My wife was building me back up and slowly but surely I was like, “Okay, you know what? Fuck this. Let's do it.”

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Very impressive here in Nashville, not only…]

LATIF: January 31, 2016.

JOHN SCOTT: Nashville was a complete circus. It was unbelievable. I, was obviously, the big story, so the moment I landed, there's reporters everywhere, asking me questions.

LATIF: John would be representing the Pacific Division in the All-Star Game.

JOHN SCOTT: And we had to play, I think, it was the central who everyone said they were stacked because they had all the stud players on their team.

LATIF: Players like...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Matt Duchene!]

LATIF: Matt Duchene.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: James Neal!]

LATIF: James Neal; all of these much younger, much higher paid players. And then you had—John.

JOHN SCOTT: I knew everybody was staring at me and I'm weird about my hair cause I'm going bald and I'm skating around like, “I wish I would've grabbed my hat.” I was like, “Dang it.” [laugh]

DANIELLE: Everything is buzzing.

LATIF: Danielle's in the stands with their two little kids.

DANIELLE: Everybody's looking for him to fail.

JOHN SCOTT: Yeah. This, this dummy's going to make an ass of himself.

LATIF: And before the game, the coach comes up to him.

JOHN SCOTT: The coach asked me if I wanted to start and I just said, “No, please let me stay on the bench."

LATIF: And the coach is like, “All right, but you're going in early.” So John's teammates skate out to center ice. He's sitting on the bench, butterflies in his stomach.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Pekka Rinne in goal. What a Central.]

LATIF: Ref drops the puck.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Dragged on by Weber.]

LATIF: Right away, 26 seconds into the game.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Scores!]

LATIF: John's team goes down to 1 - 0.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: It was an early 1 - 0 lead. And how about the hands and the playmaking of Matt Duchene right there of the Colorado Avalanche, it's brilliant for James Neal.]

LATIF: It was, it was like a terrific goal. Like, it was a pass to a one-timer shot. Like, it was a goal that All-Stars make. John's coach looks at him and says, “Scott, you're in.” Remember this is three-on-three. There is a ton of open eyes.

JOHN SCOTT: There's nowhere to go. Like, there's nowhere to hide.

LATIF: And John says that skating up to center ice. He just kept thinking, “Don't mess up. Don't mess up. Don't make a fool of yourself."

JOHN SCOTT: And that's all I was thinking about.

LATIF: Ref's got the puck, holds it above the center ice.

JOHN SCOTT: "I don't belong here. They think you're a joke. Don't screw it up."

LATIF: Drops it.

JOHN SCOTT: Once the puck drops, you just kind of, you knoweverything else goes away and you just start playing hockey. This was like going back to when I was younger. I wasn't the best. I wasn't the fastest but youyou know, you just start playing. And that's what I did.

LATIF: This time, John's team took possession of the puck.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Back to Brent Burns.]

JOHN SCOTT: Burnsy had the puck. And we're going up the ice.

LATIF: John and his teammates charge across center ice. They move into their opponent zone. When...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: John Scott, 6'8" is all.]

LATIF: Brent Burns passes the puck to John. John manages to control it. He's kind of up against the board. So, he's using his body to protect the puck, trying to figure out what to do next.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: John Scott's out of the corner…]

LATIF: When he makes his nice little backhand pass.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator:  Back to Burns.]

JOHN SCOTT: Burnsy had the puck on the right wing and all of a sudden I noticed…

LATIF: Between two of the defenders, there's this nice little lane right to the net.

JOHN SCOTT: I went to the net.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Burns...]

LATIF: Burns spotted John.

JOHN SCOTT: And he put the puck right on my stick.

LATIF: John just like a few feet from goal and the goalie's actually out of position.

JOHN SCOTT: I had a wide open net and I shot it.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Scott!]

JOHN SCOTT: And I missed the net.

LATIF: Like a, like a wide open net.

JOHN SCOTT: But the goalie was luckily sliding back into position.

LATIF: And so the puck hit the goalie, bounced off the goalie and...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Scott!]

LATIF: Into the back of the net.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Scores! John Scott! There you go!]

JOHN SCOTT: It was awesome. Like, I was so jacked up. I had goose bumps like after the goal. It was so neat. It was cool. [laughs] Everybody went nuts. That was the neat thing. The crowd, I didn't know how they were going to react. Usually they boo me because everybody booed me and theywere all for it.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: And John Scott will get a standing ovation!]

DANIELLE: The weird thing about the mass is too, it's like how quickly everybody can go from hating you to loving you. It was such a sense of relief for me.

JOHN SCOTT: The huge monkey was lifted off my back because I was like, “Okay, I did something for the team. I didn't mess up.”

DANIELLE: He's going to relax and have fun just like be himself and play.

LATIF: Which he did.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Former teammate, push Kane on the wall.]

JOHN SCOTT: He laid out this guy Patrick Kane.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Wow! The first hit at All-Star Game in years was laid out by Scott against leading scorer.]

LATIF: And then the two of them...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Holy Molly!]

LATIF: Dropped their glove...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: It's Scott and Kane.]

LATIF: Pretended to have a fight.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: That's awesome.]

LATIF: He got a couple of nice passes.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: A save made by Rinne.]

LATIF: Had a really close shot on goal. He was just kind of doing everything.

PUCK DADDY: And every time John Scott was on camera or touched the puck, the crowd would come to life.

LATIF: Greg Wyshynski was actually their reporting at the game and he was down in the tunnels interviewing other All-Stars.

PUCK DADDY: And what happens when you're down in the bowels of the arena is that the All-Star Game's on TVs, but there's a delay between what the broadcast has and what's happening on the ice. So, typically you'll hear something happen in the game before you actually watch it on TV. And I remember hearing this gigantic roar from the crowd and then everybody kind of looked over at the TV and watched the All-Star Game.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: 6:50 to go in the game. If tied, a shoot out…]

LATIF: So, what happened, what elicited that roar was that it was getting to the end of the game, tight game. John's team was up by one.

JOHN SCOTT: We were in our zone playing defense and all of a sudden... 

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Around to the front Neal.]

JOHN SCOTT: Their team shot it.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Nice move! And a save is made...]

JOHN SCOTT: We had a save and Burnsy got the puck behind the net.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Cut of by Brent Burns.]

JOHN SCOTT: And I just blew the zone. I skated to the zone as fast as I could because I knew he was going to get it. He saw me up the middle and he...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: A nice pass on to Scott.]

JOHN SCOTT: Fired a nice pass and I corralled it and took off down the center of the ice.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Scott pursue.]

JOHN SCOTT: If I had someone hounding me…

LATIF: But John’s so big, he was able to keep this defender off of them. So, it was just John, the goalie and the net. He gathered the puck.

JOHN SCOTT: I ripped the shot top corner on the goalie.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Scott!]

JOHN SCOTT: And it went in.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: He's got two!]

JOHN SCOTT: [laugh] It was amazing.

LATIF: No goalie deflection, no lucky bounds, just a solid skill shot.

JOHN SCOTT: There was this sort of, this moment of just laughter. Laughter from the players being, waiting to be interviewed. Laughter from the media downstairs. Just unbridled joy and watching it all happen.

DANIELLE: I was just like, “Is this even happening?"

LATIF: [laugh]

DANIELLE: Like, it started to just be like, could I, it's like I could physically see the smile on his face from up in the stands.

JOHN SCOTT: The guys on the ice jumped on me. They were like, “Holy cow, this is unbelievable."

PUCK DADDY: The final chapter of the John Scott story, at least, as it pertains to the All-Star Game is this really beautiful thing. And so, so there's the scene in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

LATIF: [laugh]

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Captain James T. Kirk: Scottie, just get us out of here. Best possible speed.]

PUCK DADDY: Where it looks like the Enterprise is going to get away having defeated Khan, but Khan is still alive.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Khan: The game is not over.]

PUCK DADDY: And he's going to try to trigger the doomsday device on his ship to kill everybody.

LATIF: [laughs] Okay. 

PUCK DADDY: And so as—he Enterprise is flying away, you see a bloodied Khan say...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Khan:  From hell's heart, I stab at thee.]

PUCK DADDY: Hell's heart. I stab at thee.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Khan: For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.]

PUCK DADDY: And I thought of that scene when the voting for most valuable player at the All-Star Game starts. 

LATIF: To explain; at the end of the game there's one final bit of fan voting. Fans are gonna choose the MVP of the NHL All-Star Game, most valuable player. And the fans in the arena and watching on TV, they would text the name of the person they want to a number or they would go on Twitter and use the special hashtag and type the person's name. Any case..

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: It will be coming up shortly.]

PUCK DADDY: Right as the voting is about to begin, the NHL puts up a bunch of names of players on the jumbotron. Says, “Here are your choices.” And John Scott's name was not listed among the three MVP candidates on the jumbotron.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time to award the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star MVP Award as decided by you.]

JOHN SCOTT: The fans saw that I wasn't on there and they went nuts, they started to boo... 

PUCK DADDY: Loudly. Visibly, you could, you know, feel it around the rink. I felt it was the last gasp of all the people at the NHL that tried to keep John Scott out of the All-Star Game. It was their last chance to get him.

LATIF: Like, Khan trying to get Captain Kirk, that's what he was trying to say with the analogy. Anyway, what ended up happening is that during the voting thousands of people wrote in their own choice and when it was announced...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star MVP scored two goals in the tournament and wins right in Canada, John Scott!]

JOHN SCOTT: It's funny I didn't hear it because on ice level you don't hear what the speakers are playing because they point the speakers to the fans. So, I didn'thear it until, like, somebody who's like, “Hey, like go and, like, get your trophy. And I was like, “Oh, oh weird."

LATIF: John skates out to the center of the ice laughing, looking a little scared.

JOHN SCOTT: Holy Shit. I was just like the MVP of the All-Star Game.

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Commentator: John Scott is with Pierre.]

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Pierre: Thanks a lot. There's been all kinds of ovations for you. And they're not stopping. What do you wanna say first to the fans in Nashville?]

[ARCHIVE CLIP, John Scott: Just thank you so much. You guys have just blown me away. I love this city and thank you so much.]

PUCK DADDY: And in what was the teary-eyed Disney family sports film moment...

[ARCHIVE CLIP, Pierre: Well, your team won $1 million, how are you planning on spreading it around?]

[ARCHIVE CLIP, John Scott: It's gonna go 100 part to me and then they're gonna to take the rest.., Hey, whoa, whoa.]

PUCK DADDY: He was hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates and paraded around like he was a Rudy. 

LATIF: Greatest sports movie ever.

DANIELLE: I wanted to go down by the ice so that the kids could see John and people were trying to help me down the stairs and like parting the seas so I could get down there.

JOHN SCOTT: Mykids were down at the bench with my wife and it was so weird, like it was literally like Disney wrote a script and it's like, “Okay, now he kisses his wife."

DANIELLE: He kissed me and our eyes locked and it was just, we both were kind of, like, shaking our heads; like, wewere at both a bit speechless.

JOHN SCOTT: Now he grabbed his kids.

DANIELLE: He scooped them up.

JOHN SCOTT: In this cliché fashion, I grabbed my kids and skated on the ice.

DANIELLE: It was like, “Daddy, you stink. You smell bad.” And like every time, like, I would just look at him and I'm like, “Can you even believe this is happening?" And it was, “No, like, I just can't.”

LATIF: And as they came off the ice, there were crowds of people waiting to ask them questions, take pictures with them.

JOHN SCOTT: But we had a flight the next morning at like 5:00 AM.

LATIF: He had to get back to the minor leagues. And before that they still had to have these babies. So, they rush home to give birth to the twins.

JOHN SCOTT: Four days after the babies were born, I went back to St John's.

LATIF: Oh my God.


DANIELLE: I feel like that was really the beginning of the rest of our lives.

LATIF: John finished out that season, played one last NHL game and then retired. He and Danielle live with their five girls in Traverse City, Michigan. But the legacy of his All-Star appearance lives on in two ways. First, the day after the game, it was announced that John Scott's helmet; the helmet he wore during the game would be flown to Toronto where it will be put on display at the Hockey Hall of Fame. But the other thing that happened with just in time for the next year's All-Star Game the NHL created a new rule known as the John Scott rule, which states that any player who is voted to be a captain in the All-Star Game then gets demoted to the minor leagues, will be disqualified, will not be allowed to play. Effectively, ensuring that never again will the fans have quite the power to overthrow the system and vote in a John Scott.

JAD: Reporter, Latif Nasser. This episode was produced by Mr. Matt Kielty and fact-checked by Diane Kelly.

ROBERT: Also, if you want to hear more from John Scott, and, of course, he has a podcast, it's called Dropping The Gloves, available wherever you get podcasts or lose your gloves.

JAD: [laugh] And in this episode we had a lot of original music from John Dryden, the Oh Sees, Weedeater and Bongzilla.

ROBERT: And lastly, special thanks to Morgan Springer, Faizal Khamisa, and Ben Hankinson.

JAD: And, I think that's it.

ROBERT: That's it. That's it. That's what we got to do today.

JAD: Yeah. Let's get out of here.


JAD: I'm Jad Abumrad.

ROBERT: I'm Robert Krulwich.

JAD: Thanks for listening.

[ANSWERING MACHINE: To play the message press two. Start of message.]

[JOHN SCOTT: Hi, this is John Scott.]

[EVA SCOTT: Hi, this is Eva Scott.]

[GABRIELLA:  This is Gabriella.]

[JOHN SCOTT: Radiolab was created by...]

[EVA SCOTT: Jad Abumrad.]

[JOHN SCOTT: And it's produced by...]

[GABRIELLA: Soren Wheeler.]

[EVA SCOTT: Dylan Keefe.]

[JOHN SCOTT: Is our Director of Sound Design.]

[GABRIELLA: Maria Matasar-Padilla.]

[JOHN SCOTT: Is our Managing Director.]

[EVA SCOTT: Suzie Lechtenberg.]

[JOHN SCOTT: Is our Executive Producer. Our staff includes...]

[GABRIELLA: Simon Adler]

[EVA SCOTT: Becca Bressler.]

[GABRIELLA: Lisa ??]

[EVA SCOTT: Rachel Cusick.]


[EVA SCOTT: David Gebel.]

[GABRIELLA: Bethel Habte]


[GABRIELLA: Tracie Hunte.]

[JOHN SCOTT: Matt Kielty.]

[EVA SCOTT: Matt Kielty.]

[GABRIELLA: Robert Krulwich.]

[EVA SCOTT: [inaudible 00:51:39].]

[GABRIELLA: Annie McEwen.]

[EVA SCOTT: Latif Nasser.]

[GABRIELLA: Malissa O'Donnell.]

[EVA SCOTT: Alex Overington]

[GABRIELLA: Sarah Qari.]


[GABRIELLA: Arianne Wack.]

[EVA SCOTT: Pat Walters.]

[GABRIELLA: And Molly Webster.]

[JOHN SCOTT: With help from...]

[EVA SCOTT: Shima Oliaee.]

[GABRIELLA: And now ?? ]

[JOHN SCOTT: Our fact checker is Michelle Harris.]

[EVA SCOTT: Good bye.]

[GABRIELLA: Good bye.]

[ANSWERING MACHINE: End of message.]


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