Jad Abumrad: Amy Pearl, are you there?
Amy Pearl: Yeah, I am.
Jad Abumrad: Okay. Hi.
Amy Pearl: Hi.
Jad Abumrad: Y-, hi . Are you still allergic to meat? Of course, you are. Right?
Amy Pearl: Yes. Totally.
Jad Abumrad: Duh.
Amy Pearl: That's okay. I don't miss it anymore.
Jad Abumrad: Oh, really?
Amy Pearl: Yes, I do.
Jad Abumrad: (laughs) Hey, Jad here. Uh, before we get to the show, I want to reintroduce you to someone.
Amy Pearl: Um, let's see, my name is Amy Pearl.
Jad Abumrad: You might remember Amy from an episode we did a couple years ago about ticks and meat allergies, and, uh, we brought her back into the studio because she is now, um, hosting her own podcast. And it's pretty great. It's called-
Amy Pearl: Ten Things That Scare Me (singing).
Jad Abumrad: And the show, Ten Things That Scare Me, name kind of says it all. Because a couple times a week, they put out a show.
Amy Pearl: So, they come out three times a week, so.
Jad Abumrad: Holy moly.
Amy Pearl: But they're really short.
Jad Abumrad: I mean, for a podcast, unprecedentedly short. Each episode is only about five minutes. Like, a little microdose. And in each episode, you hear one person explaining their ten greatest fears, and explaining why each of those ten things scare them.
Jad Abumrad: What was the idea behind it?
Amy Pearl: Well, Jad, I feel like radio's not weird, anymore. For one, and I really wanted, I'm like, let's make it weird (singing).
Jad Abumrad: And so, a while back, she heard this recording.
Ida: Hi, I'm Ida.
Noah: And I'm Noah.
Jad Abumrad: Of some kids.
Ida: And we are very excited to bring you our first episode.
Amy Pearl: Yeah, some, a friend from work made me listen to a recording of their kid.
Noah: Each of us has made a list of things we think are really scary.
Amy Pearl: A recording of things that they were afraid of.
Noah: I'm scared of the laundry room, because of the pipes. The pipes are scary when you look up at them. They look like they're going to suck you into the tube.
Amy Pearl: And I listened to it so many times, because, I mean, it takes you back to, like-
Jad Abumrad: Yeah.
Amy Pearl: Those pipes are scary.
Jad Abumrad: And so, she was like, if it's compelling to hear kids talk about their fears, kids you don't even really know. What if we actually heard people that we did know talk about it?
John Green: I'm afraid of poisoning, but even more than I'm afraid of poisoning, I'm afraid of my fear of poisoning.
Jad Abumrad: They've got an episode with John Green, author of The Fault In Our Stars.
Anthony S.: Number two, divorce attorneys.
Jad Abumrad: Anthony “The Mooch” Scaramucci.
Anthony S.: My divorce attorney was fantastic, by the way. I mean, he's literally become a very close friend.
Jo Firestone: Number three-
Jad Abumrad: The hilarious comedian, Jo Firestone.
Jo Firestone: -getting to a point mentally where unicycling seems cool, nay, even sexy.
Jad Abumrad: And you'll also hear plenty of, uh, not so famous people.
Amy Pearl: People who are like, thoughtful and anxious (laughing), and, uh-
Jad Abumrad: Fearful souls.
Amy Pearl: Yeah, and just real.
Jad Abumrad: I recommend this podcast. You, it, it's really fun. If you download it, you will not be sorry. I even did one. You may hear my voice in the flow of things. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get yours. And if you are a thoughtful, anxious, fearful person, the Ten Things team wants to hear your fears. You can record them and find out a whole lot more at 10thingspodcast.org.
Speaker 8: Hey, wait. You're listening-
Speaker 9: Okay?
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Speaker 8: All right.
Speaker 9: You're-
Speaker 8: Listening-
Speaker 10: To Radiolab.
Speaker 11: Radiolab.
Speaker 9: From.
Speaker 8: WNYC.
Speaker 12: C?
Speaker 8: Yeah.
Jad Abumrad: Oh my god. I, we-, so this, uh, I had a... Hey, I'm Jad Abumrad.
Robert Krulwich: I'm Robert Krulwich. This is Radiolab.
Jad Abumrad: And, uh, we have another story for you. Another adventure. Uh, courtesy of, who else?
Robert Krulwich: Well, reporter Latif Nasser.
Latif Nasser: So, I, the, the way I first learned about this story is that I saw that there was this article trending in this, uh, online publication called The Players' Tribune, which is like, in, like, a kind of athletes' magazine.
Robert Krulwich: Which-
Latif Nasser: Um-
Robert Krulwich: Of course, you subscribe to.
Latif Nasser: Which, of course, I subscribe to because I'm the, like, scrawniest (laughing) ... I'm the, like, least athletic. I'm the only scrawny couch potato, basically. Um, but, uh, anyway. The, the, 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.
Latif Nasser: It's a story about, you know, sticking it to the establishment. It's a, it's a sports story, but it's, like, 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 Nasser: So the whole story starts with this guy, Greg Wyshynski.
Speaker 15: What are you guys talking about today?
Puck Daddy: Hockey stuff.
Speaker 15: Oh, sweet.
Latif Nasser: Greg is a hockey journalist.
Puck Daddy: Senior NHL writer for ESPN.
Latif Nasser: Known to his legions of fans, uh, as Puck Daddy.
Puck Daddy: (laughs). Yeah.
Latif Nasser: Is that a self-given name?
Puck Daddy: No.
Latif Nasser: He got it from his editor when he first started blogging about hockey.
Puck Daddy: The other option at the time was Zamboni Pony.
Latif Nasser: Oh.
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 Nasser: That's true. Right. But now-
Puck Daddy: I, I, I-
Latif Nasser: Yeah.
Puck Daddy: I have my notes. I am ready to roll now.
Latif Nasser: Okay. Well, let's just jump in then.
Puck Daddy: Yeah, so-
Speaker 17: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: Okay, so this is, uh, November 2015, uh, just a few months before the NHLs, you know, big mid-season spectacle.
Speaker 19: Welcome to Emily arena!
Latif Nasser: The All-Star Game.
Speaker 19: 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 Nasser: So this year, yet again the NHL-
Puck Daddy: For the hundredth time in the last 15 years-
Latif Nasser: ... was changing the format of the All-Star Game.
Speaker 20: This year, the Honda NHL All-Star Game features a three-on-three tournament consisting of four different teams, one from each division.
Latif Nasser: Hockey is typically five-on-five, three-on-three, however, is supposed to be like, you know, way more action, a lot more scoring, lot more fun. But for Greg and Jeff-
Jeff Merrick: [inaudible 00:06:29].
Latif Nasser: ... 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 Nasser: ... joke of a game.
Jeff Merrick: It's not a game. It makes a mockery of it, but the [inaudible 00:06:47].
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Butler gets a spot in the All-Star Game or whatever.
Latif Nasser: 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, 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 21: I just hope that everyone that somehow a collective, and maybe we can lead the charge here on this one.
Latif Nasser: 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 21: W- we need some-, we need someone in there who normally would not be in this game.
Latif Nasser: Like, as a joke, we should vote somebody in who just does not belong (singing). Hmm. And Greg's like-
Puck Daddy: I like that thought.
Latif Nasser: Okay. But who?
Puck Daddy: Who would fit the bill there?
Latif Nasser: And as Greg was thinking about it, he thought, “You'd all 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 Nasser: Couldn't really shoot, couldn't really handle the puck.
Puck Daddy: The slow guy with the bad hands.
Latif Nasser: Couldn't do anything.
Puck Daddy: Let's, let's, let's really, you know, drop a stink bomb in the room.
Latif Nasser: And then (singing) it hit him.
Puck Daddy: The perfect guy.
Latif Nasser: A Goliath of the league. John Scott.
Puck Daddy: Oh my gosh. John Scott All-Star.
Commentator: John Scott!
Latif Nasser: So John Scot-
Commentator: Scott is 6'8" and 270!
Latif Nasser: ... was a behemoth.
Commentator: Yeah. He cracks the ice-
Latif Nasser: He was the guy that would only play between like five and eight minutes a night.
Commentator: Josh Scott [inaudible 00:09:05]!
Latif Nasser: Couldn't really shoot.
Commentator: He missed.
Latif Nasser: Couldn't really skate.
Commentator: John Scott, [inaudible 00:09:10] in the corner [inaudible 00:09:11].
Latif Nasser: And on top of that, when John Scott was on the ice.
Commentator: [inaudible 00:09:14] Oh that's the way it. That's a cheap shot. That's unacceptable.
Latif Nasser: The only thing he was good at-
Commentator: It's pretty much all he can do.
Latif Nasser: ... was knocking other people senseless.
Commentator: There we go! Scott went after [inaudible 00:09:28] like, whoa this has brought something on.
Latif Nasser: In hockey terms.
Commentator: This guy is a Predator.
Latif Nasser: John Scott was what you would call-
Commentator: He can destroy-
Latif Nasser: ... an old fashioned goon.
Speaker 22: 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 (laughing).
Speaker 22: John Scott is the one (singing).
Latif Nasser: And what started there as a tiny joke between two guys on a podcast would end up wasting the fate and fortune of one of the most feared, loathed, punishing players in the National Hockey League (singing).
Speaker 23: Yeah.
Puck Daddy: You'd be quiet. Yeah.
Latif Nasser: Changed some things for his family too.
Puck Daddy: Be Soft.
John Scott: Hello?
Latif Nasser: Hey. Okay. I'm calling you from my cell phone. How's this?
John Scott: Oh, much better.
Latif Nasser: So this is John.
John Scott: Yeah, we're good. Morgan gave me the thumbs up.
Latif Nasser: All right, great.
Danielle: He knows.
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: No, that's cute. I love it.
John Scott: Okay, good.
Latif Nasser: 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, express it in this state, it's football, baseball in Canada. When you ask a seven-, eight-year-old, we, we do those projects in class, where do you want to be when you grow up?
John Scott: 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 everybody that was their big dream. So yeah.
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: (laughs).
John Scott: You just kept it on to save time (laughs). So I don't know if-
Latif Nasser: 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. And um, when you're young and you're that tall, you have zero, zero coordination.
Latif Nasser: 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 of... Sorry, my daughter just started playing the piano beside us. Um-
Latif Nasser: Yeah. Um.
Amy Pearl: Is he okay with it?
Latif Nasser: Um.
John Scott: Are you okay with the piano Latif?
Amy Pearl: [inaudible 00:12:14].
John Scott: (laughs). I'll get her off the piano.
Latif Nasser: Okay. Yeah, that'd be great. Sorry.
John Scott: (laughs). It's cute for a little bit.
Latif Nasser: (laughs).
Amy Pearl: That last question.
John Scott: [inaudible 00:12:21]. All right, we're good.
Latif Nasser: Thanks (laughs). Thanks.
Amy Pearl: [inaudible 00:12:25].
John Scott: Yeah.
Latif Nasser: Um, so you... Oh yeah. Um, so, well there's something you said that you, uh-
John Scott: Here, let me, let me put her to bed, one second. Sorry about this. I'm gonna throw her upstairs in her room.
Latif Nasser: 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.
Amy Pearl: [inaudible 00:12:47] Is that okay?
John Scott: Yeah. [inaudible 00:12:48] She's just saying a little squirly. Good questions there, Latif, are you from Mississauga?
Latif Nasser: Yeah, I'm from Mississauga.
John Scott: So you're in Boston, New York now or no? [crosstalk 00:13:00].
Latif Nasser: No, so, so. Yeah, I'm calling you from Boston. My cell phone is Boston. I, my job is in New York, but I actually live in LA.
John Scott: Oh, wow. You're just like all over, now.
Latif Nasser: Yeah, I'm well not, I mean, I feel like compared to you, you've been all over the map for real.
John Scott: (laughs). All right. Let me put her right here. You go [inaudible 00:13:18]. All right. Now, she's done. Perfect.
Amy Pearl: [crosstalk 00:13:22].
Latif Nasser: Oh my God. What kind of kid do you have? You can put her down so easily.
John Scott: Um, she's like the best kid ever. It's great. I don't know how we lucked out with her, but she was on number five and we needed that.
Latif Nasser: (laughs).
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 here.
Latif Nasser: Okay. We're back. We're back. We're back. Okay. Okay. So to jump back in. Uh, 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 Nasser: For John, there was just no interests. 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 Nasser: But then a couple of things happen first.
Danielle: At school, I kind of always noticed him-
Latif Nasser: He met Danielle.
Danielle: ... because he was about two feet taller than anybody else on campus.
Latif Nasser: They were both engineering students, started dating senior year.
Danielle: You know, we kind of hit things off, and the rest was history.
Latif Nasser: And the other thing that happened was-
John Scott: I got this opportunity to go play for the Houston Aeros; Minnesota farm team.
Latif Nasser: A minor league team.
John Scott: It wasn't crazy money. It was 30,000 or 35,000.
Latif Nasser: He talked to Danielle about it.
Danielle: He was like, um, well let me give this hockey thing like a go.
Latif Nasser: 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 headstart. And then once I graduate, like we'll both get our jobs, like our real jobs and move on with our lives (singing).
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: "... 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 I, that's what happened (singing). So for those of you who don't follow hockey too much, I have guys on my team-
Commentator: [inaudible 00:16:10] Great move [inaudible 00:16:12] scores.
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.
Commentator: He scores.
John Scott: But there are also guys out there-
Speaker 26: They are the ugly children of the NHL.
John Scott: ... who their job is to-
Speaker 26: They are instigators, aggravators.
John Scott: ... pester, annoy and we call them the rats, the pets.
Latif Nasser: And you can hear these guys like when they're Mic'd up-
Speaker 27: How are you even here? Like, 10 guys here right now!
Latif Nasser: ... running their mouth.
Speaker 27: What are you doing out here?
Latif Nasser: They try to get under this star players skin.
Speaker 28: The ugliest guy in the league. Ugliest.
Latif Nasser: They'll jab and poke at these star players, but sometime-
Commentator: Oh, hit right in the head.
Latif Nasser: They'll use their stick to hack at them or they'll check them into the ball.
Commentator: Oh, that's an awful move. I mean, what's that?
Jad Abumrad: They'll train [inaudible 00:16:58].
Latif Nasser: What is that, I mean the fuck is nowhere. The fuck is-
Jad Abumrad: 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.
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 (singing)-
Commentator: Oh, we've got a fight.
John Scott: ... beat them up and-
Commentator: As a hockey player-
John Scott: ... I was a heck of a fighter. When I made it to NHL.
Commentator: ... John Scott can really punch people. And Scott [inaudible 00:17:44] with a right hand. Oh Jeez.
Latif Nasser: So John would take care of the pest.
John Scott: If they wouldn't fight.
Commentator: It's two, three, four.
John Scott: I would usually grab their tough guy-
Commentator: Two big boys and this is what they do best.
John Scott: ... and beat him up.
Commentator: Scott's got [inaudible 00:17:58].
John Scott: If we were playing flat and we didn't have energy-
Commentator: Big John Scott tried to spark his team.
John Scott: ... I would go out and try to fight to get my guys going-
Commentator: Oh, that one just [inaudible 00:18:07].
John Scott: ... or if it was a really bad hit, I would just grab that guy and I would-
Commentator: Oh, that's a [inaudible 00:18:11].
John Scott: ... beat his doors off.
Commentator: Ooh! Ooh! He's absolutely [inaudible 00:18:15] 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 I, I think I did my job well.
Commentator: 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 Nasser: So by this point, Danielle and John had gotten married.
Danielle: You know, we had bought our first house.
Latif Nasser: Soon after had their first two kids.
Danielle: It was just so beyond anything we, or I ever expected.
Latif Nasser: 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 um, so-
Latif Nasser: 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, uh, there was this shift going on in professional hockey.
Commentator: Just an incredible, incredible play.
Latif Nasser: A lot of the hockey establishment, and the media, execs in the league, we're pushing for the game to be more high scoring.
Commentator: Dazzling move!
Latif Nasser: To be more about skill and speed.
Commentator: Unbelievable goal.
Latif Nasser: 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.
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."
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.
Speaker 30: 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 Nasser: Which is one of the reasons why.
Puck Daddy: Oh my God, John Scott All-Star. Oh-
Latif Nasser: 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: Um, so I'll, I'll just do the whole, the, the big point that-
Latif Nasser: Do it. Do it.
John Scott: I was, we were on the road, and we were on the bus heading to a game or a pregame skate.
Latif Nasser: It was December 2015 John was playing for the Arizona Coyotes.
John Scott: And a guy on my team [inaudible 00:20:31] Lindback our, our, our goalie. 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.
John Scott: So that's how I first heard of it on the bus. So we go to the, we go to the rink, we do our skate. Literally, after the skate, and 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.
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 m-
News Anchor: John Scott, the enforcer for the Arizona Coyotes-
John Scott: Mega story.
News Anchor: Arizona's John Scott is leading the NHL.
John Scott: It was unbelievable how quickly it grew.
News Anchor: John Scott, number one.
News Anchor: The number one vote getter among all players in the NHL.
Latif Nasser: Which meant that John would be-
News Anchor: An All-Star Game captain.
Latif Nasser: ... a team captain at the All-Star Game.
News Anchor: Let that sink in for a second.
Latif Nasser: 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 32: Oh Yeah, Oh really. Well, we're going to make our votes count then.
Latif Nasser: Here's Johnny. But, I think, for a majority of voters voting for John.
Speaker 33: Let's be honest-
Latif Nasser: It was just really simple.
Speaker 33: ... the reason John Scott's leading the voting is because he's funny.
Speaker 34: John Scott is not an All-Star.
Speaker 35: He has one goal over eight games. He barely plays-
Latif Nasser: 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 36: Arizona Coyote's goon.
Latif Nasser: ... ogre.
Speaker 36: Fighter with no skills-
Speaker 37: Objectively bad at hockey (laughs).
Speaker 38: I don't know what he's doing in the league.
Latif Nasser: ... 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 Nasser: And as for the NHL.
John Scott: 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 Nasser: 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?
John Scott: 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, um, 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 failsafes in place to prevent it from happening.
Latif Nasser: After one day of John Sitting on top of the All-Star vote.
John Scott: We're just like lying in bed. The kids are sleeping-
Latif Nasser: 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 wanting to go to bed, but then, you know, I can tell something's just got him stewing over there, and it was his, uh, 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 Nasser: 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 I- I watched all the All-Star Games. It was so fun to watch, and I- I would dream to be in it. So 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 Nasser: 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 the, the higher ups to hopefully help them.
Latif Nasser: But even after that, it was still, John's got 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 (laughs).
Latif Nasser: It's like you broke the website.
John Scott: Yeah. And so they, they took that away. And then the NHL, they really tried to strangle me.
Latif Nasser: Oh yeah. What happened there?
John Scott: Um, 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, um, "You think you'll be able to keep up? You think you're good enough?"
John Scott: 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, "I, I can skate pretty well. I'm a good decent hockey player." And he goes, "Well, you know what, what do you... have you talked to your dad? What do you think..."
John Scott: 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, um, "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?"
John Scott: And as soon as he brought my kids into the equation (singing) 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 (laughs) 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, I left it like that.
Latif Nasser: 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." (singing).
Jad Abumrad: After the break. We'll see you at the game.
Robert Krulwich: Maybe we will.
Jad Abumrad: Yeah, maybe.
Robert Krulwich: Maybe not. I-
Jad Abumrad: Maybe not. Yeah.
Robert Krulwich: Mmh.
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 Abumrad: Three, two, one, Jad.
Robert Krulwich: Robert.
Jad Abumrad: Radiolab.
Robert Krulwich: Back to hockey.
Jad Abumrad: And reporter, Latif Nasser.
Latif Nasser: 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: And talking to me all the time throughtout 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."
John Scott: And I was like, "Are you effing kidding me? What?" And he's like, "Yeah, it was a hockey move. Uh, we, you know, we, we needed a little defensive help and, uh, 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 once." 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 the, it's fishy.
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: "You're in the minor leagues now."
John Scott: "Goes through the trainer, get your stuff ready, you're leaving today." (singing).
Latif Nasser: 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 and like found somewhere in the rink. I called my wife-
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: He tells her, "we're in the miners 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 Nasser: It is North America's eastern-most city.
Danielle: Like, you could not go further from where I'm at right now and still be on this content (laughs).
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, um, “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.
Latif Nasser: (laughs).
John Scott: And um, I jumped in the car, packed up my shit, and um, went to St John's.
Speaker 40: Y- you want to talk about John Scott. So we need and have the debate.
Don Sherry: No, I guess so.
Speaker 40: The floor is yours.
Don Sherry: Quiet.
Latif Nasser: Canadian legend Don Sherry on the hit TV show Hockey Night in Canada.
Don Sherry: Anyhow, you jerks that put him up for, to 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. I's an Arizona NHL contract. What you did was you're talking putting him in the minors now. Lots of funny.
Don Sherry: I bet you're very proud of yourself because the NHL this year is going to be terrific and you're going, you 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.
John Scott: I saw this news hit and my first reaction was, you have got to be kidding me.
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: But was there part of you who was like, “Oh my God, like I, 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 I was like, “You guys ruined my career, this sucks.” 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 Nasser: 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, 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 Nasser: Now, whatever you think about the initial prank or John being demoted, this is the moment Greg says when the crowd mood (singing) totally shifted.
Speaker 42: Complete outrage. This is trash, like complete outrage. This is garbage. I'm not going to go about it, uh, on a rant about democracy.
Latif Nasser: It became protests online-
Speaker 42: This is a lousy thing to do.
Latif Nasser: ... 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 42: 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, like, you think about all these things.
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: Oh, wow.
Puck Daddy: ... of fans out the, outside the arena holding a rally because John Scott was snubbed.
Latif Nasser: And according to Greg, hockey fans are notorious for throwing jerseys onto the ice in protest causing scenes-
Puck Daddy: And, uh, and eventually 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 Nasser: 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 bogus, like I don't want to do this."
Latif Nasser: 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. (singing) Let's do it.” (singing).
Commentator: Very impressive here in Nashville, not only-
Latif Nasser: January 31st 2016.
John Scott: Nashville was a complete circus. It was unbelievable. I was obviously the big story. So the moment I land, there's reporters everywhere. Asked me questions.
Latif Nasser: 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 stuck because they had all the Stars players on our team.
Latif Nasser: Players like-
Commentator: Matt Duchene!
Latif Nasser: Matt Duchene.
Commentator: James Neal!
Latif Nasser: 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.” (laughs).
Danielle: Everything is buzzing (singing).
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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.
Commentator: Pekka Rinne in goal. What a Central.
Latif Nasser: Ref drops the puck.
Commentator: Dragged on by [inaudible 00:36:58].
Latif Nasser: Right away, 26 seconds into the game.
Commentator: [inaudible 00:37:01] scores.
Latif Nasser: John's team goes down to 1 - 0.
Commentator: It was an early 1 - 0 lead. And how about the hands and the play making of Matt Duchene right there of the Colorado Avalanche, it's brilliant [inaudible 00:37:15] for James Neal.
Puck Daddy: 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.
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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 Nasser: Drops it.
John Scott: Once the puck drops (singing) you just kind of, you know, everything 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 you, you know, you just start playing. And that's what I did.
Latif Nasser: This time, John's team took possession of the puck.
Commentator: [inaudible 00:38:25] Brent Burns.
John Scott: Brenzy had the puck. And we're going up the ice.
Latif Nasser: John and his teammates charge across center ice. They move into their opponent zone. When-
Commentator: John Scott, 6'8" is all.
Latif Nasser: 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.
Commentator: John Scott's out of the corner-
Latif Nasser: Will he miss this nice little backhand pass?
Commentator: [inaudible 00:38:52].
John Scott: Brenzy had the puck on the right wing and all of a sudden I noticed-
Latif Nasser: Between two of the defenders there's this nice little lane right to the net.
John Scott: I went to the net.
Commentator: Burns [inaudible 00:39:00].
Latif Nasser: Burns spotted John.
John Scott: And he put the puck right on my stick.
Latif Nasser: 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.
Commentator: [inaudible 00:39:12 Scott.
John Scott: And I missed the net.
Latif Nasser: Like a, like a wide open net.
John Scott: But the goalie was luckily sliding back into position.
Latif Nasser: And so the puck hit the goalie, bounced off the goalie and-
Latif Nasser: Into the back of the net.
Commentator: ... scores! John Scott (laughs). 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 cause everybody booed me and they, they, they were all for it.
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 cause I was like, “Okay, I did something for the team. I didn't mess up.”
Danielle: He's going to relax and have fun (singing) just like be himself and play.
Latif Nasser: Which he did (singing).
Commentator: Former teammate [inaudible 00:40:29].
Latif Nasser: He laid out this guy Patrick Kane.
Commentator: Wow! [inaudible 00:40:40] at All-Star Game in years was laid out by Scott [inaudible 00:40:40] leading scorer.
Latif Nasser: And then the two of them-
Commentator: Holy Molly!
Latif Nasser: ... dropped their glove-
Commentator: It's Scott and Kane.
Latif Nasser: ... pretended to have a fight.
Commentator: That's awesome. [inaudible 00:40:49].
Latif Nasser: He got a couple of nice passes.
Commentator: A save made by Rinne.
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: 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.
Commentator: 6:50 to go in the game. If tied, a shoot out-
Latif Nasser: 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-
Commentator: [inaudible 00:41:55] to the front Neal.
John Scott: Their team shot it.
Commentator: Nice move! And a save is made by [inaudible 00:42:00].
John Scott: We had a save and Burns, he got the puck behind the net-
Commentator: Cut of by Brent Burns-
John Scott: And I just blew the zone. I skated to the zone as fast as I could cause I knew he was going to get it. He saw me up the middle and he-
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.
Commentator: Scott pursuit.
John Scott: If I had someone hounding me-
Latif Nasser: but John 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 at top corner on the goalie.
John Scott: And it went in (singing).
Commentator: He's got two!
John Scott: (laughs). It was amazing.
Latif Nasser: 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?"
John Scott: (laughs).
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."
Latif Nasser: 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 (laughs).
Speaker 43: Scottie, just get us out of here. [inaudible 00:43:36].
Latif Nasser: Where it looks like the Enterprise is going to get away having defeated Khan, but Khan is still alive.
Khan: The game is not over.
Latif Nasser: And he's going to try to trigger the doomsday device on his ship to kill everybody (laughs). And so as, as the, as the, the Enterprise is flying away, you see a bloodied Khan say-
Khan: From hell's heart, I stab at thee.
Latif Nasser: Hell's heart. I stab at thee.
Khan: For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee.
Latif Nasser: And I thought of that scene when the voting for most valuable player at the All-Star Game starts. 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-
Commentator: It will be coming up shortly.
Latif Nasser: 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
Commentator: Ladies and gentlemen, it is now time to award the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star MVP Award as decided why you.
John Scott: The fans saw that I wasn't on there and they went nuts, they started to boo 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 them.
Latif Nasser: 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.
Commentator: The 2016 Honda NHL All-Star MVP scored two goals in the tournament and [inaudible 00:46:12] 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't, I didn't hear it until like somebody who's like, “Hey, like go and like get your trophy. And I was like, “Oh, oh weird."
Latif Nasser: 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.
Commentator: John Scott is with Pierre.
Pierre: Thanks a lot [inaudible 00:46:40]. 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?
John Scott: Just thank you so much. You guys have just blown me away. I love this city and thank you so much.
Latif Nasser: And in what was the teary-eyed Disney family sports film moment-
Pierre: Well, your team won $1 million, how are planning on spreading it around?
John Scott: It's gonna go 100 part to me and then they're gonna to take the rest.., Hey, whoa, whoa.
Latif Nasser: He was hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates and paraded around like he was a Rudy. Greatest sports movie ever (singing).
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 partying the seats so I could get down there.
John Scott: My, my kids 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, we were 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 Nasser: And as they came off the ice, there were crowds of people waiting, asked them questions, take pictures with them.
John Scott: Um, but we had a flight the next morning at like 5:00 AM.
Latif Nasser: 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 Nasser: Oh my God.
John Scott: Yeah. (singing).
Danielle: I feel like that was really the beginning of the rest of our lives.
Latif Nasser: 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 is 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.
Latif Nasser: 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 (singing).
Jad Abumrad: Reporter, Latif Nasser. This episode was produced by Mr. Matt Kielty and fact-checked by Diane Kelly.
Robert Krulwich: 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 Abumrad: (laughs). And in this episode we had a lot of original music from, uh, John Dryden, the Oh Sees, Weedeater and, uh, Bongzilla.
Robert Krulwich: And last special thanks to Morgan Springer, Faizal Khamisa, and Ben Hankinson.
Jad Abumrad: And, uh, I think that's it.
Robert Krulwich: That's it. That's it. That's what we got to do today.
Jad Abumrad: Yeah. Let's get out of here.
Robert Krulwich: Okay.
Jad Abumrad: I'm Jad Abumrad.
Robert Krulwich: I'm Robert Krulwich.
Jad Abumrad: Thanks for listening.
Robert Krulwich: Good luck (singing).
Matt Kielty: 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: [inaudible 00:51:09].
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: [Trainapo 00:51:23].
Eva Scott: Becca Bressler.
Gabriella: Lisa [inaudible 00:51:26].
Eva Scott: Rachel Cusick.
Gabriella: [inaudible 00:51:28].
Eva Scott: David Gebel.
Gabriella: [inaudible 00:51:34].
Eva Scott: [inaudible 00:51:34].
Gabriella: Tracie Hunte.
John Scott: Matt Kielty.
Eva Scott: Matt Kielty.
Gabriella: [inaudible 00:51:38].
Eva Scott: [inaudible 00:51:39].
Gabriella: Annie McEwen.
Eva Scott: Latif Nasser.
Gabriella: Malissa O'Donnell.
Eva Scott: Alex [inaudible 00:51:46].
Gabriella: Sarah Qari.
Eva Scott: [inaudible 00:51:46].
Gabriella: Arianne Wack.
Eva Scott: Pat Walters.
Gabriella: And Molly Webster.
John Scott: With help from.
Eva Scott: Shima Oliaee.
Gabriella: And [Nowlisha 00:52:00].
John Scott: Our fact checker is Michelle [inaudible 00:52:03].
Eva Scott: Good bye.
Gabriella: Good bye.
Matt Kielty: End of message.