The Coyotes' stunning trade of All-Star captain John Scott to the Canadiens for square peg defenseman Jarred Tinordi was clearly intended to avoid embarrassment.
YKNOW CAN SOMEONE EXPLAIN HOW MONTREAL CAN TRADE FER AN ALL STAR FORWARD AND ALL THEY GAVE UP WAS A GUY THEY WERENT EVEN PLAYIN????— Don Cherry Parody (@DonCherryParody) January 15, 2016
If only the deal were half as glamorous as the fake Grapes makes it sound.
The All-Star was fan selection John Scott, who was sent to the Habs along with defenseman Stefan Elliott in exchange for 2010 first round pick Jarred Tinordi and forward Stefan Fournier. Not long after, Elliott was flipped by the Canadiens to Nashville in exchange for defenseman Victory Bartley.
Once you get past the multi-player complications and surface gloss, there’s not much meat on this bone. It’s basically three teams swapping players they can’t, or won’t, use.
Scott, by virtue of his internet-rigged All-Star bid, will draw all the attention. Tinordi, though, is the most intriguing figure in the deal. The 23-year-old has the size (6' 6", 230 pounds) and toughness that teams crave, but his limited foot speed and hockey sense doomed him to the lower reaches of Montreal’s depth chart. He watched all but three games this season from the press box and showed little in them to suggest that he deserved another chance.
Ideally, he would have been sent to the minors to enhance his game, but that would have required exposing him on waivers, where he certainly would have been lost.
That the Habs were able to get something for the asset, and gain roster flexibility in the process, suggests GM Marc Bergevin maximized his return.
Tinordi now gets the fresh start he wanted, and a chance to get his game in order while playing with a young team that might be more patient with his mistakes. The upside is entirely with the Coyotes.
Elliott fills an organizational hole for Nashville. The right-handed defenseman can be slotted into the third pairing role that opened up with the trade of Seth Jones to Columbus.
Bartley gives the Canadiens the organizational depth they need in case of injury but he’s also someone who is liable to clear waivers if he needs to be shipped down.
The same is true of Scott, who is destined for the same type of spot duty he saw in Arizona, and can be moved safely to AHL Hamilton if there is a need for a roster spot.
The big question now: What does this mean for Scott’s participation in the All-Star Game?
There is a precedent for him to represent the Pacific Division as planned. Defenseman Sandis Ozolinish was selected to play for Team East in the 2003 All-Star Game as a representative of the host Florida Panthers, but was traded to the Western Conference Anaheim Ducks just ahead of the event. He skipped the Skills Competition rather than wear a Panthers jersey (he was fined for his decision) but played for the East in the actual game. So we shouldn't be surprised if Scott shows up in Nashville at the end of the month, continuing one of the season’s bizarre sagas.
Or they could simply tell him he's no longer welcome. And that appears to be the way things are leaning
TSN's Bob McKenzie is reporting that the league already asked Scott to bow out at least once before and suggests this trade/demotion might take care of the embarrassment caused by Scott's election.
John Scott was previously asked by both NHL and Arizona Coyotes to bow out of NHL All-Star Game. He refused. Trade likely takes care of that— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 15, 2016
At this point, even if Scott isn't deemed ineligible by NHL, he would almost certainly bow out of ASG on his own.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) January 15, 2016
Either way, this story is far from over.