Don Maloney admits he considered not making the Jarred Tinordi trade until after the All-Star Game, but says there’s “no way” he would intentionally bury John Scott in AHL so he couldn’t go.
“We have (the maximum) 23 players on our roster,” the Coyotes’ general manager said Saturday. “Someone had to go. When you look at our lineup, he made the most sense. To suggest that this was part of us not wanting him in All-Star, or to be working in the NHL…I’m dumbfounded by that.
“We wanted Tinordi, we think our coaching staff can work with him.”
Scott, voted an All-Star captain by the fans, was dealt to Montreal with Victor Bartley in the Tinordi transaction, a trade that also involved Nashville, Stefan Elliott and Stefan Fournier. He’s signed to a one-way contract, so he’s paid his full $575,000 in the AHL. No doubt budget-conscious Arizona wanted to avoid that. Fournier’s AHL salary is in the neighbourhood of $50,000.
What’s interesting is Maloney admitted the Coyotes thought about waiting.
“We did. But, things can change. What if someone else is interested? What if he gets hurt? You can’t take the chance.”
After I spoke to Maloney, two sources indicated there were a couple other teams looking at Tinordi. Montreal GM Marc Bergevin clearly decided it was time to end this standoff.
Whatever you think of Scott’s selection, the nastiness emanating from this trade really is something. Scott, who apparently has not yet decided whether or not to step away from the game, is angry he’s been sent so far away from his wife, who is expecting twins in the next few weeks. Who knows, maybe the Canadiens let him stay home.
Maloney also admitted he met with Scott a couple of times about participating.
“I wanted to ask him if he was sure,” the GM said. “If it was five-on-five, there’d be no problem. But it’s three-on-three, which is much different. He really wanted to play. It became important to him, something he wanted to do.”
According to a couple of sources, the NHL offered Scott’s family a free trip to the game — the ability to participate in the weekend without play. It was rejected. What’s uncertain is if that offer still exists. (The league has not commented.) It’s also uncertain if the league added other incentives, such as a winner’s share of the All-Star money or another family vacation at another time.
The other unknown is how the conversations with the league went. We know the NHL was not successful in getting him to step away, but there have been rumours those talks did not go well at all. Scott, suspended three times, losing almost $80,000 in salary, may not have been too inclined to listen.
It’s ugly, and everyone’s emotional right now, which makes it a harder fix. But, a solution, if I may:
Invite him to the weekend, heck make it a secret, so it’s a surprise. Enjoy the awesome city of NashVegas and take selfies with anyone who wants. Let him (and his family) come out on the ice wearing a Pacific Division captain’s jersey. Get an ovation.
Then, pull out another jersey and say, “Thank you very much for your support. Now, I’m going to enjoy the weekend while watching captain Drew Doughty/Mark Giordano/Corey Perry/Daniel Sedin lead the Pacific Division to three-on-three glory.”
Let’s end a needlessly ugly situation with a lighter touch.