NHL’s new All-Star rules prevent another John Scott

John Scott addresses the new rules regarding the NHL All-Star vote, and explains why he actually thinks they are a good idea.

The feel-good John Scott tale that dominated headlines at the 2016 NHL All-Star Game will not be repeated.

The underdog hero, who landed a spot in the mid-season showcase via overwhelming fan support, would not have qualified to participate had the 2017 regulations been in place last season.

The National Hockey League and its Players’ Association released its balloting guidelines Monday. Eligible players must be on a NHL roster as of Nov. 1 and cannot be sent to the American Hockey League by Jan. 26.

Scott captained the Pacific Division to victory at the 2016 3-on-3 tournament despite playing for the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps at the time.

The 2017 All-Star Tournament, to be held Jan. 29 in Los Angeles, will assume the same 3-on-3 format as it did last winter in Nashville.

Three 20-minute games will feature star players from four teams divided by divisional lines. Each team will be made up of 11 players: six forwards, three defencemen and two goaltenders.

Fans will again determine the four all-star captains — regardless of position — by vote, so we could see another movement to elect a role player. He must be a legitimate NHLer, though.

The remaining 40 all-stars will be named by NHL Hockey Operations.

Here, in detail, are the player eligibility guidelines for the 2017 NHL all-star fan vote:

• The 2017 NHL all-star fan vote will allow fans to vote for one all-star player from each Division, without regard to position. The top vote-getter from each division will be named an NHL all-star, as well as captain of his respective team.

• Eligible players must be on an NHL club’s active roster as of Nov. 1. Any player not on the active roster on that date due to injury or special circumstances can be added to the ballot if / when he returns to the NHL club’s active roster.

• If a player is assigned / loaned to the American Hockey League or any other minor league team between Nov. 1 and 5 p.m. on Jan. 26, the player is not eligible in all-star balloting. However, if the minor league assignment / loan is due to conditioning reasons, the player remains eligible.

• In the event a vote leader is disqualified due to a minor league assignment or loan (or other reason) after close of the NHL all-star fan vote on Jan. 2, the player with the second-most votes in that division will be named captain.

• Fans will be permitted to vote for a player from a list of all players that meet these eligibility guidelines. The list of eligible players will be updated as players are assigned to a minor league team or return from IR.

Voting for the All-Star Game opens Dec. 1.

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