Let's be very clear, the slightly complicated low-impact deal Friday involving the Nashville Predators, Arizona Coyotes and Montreal Canadiens would have slipped by with only the slightest arching of eyebrows were it not for the fact that the deals included the captain of the Pacific Division All-Star team, John Scott.
Certainly, the Coyotes are interested in the possibilities of jump-starting the career of former first-round draft pick Jarred Tinordi, who couldn't make it in Montreal. And the Canadiens got another defenseman, Victor Bartley, who started the day a part of the Nashville organization, while minor-leaguer Stefan Fournier went to Arizona along with Tinordi in the deal. Nashville ended up with defenseman Stefan Elliott.
It is fair to suggest none of these players will have a meaningful impact anytime soon, if at all, on their new teams.
But the move throws even more uncertainty and intrigue into the already murky, byzantine workings of the All-Star proceedings and Scott's role in the annual midseason shindig: he was sent to the AHL by the Habs after the trade and might not be called back up. If he's not recalled by the Habs, he won't be eligible for the All-Star Game.
The league announced after the trades that it is reviewing what impact the deal would have on the Pacific Division roster. A decision likely won't come until next week.
Rest assured that Scott, who received more votes than any other player in the fan voting part of the roster-selection process, will not replace anyone on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster if the Canadiens call him up.
But will he -- or should he -- hold on to his place as the captain of the Pacific?
Given that he had no business being at the All-Star Game to begin with, this opens the door to correct the fans' funny/not-quite-funny campaign to make a marginal player the focus of All-Star voting. Certainly, Shane Doan and/or top rookie Max Domi would be obvious replacements for Scott, as no other Coyote was named to the Pacific Division team and both are forwards.
The Coyotes’ best player, Oliver Ekman-Larsson, still looks to be shut out of the event given that he’s a defenseman, unless the NHL is prepared to really shake up the previously announced rosters. As one league official noted Friday afternoon, "lots of moving parts."
Still, it would also make sense for the league to invite Scott to attend the proceedings in Nashville, Tennessee, regardless of the trade. In fact, ESPN.com was told the NHL initially offered Scott an out from being a participant in the skills competition and in the 3-on-3 tournament by allowing him to attend as though he was an injured player, meeting with the media and attending the related events but not going onto the ice. Scott declined, saying he wanted to be a full participant.