Scott scored two goals in the Pacific's first game of the three-on-three All-Star tournament and captained the division to a 1-0 win over the Atlantic in the championship game.
On Jan. 15, the Arizona Coyotes traded Scott to the Montreal Canadiens, who immediately demoted him to the club’s AHL affiliate, bringing his All-Star eligibility into question.
He has only one point this season, an assist, and hasn’t played in an NHL game since Dec. 31.
Yet he found his way into the game via fan vote and brought the Nashville crowd to its feet, riding off on his teammates' shoulders while grinning ear to ear. NHL on NBC captured the moment:
Scott—who has just five goals in 285 career games—tipped in the Pacific’s first score 47 seconds into the second game on a pass from former teammate and current San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns.
He notched his second against hometown Predators goalie Pekka Rinne 3:27 into the second period, giving the Pacific a 5-3 lead.
On Thursday, the longtime fan favorite wrote on the Players Tribune that the league pressured him to not play in the game:
If the league thought this was an embarrassment, pretty much all of the players I’ve encountered have thought otherwise. I’ve gotten texts from so many guys saying the same thing: “You should go.”
And that didn’t happen because of the internet. I busted my ass to be one of them.
Yet Scott took the high road when NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman greeted him Sunday, per Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.com:
John Scott says Bettman at center ice told him: "I'm proud of you." Scott says he has no ill-will toward the commissioner.— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) February 1, 2016
Montreal's personnel needs will dictate whether Scott suits up for the Canadiens this year, but he made his case for a return to the NHL with a performance that captivated hockey fans worldwide.
The All-Star Game may be an exhibition, but it still offers memorable performances, such as Scott’s on Sunday.