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NHL essentially establishes ‘John Scott Rule’ for 2017 NHL All-Star Game fan vote

More like the No Hilarity League.

NHL: All Star Game Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, remember when the fans voted John Scott into the All-Star Game and it became this whole thing?

It won’t happen again this year. Or, at least, the NHL has officially tried to make that the case. On Monday, the league announced the fan vote (and the 3-on-3 format) would return for the 2017 NHL All-Star Game.

But the vote will change this year. Last year, fans could nominate any player in the league. This year, there are eligibility rules (emphasis mine):

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 (AHL) or any other minor league team between Nov. 1 and 5 p.m. ET 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.

As you’ll recall fans began voting noted grinder and unremarkable player John Scott as the captain for the Pacific Division team last year. And it worked. So well that he was officially named captain.

And then he was conveniently traded to the Canadiens soon after and stashed in the American Hockey League. The league eventually caved, let him play and claimed that was the plan all along. Right.

Now rules are in place that this won’t be an issue they have to deal with going forward. Even though John Scott’s appearance at the All-Star Game was the most heart-warming thing to grab national headlines for the NHL in years. This is fine, though.

The 2017 All-Star Weekend will be held in Los Angeles on the weekend of Jan. 27. Fan voting begins on Dec. 1. Both will surely still be can’t-miss events that even casual and new NHL fans will remember for years.