Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Newfoundland's AHL Team Enjoying the Buzz around John Scott's All-Star Story

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Newfoundland's AHL Team Enjoying the Buzz around John Scott's All-Star Story

Article excerpt

Scott's story a boon for St. John's IceCaps

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TORONTO - John Scott's cross-continent journey has turned into an unexpected boon for the St. John's IceCaps.

The American Hockey League franchise has seen a substantial uptick in social media attention and media requests thanks to Scott's highly publicized appearance at the NHL all-star game.

"It's been pretty crazy, I dare say pretty unprecedented for our team to get this much play," said IceCaps director of communications David Salter.

He said the attention around Scott has put the IceCaps, and the city of St. John's, on the map for those who may have been previously unfamiliar with the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Salter knew a "storm" was coming when Scott, the fans' ironic choice to captain one of four all-star teams, was traded from the Arizona Coyotes to Montreal in mid-January, then promptly assigned to St. John's. Like many, he wondered if the NHL was simply trying to prevent the player who scored five goals in 285 career NHL games from playing in the showcase event.

"It was a story no matter what happened," Salter said.

The hype grew when Scott stole the show Sunday in Nashville, earning all-star MVP honours.

The IceCaps' Twitter account was swamped with fans requesting they change their handle to the St. John Scott IceCaps. The team finally relented, posting "Ok, you win."

Salter said demand for T-shirts and jerseys has increased, while American sports broadcasting giant ESPN is among those flooding the team with media requests.

Scott has played in only two home games for St. John's thus far, but Salter said fans are clamouring to see him. It could be a boost in the stands for St. John's, which averages nearly 6,000 fans per game, 11th-best in the AHL.

"People have very quickly adopted him here," Salter said.

The surge in attention has also been positive for Scott, who is playing on his fourth consecutive one-year contract.

He hoped his unlikely all-star experience might open a few doors, and it appears it has. Scott has received a couple books offers and there is even potential for a movie, according to his agent Ben Hankinson.

Fans also took to social media Monday, suggesting the struggling Canadiens call up the enforcer. …

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