01/19/2016 12:07 EST | Updated 01/19/2017 00:12 EST

NHL says tough guy John Scott will captain Pacific Team in all-star game

NEW YORK — NHL tough guy John Scott will play in the league's all-star game, even though he's currently in the minors.

The NHL says he will captain the Pacific Division team in the Jan. 31 game.

Scott has just five goals, six assists and 542 penalty minutes in 285 NHL games but he was elected by fans to play in the all-star game.

He was traded from Arizona to Montreal on Friday and immediately assigned to the American Hockey League, making his eligibility for the NHL's showcase event unclear.

Fans angry about the prospect of Scott not being allowed to play in the game took to social media over the weekend, creating a FreeJohnScott hashtag.

The NHL says Scott's move to a different division and his minor league assignment "created a unique circumstance that required review."

Scott says he's "looking forward to enjoying a fun and unique experience" during the all-star weekend in Nashville, adding that being elected an all-star wasn't something he expected.


The Canadian Press