A little-known left-winger who major-league hockey fans recently voted as team captain for the upcoming all-star game has been sent to the minors in Canada, a move that may disqualify him from the upcoming NHL match.

John Scott, 33, has scored just 11 points in eight seasons. But in what's been called an online joke, fans voted him as their choice to lead the Pacific Division team for this year's upcoming NHL all-star game.

Known for his tough-guy demeanour and tendency to brawl on the ice, the 6-foot-8 enforcer’s quick rise to fame may be cut short.

On Friday Scott was traded from the Coyotes to the Montreal Canadiens, where he was promptly shipped off to the St. John's IceCaps, an AHL minor league team.

It’s unclear if the trade renders Scott ineligible to play as captain in the all-star game in Nashville on Jan. 31. The NHL has not released a statement on the matter.

On Sunday, the all-star website still listed Scott as the Pacific Division team captain.

The player himself says he isn’t quite sure what to expect.

“I don’t know what the position is or … where anybody stands right now. It’s still kind of up in the air,” Scott told CTV News on Sunday.

The hashtag “FreeJohnScott” has since surfaced on social media, with fans rallying behind the unlikely favourite.

Some hockey observers argue that Scott earned his team captain position fair and square.

“According to the rules that the NHL set up, in that the fans are allowed to vote from whoever they want, he had every right to go,” said Marcy Di Michele, a writer and editor with The Hockey Writers.

Scott says he was delighted to be voted as team captain. He even made tongue-in-cheek shirts for his all-star teammates, thanking them “for always believing in me.”

The shirts are signed “Love always, The Captain.”

Now, with Scott’s future on the all-star team unclear, he’s not sure what he’ll do with the shirts.

“I thought it would be a fun little thing to give to my guys on the team. But I don’t know, I’ll probably just send them back,” Scott said.

The move to Newfoundland has likely been challenging for Scott. His wife is currently pregnant with twins and was unable to make the move with him.