This was the only way it could be. The NHL faced a disastrous PR nightmare with the John Scott thing. There had already been rumbling that the league asked him to decline the All-Star Game invitation despite the fans voting him in as captain. Then the trade to Montreal really made it seem like the NHL was going to let that trade make Scott ineligible.
Fortunately, the NHL did the right thing. I don’t know if they did it because they felt that it was the right thing to do or they did it because they wanted to avoid any backlash if they left Scott off the roster.
Either way, what we have is the NHL admitting that the game itself doesn’t matter. If the fan vote doesn’t have any value, then what’s the point of this game? It’s already a game that people don’t really watch and the NHL can’t afford to lose the one thing the fans care about.
The NHL did the right thing only because they had no other choice.