Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin will not attend the NHL All-Star game due to his three game suspension. Any time a player of this magnitude misses the showcase of the sport's greatest talents, it is huge news.
The decision was Ovechkin's as he has said he does not feel comfortable there due to his suspension. Is this a retaliation to hurt the NHL?
“My heart is not there. I got suspended, so why I have to go there?,” Ovechkin said. “I love the game it’s a great event, I love to be there but I’m suspended. I don’t want to be a target. I feel I’m not deserving to be there right now. I got suspended, I have to be suspended so that’s why I give up my roster [spot].”
It does sound a lot like pouting and posturing by Ovechkin. He knows he is one of the main attractions so this comes off as a passive aggressive protest to the length of his suspension, which he had initially had issues with.
The suspension was for an illegal hit on Zbynek Michalek of Pittsburgh, but this isn't the first time Ovechkin has been suspended for "dirty" play. In the 2009-2010 season Ovie was suspended for hits on Tim Gleason and Brian Campbell.
Star status doesn't make you exempt from punishment. Could this act precipitate a rule from the NHL that any player, not injured, who is voted into the All-Star game must attend, regardless of suspension? It could, but it won't change the fact that Ovechkin won't be in the house this year.
It's his prerogative, but a choice with questionable motives.
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