NHL Threatens To Suspend Players Who Don't Show Up at All-Star Game

Daniel ArouchianSenior Analyst IJanuary 23, 2009

Players who are named in the All-Star teams and decline to show up without a valid reason, must miss at least one game before or after the All-Star weekend.

NHL vice-president Colin Campbell said the league pushed for the rule because too many players decided not to go without a good reason.

'We've all got obligations to the fans, the rights holders - this game is being televised around the world,'' Campbell said.

Both Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk from the Detroit Red Wings will have to sit out the game on Tuesday against the Blue Jackets for not taking part of the weekend event.

Lidstrom and Datsyuk were both healthy to be in the lineup on Tuesday when Detroit played against Phoenix. Lidstrom played 26 minutes and 26 seconds and scored two goals. Datsyuk had two assists. Both cited injuries as a reason not to play for the All-Star Game.

''I feel bad for Nicklas Lidstrom,'' said Campbell. ''He's been here how many years now? It's unfair that he gets caught in this web.''

"The policy is clear, the team knew the consequences," said Colin Campbell, the NHL's vice-president in charge of discipline.

As for Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins didn't want to test the NHL's new rule, so he'll take part of all of the off-ice All-Star activities.

"There's no question that he's been injured," Campbell said. "He missed some games before coming back. And he's here; where are those other guys?"