Detroit Red Wings general manager Ken Holland won't force Nick Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk to participate in the All-Star weekend in Montreal. Even if they don't play the NHL wanted them to show up to do off ice appearances during the weekend.
"I'm not going to call Nick and tell him he's got to go to Montreal to sit and talk with the media for a day," said a fiery Holland, who is upset with the NHL's treatment of Lidstrom on this issue.
"Imagine me calling Nick, a six-time Norris Trophy winner, four-time Stanley Cup winner and someone who has gone to the last 10 all-star games and telling him he can't spend the time with his four boys and wife.
"I have too much respect for Nick because I know he's playing in pain. He's shown up at every NHL Awards show he's been nominated for. He's done everything the league has asked him to do.
"He's put in his time and he's paid his dues. I'm backing my player because I know he's hurt."
According the Holland,Lidstrom came to him on monday and told him the tendinitis in his right elbow was flaring up.Yet he played on Tuesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Nick Lidstrom had an MRI done on Wednesday and said they have found a small tear. As for Pavel Datsyuk,he has a hip flexor injury.
"I have trouble asking players to go to Montreal who are injured. I don't even know where the two of them are."
According to Holland,he explained all this to NHL vice-president Colin Campbell earlier this week.
"I don't know exactly what Gary has said, but we've always encouraged our players to go and they have over the years," Holland said. "We played in the Winter Classic when asked even though there was some internal opposition. We gave up our traditional New Year's Eve game.
"We've helped carry the flag for the league for more than a decade. I think we've tried to be good partners in these things.
"I understand the All-Star Game is important, but I'm not going to tell Nick and Pavel to go either."