Why Ovechkin Won’t be at the All-Star Game

The NHL All-Star game is being played this weekend on Sunday, January 29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario. And if fans were disappointed that Sidney Crosby won’t be showing up, they’re outraged that Alex Ovechkin won’t be there. And it’s not because they view Ovechkin as the bigger star of the two. Unlike Crosby, who can’t attend the game because he’s still out with concussion-like symptoms, Ovechkin is simply flat out refusing to play, since he’s now been suspended by the league.

It was during Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins that Ovechkin took a head shot on Zbynek Michalek that some are now saying was just plain dirty. The league agreed and suspended Ovechkin for three games. That time included the All-Star game, which Ovechkin had been invited to, but the league said that he could still play in that one game. Ovechkin though, wants the league to do him no favors and has now snubbed the invite. In a statement Ovechkin said, “My heart is not there. I got suspended so why I have to go there? I love the game; it’s great event. I’d 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. If I suspended, I have to be suspended. That’s why I give up my roster spot.”

The problem of course, is that Ovechkin is a huge draw for fans, and having an All-Star game without two of the game’s biggest stars seems a little counterproductive. But with Ovechkin’s stats this season, there will definitely be bigger stars with perhaps a little more talent there. But one of the other big problems with Ovechkin’s statement is that he’s been vying to get people over to Russia for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, often talking about how important it is that big stars show up to increase awareness and excitement for the sport. This leaves many saying that if he wants all-stars to go to Sochi, he’d better be prepared to make the much shorter trip to Ottawa

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