Washington Capitals center Alex Ovechkin was elected by the fans to be the captain for the Metropolitan Division in the All-Star Game at the end of January in San Jose. Ovechkin announced today that he will miss the All-Star Game due to rest. He wants to rest up for the second-half of the regular season. This is not the first time an NHL player has done something like this.
Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks skipped out on the All-Star Game in 2016 because he was sick. The NHL decided to suspended him one game because he didn’t participate in the festivities.
Alex Ovechkin will be forced to either miss the game before the All-Star Break or the game after the All-Star Break. The last game for the Washington Capitals before the break will be against the Toronto Maple Leafs on the road on Wednesday January 23. The first game for the Washington Capitals after the break will be at home on Friday February 1 against the Calgary Flames.
Ovechkin has played in 38 games so far this season. He has scored 29 goals and recorded 16 assists so far this season. His plus/minus is +13.
A lot of NHL fans will probably be upset that he won’t be participating in the festivities on All-Star weekend, but this move makes a ton of sense for him. The Washington Capitals won the Stanley Cup last season and Ovechkin wants to rest up in order to go on another deep playoff run.
They have a very good chance to win back-to-back Stanley Cup titles this season. He should not be criticized for this move, although people will criticize him anyways. Alex Ovechkin has always participated in All-Star Weekend throughout his NHL career. He has been there several times.
With Ovechkin not playing in the All-Star Tournament, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins will most likely be the captain for the Metropolitan Division. If it is not him, it could be Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils, Mathew Barzal of the New York Islanders, or Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers.
Playing in a 3-on-3 tournament is taxing for your body. Another possible reason why Alex Ovechkin decided not to play in the All-Star Tournament is because of a long flight to the west coast. Travel is tiring for players and it isn’t easy.
Ovechkin will be resting for at least week and possibly longer. This will be good for him because he will be recharged when the break is over. Alex Ovechkin is one of the best players in the game.
The All-Star Tournament is one of the best things about the NHL season. Alex Ovechkin feels like their are things more important to him this season than being with other NHL All-Stars on All-Star Weekend.
I think if the All-Star Tournament was not on the west coast, I think he would have participated. Traveling to the west coast by airplane usually takes six hours and it could possibly be more. Whether you agree with his decision or not to skip it, it should be respected at the very least.
– Glenn Kaplan, WTF Sports Intern