WASHINGTON – Should it matter that Alex Ovechkin is skipping this weekend’s NHL all-star game in Ottawa?
After all, the league suspended him for three games for launching himself into Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek Sunday.
Ovie knows that if he attended the game in Canada, it would be like jumping into shark-infested waters. He’d be the story, fielding question after question about his style of play.
The weekend wouldn’t be fun for Ovechkin and that’s what the all-star game is supposed to be about.
Canadians love their hockey and love their Canadian hockey players. The media there feeds the frenzy. Ovechkin’s presence while under suspension would only reinforce their belief that he’s the league’s bad boy, especially with their hero and countryman, Sidney Crosby, still on the mend from a year long concussion.
If the NHL won’t allow him to play regular season games, Ovechkin feels he doesn’t deserve to be at All-Star weekend. The Capitals support his decision and I’m sure most Capitals fans do as well.
Ovie’s first game back will ironically be in Canada, on February 4th at Montreal.
Till then, I hope he enjoys the time off on some warm beach and returns rested and ready to be The Great 8 once again.