All-Star Games are dumb. Exciting for young fans, sponsors, and media members wanting to get drunk, but the concept of All-Star Games is still dumb. Take the NHL All-Star Game, for example. After making a complete hash of the John Scott situation, the league has suspended two of its biggest stars, Jonathan Toews and Alex Ovechkin, for skipping the All-Star Game to rest up for the second half of the season ahead.
While the Scott situation caught the league by surprise, the rule that forced the league to suspended the captains of the best team in each conference is clearly written in the NHL’s rule book. But there is still no need for it anyway, even if the idea of the rule is to get as many players to go to the game as possible. Ovechkin is nursing a lower body injury and Toews left the Blackhawks’ game against Carolina on Tuesday with illness.
“For us, it’s not about the prize money,” Caps head coach Barry Trotz told reporters after Wednesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers, referring to the $1 million that will go to the winner of the 3-on-3 All-Star tournament. “We have a bigger goal, and if we want to get to where we want to get to, we can’t do it without Alex Ovechkin being 100 percent.”
“We talk about it maybe last couple weeks and last week it was very serious, should I go, should I not go,” Ovechkin said. The left wing has 28 goals and 42 points this season, and recently picked up his 500th NHL goal.
Young Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov will replace Ovechkin on the roster. Predators forward James Neal will replace Toews, who missed the 2012 All Star Game with a hand injury, but has played in every other All-Star game since 2009.
Fans-I appreciate your votes for All-Star game, but 3 on 3 would kill me,and i don't want to die yet:)Thank you for understanding. Too old:)
— Jaromir Jagr (@68Jagr) December 2, 2015
One player who will be in Nashville for the festivities will be Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr, captain of the Atlantic Division. He had advocated fans to not vote for him on Twitter, warning that he wouldn’t show up, but he has relented.