January 25, 2012

Kudos to you, Alex Ovechkin

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

When it comes to the NHL all-star, I really couldn’t care less. Even with their dynamite idea to have the stars themselves divide up the teams, I still wasn’t interested in watching their mid-season spectacle. I did thoroughly enjoy watch Phil Kessel be picked last a year ago in Carolina, but that’s something else.

There’s maybe one all-star that is ever worth watching and that’s the MLB’s mid-summer classic — and even that’s not very good. The NBA’s version is dreadful thanks to a complete willingness by everyone involved to play zero defence. As the NFL’s Pro Bowl — also going on Sunday — don’t even get me started.

But Alex Ovechkin did something completely admirable this year by voluntarily sitting it out. It’s not very often you see a player give up the chance to soak in his stardom for an entire weekend.

You see, Ovie is currently suspended for a launching himself into a hit on Penguins defenceman Zbynek Michalek and is banned for three games. That period of time happens to run over the all-star break. So his logic is that he shouldn’t even be eligible to play, even though he is.

So now some other lucky player will get the chance to strut his stuff in this showcase. I don’t know even who, but congrats to them. And really, with the Great Eight currently ranking only tied fir 36th in the league with 39 points, did he even deserve to go? But that’s a question for someone else to answer.

Now, here’s the main thing: If Ovechkin had been voted to play in the game by the fans, then I’d have a problem with him skipping it for a weekend off.

Then, he would be depriving the fans of a player they really wanted to see in this spectacle; a guy that always puts on a great show in the game and especially in the Skills Competition.

It’s a good thing that those fans in Ottawa stuffed the ballot boxes to see four of their own start the game, eh?

PS. Speaking about him taking a weekend off, wouldn’t it be something if that’s all that he really wanted? Or how about if this was his way of protesting his suspension? Telling the league how he really felt about his three-game ban by sitting out their money-making exhibition is not something I’d put past him.

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