Alexander Ovechkin shocked the NHL community when he revealed that he'll be skipping the All-Star game in order to rest and take some time away from the league.
The 33-year-old superstar deserves all the rest he can get considering he's currently sitting with an incredible 29 goals on the season, but skipping the All-Star Game after being voted as one the captains by the fans can have some consequences. He'll be suspended one game for his decision.
#Caps captain Alex Ovechkin has informed the NHL that he will miss the 2019 NHL All-Star Game in San Jose, preferring to take full advantage of the adjoining bye week to recuperate and get ready for the second half of the season and the playoff push.— Mike Vogel (@VogsCaps) January 2, 2019
Now we'll have to wait and see if Ovi will lead a new trend for top players to skip out on the All-Star Game in order to get some rest.
Ovechkin was slated to appear in his eighth All-Star game, captaining the Metropolitan Division side along with Connor McDavid (Pacific), Auston Matthews (Atlantic), and Nathan MacKinnon (Central).
The decision by Ovi is understandable, but can still put a sour taste in the fans who wanted to see him play and put forth the effort to make him a captain.
Ovechkin has always been a big supporter of league events, but protocol for skipping All Star weekend means he has to miss the game either immediately before the Break (Toronto) or immediately after the Break (Calgary).— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) January 2, 2019
It's tough for the NHL to treat the All-Star Game seriously when their marquee players won't even play in it.
Ovechkin was very vocal in his distaste for the NHL's choice to skip out on the Olympics, so maybe this is his revenge for the decision. No matter what the inspiration was behind Ovi's decision, it's time to consider how crucial the All-Star Game really is for the players and fans. Expect some uproar from NHL higher-ups and fans alike as the search for Ovechkin's replacement begins.