Does Washington Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin Deserve Suspension for Missing All-Star Game?

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 27: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals skates with the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period at Verizon Center on January 27, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

As we all know, Alex Ovechkin has opted to sit out of the All-Star game. As punishment for missing the weekend of festivities and events, the Washington Capitals’ captain has been suspended for one game following the All-Star game. When the Caps spring back into action to take on the Flordia Panthers, Ovechkin will have to sit out and wait.

Here’s the question: does he deserve to face punishment for missing the weekend? Well, let’s talk about it.

Ovechkin has been apparently suffering from a lower-body injury, and according to him and head coach Barry Trotz, the injury has been bothering Ovechkkin since November. With the opportunity to rest for a few weeks and not have to skate in a game that counts toward the bigger picture, he should be allotted that time off, especially if it’s due to absence.

It’s not like “Ovi” openly said that he does not want to participate, or that he had been planning this for some time so that he could sit out and get a week off. In fact, he was honored to be voted in by the fans, especially as one of the leaders representing the huge Metropolitan division.

“Obviously, being selected captain, I’ve never been a captain in an All-Star game, it’s a huge honor,” Ovechkin said. “But we talk about it the last couple weeks and last week it was very serious. The snowstorm came and we felt like maybe it would help, but it doesn’t.”

He has a legitimate excuse, and if he is in that much pain, he shouldn’t have to participate in a game and weekend that doesn’t count toward anything that could resort in a more major injury.

What’s even more interesting is the fact that they were fine with John Scott missing the All-Star game for any reason and even asked him to opt out. He wouldn’t have faced punishment, but when he refused, the Coyotes and the league decided to trade him and ship him off to the AHL. Finally, they came to their senses after backlash from fans and decided to let him play.

But isn’t it interesting? Ovechkin’s a superstar, and because he legitimately should not be playing in this silly, high-scoring lazy affair, he is suspended? Again, it’s not like he said that he doesn’t want to do it or that he didn’t care about the fans. He felt horrible and apologized.

“Tell them sorry, but right now we’re focused to get ready for the rest of the year and be healthy in the playoffs, that’s the most important thing,” Ovechkin told them media. “It was a hard decision to make, it was a last-second decision. We have good chance to have success and I want to be part of it.”

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