Alex Ovechkin will miss the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game in Nashville, Sunday at 5 pm, because of a lower-body injury.
“This was a hard decision but we talk about it, coaching staff, trainers, and we tried to battle through it. But it’s stayed the same,” Ovechkin said. “I have to get ready for the rest of the year, get healthy, and I think we have a good chance to have success and I want to be a part of it. I don’t want to miss important things.”
His English seems to have improved since another Ovechkin piece that was written on SportsJournal.ca about “The Goal” and its resonance ten years later. Now what Ovechkin says makes sense and actually, truly, resonates.
You may say big deal: a player is missing the All-Star game, but this player is electric and the same one, who, a year ago, donned Superman capes and other props en route to a shootout win (nobody knows or cares if he actually won, he stole the show).
Two other seismically important players will be missing the event as well, Chicago Blackhawks Johnathon Toews, who is out with the flu, and Pittsburgh Penguins Sidney Crosby who wasn’t voted in…but probably would have skipped it anyway. The last All-Star game he played in was in 2007 and he has been voted into several (almost all) since.
Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov was named to replace Alex Ovechkin.
Ovehckin said the injury has been nagging him for some months and he wanted to play, he really did, but thought that eschewing a potential Stanley Cup run in lieu of playing in the All-Star game wasn’t worth it.
“I wanted to go there and play in the All-Star Game; it’s a huge opportunity and a huge honor. But I was not healthy in probably like a couple months,” Ovechkin said. “Me, the coaching staff, all the trainers decided to now take a break and get ready for the rest of the year.”
Coach Barry Trotz explained that the decision was made with the postseason in mind.
“It’s been nagging all year,” he said. “Long-term, for us, we have to make a decision for our fans and for our team and for Alex too.”
Under NHL rule, Alex Ovechkin will be forced to sit out Washington’s game against the Florida Panthers on February 2nd. Not forced like physically by little minions but by NHL rule.
Ovechkin was voted as a captain of the All-Star game but will be unable to participate. Ovechkin will certainly be missed as it remains unclear who will provide the theatrics Ovechkin provided last year. He WAS the All-Star game last year. Hopefully someone will step up and run the show.